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9:05am on Wednesday, 9th July, 2008:

The Sovereign


On the day I was 18, my mum and dad took me out for a meal to a local restaurant in Hornsea. There, they gave me a silver ingot on a chain — the kind you wear around your neck if you're a Medallion Man. I'm not a Medallion Man, so at first was perplexed as to why they've given me it.

My dad explained that the silver was itself worth something. If ever I was desperately short of money, I'd always be able to sell that ingot for a few pounds. It wouldn't be much, but it would hopefully be enough to tide me over. However, if I did sell it, that should be the signal that I should contact them.

I understood, then, that it was a token: I'd become an adult, and could do whatever I wanted with my life, but I'd always be my parents' child, and they'd always support me. The silver ingot was their way of saying that no matter how bad things might get for me, I'd always have it as a last resort — a reminder that they would always help.

I still have the ingot on the chain, because thankfully things never did get bad. It was both insurance and assurance. I don't suppose I'll ever need it, now, but I keep it all the same.

Nevertheless, I thought such a gift was a great idea. I didn't fully appreciate it initially, but over the years, once I had children of my own, I came to understand it more. I therefore resolved to do something similar.

I'm better off than my parents were, so I didn't get my daughter a silver ingot on a chain. Instead, I got her a 2008 sovereign. As of right now, the 7.322g of gold in it are worth £110.20, so should she ever need to sell it she'll probably be able to get something like the equivalent of £50 in today's money. Hopefully, that should be enough to tide her over.

I hope she never needs to sell it, but if she does, she knows what to do next.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).