A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
Re: Expensive toys
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2020 Aug 4, 11:20 -0700
Hewitt S, you wondered:
"Is it gold? or just gold plated."
The price of gold has been skyrocketing lately. It's about $2000 an ounce now. We can do the math. Assuming $11,000 in the listed price is just for the gold, with no markup (leaving $828 for the value of the sextant per se and the case), and assuming the price reflects value back when the price of gold was near $1300, where it hovered for some years, then the maximum amount of gold in this thing would be about 8.5 ounces, or 5.5 ounces at the current price. That would be just enough gold to make a rather svelte arc on a sextant but nothing more. Therefore, definitely gold-plated! :)
All of these "expensive toys" are probably better assessed as expensive gifts. They're the sort of thing you might present to a retiring navigator or maybe a retiring corporate CEO in the GNSS industry to honor his or her service. It's like the classic "gold watch" but more ostentatious. And in the end, this confirms my claim that if it's "shiny and golden," it's a dust-collector!
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