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What am I Worth in God’s Eyes? Part III

November 4, 2012

What is anything worth?

An American sea captain on the New York to Shanghai route decides to buy some Chinese vases. This was before the Panama Canal was open and ships had to go around Cape Horn where the most troubled seas of in the word roil continuously. Getting the vases home in tact was considered a measure of a captain’s seamanship and captains had been doing the same for over a hundred years.

It is not certain what he paid for the two vases but it was probably less than fifty dollars, which was quite a sum in those days. But weren’t they the copies of the old vases that were sold for trade around the world? Perhaps, they were better than average, but you can’t expect to get a lot for knockoffs, can you?

Eventually the vases came into the possession of his granddaughter and they did not go with her decor so she stored them up in her attic. But the time came that she needed some money and she decided to sell them for three hundred dollars apiece. She knew they had increased in value and she thought that she was asking a fair price.

An antique dealer saw her classified ad and thought if they were of standard quality, she might get five hundred dollars apiece for them. So she purchased them. But as she looked at them she realized that they were above normal in quality and priced them at eight hundred dollars each.

But there’s more. The day after the antique dealer put the vases in her shop, a friend, a fellow antique dealer, looked at the vases and insisted that she take them off display. They were entirely too good to be copies, she thought. They must be the real thing. They would find, that when authenticated the vases might be worth as much as ten thousand dollars each.

That was years ago. Today, I am told that some of these authentic vases can sell for eighty thousand dollars or even more. So, this begs us to answer a question: what are the vases really worth?  a) less than $25    b) $300    c) $500    d) $800    e) $10,000  f) $80,000    g) none of the above    What do you think?

The answer is to come.

 

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