It’s tough to spend a gram of gold

at 01:57 PM ET, 04/27/2012

Felix Salmon went out onto the streets on Manhattan and tried to spend a gram of gold. Here’s what he learned:

- When I tell the Snack Box owner that the gold is real and that “you can tell by how shiny it is”, I’m not kidding. Pure gold is really shiny.
-The most surprising people turn out to know how much a gram of gold is worth, with an astonishing level of accuracy.
- Gold is not a currency. I’m reasonably sure that Andrew, the guy behind the counter at Snack Box, would not have accepted my gram of gold unless his boss was telling him to.
- If you do want to spend gold, then try your luck with small businesses, and don’t expect a good implied exchange rate.
- If you go out and attempt to buy a gold bar, you’ll never be able to find one for a mere $53. In fact, my producer wound up paying double that, in Manhattan.

Video — and more reflections — here.

 
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