The Perils of Getting Lucky (Conclusion)
If, as the world at large likes to proclaim, advice is cheap then it doesn't get any cheaper than the somewhat tarnished pearls of wisdom I'm about to dispense to you. What you accept, reject, or file away for future reference here is your call and your call only...I'm only the messenger.
If you do get struck by lightning and end up winning the lottery or finding a multi-million dollar gold coin or nugget cache by accident, here are a few points and suggestions you may want to consider:
Keep your mouth shut to the extent you are able. Even if you can't control yourself and feel you absolutely must let others know about your great good luck, try to limit the sheer number of people who DO know. The louder and more frequently you flap your gums and the larger the crowd that knows of your good fortune the greater the risk that something bad will happen down the road, whether it's ultra-high taxes, scams and rip offs, generic thievery, contested ownership of your find or cash award, BS lawsuits, or even kidnapping and violence. If you have a desperately hungry ego, trusting personality, or are emotionally needy then you are at even greater risk in the above regard.
Here's the deal...the more you publicize your find the greater the chance it will be taken away, contested, or stolen from you, "legally" or otherwise. At the very least, your new-found treasure will be greatly reduced in its overall amount and effectiveness at changing your life as you now know it. Other things to consider here are angry and disappointed family members and friends who (rightly or wrongly) expected a little "taste" or share of your great good fortune. If you don't deliver the goods, these very same friends and relatives will often turn on you like a pack of wild hyenas and bad mouth you to one and all (including the media) every chance they get. Lots of gold equals lots of money and lots of money equals problems, as well as solutions.
Trust no one (or at least not fully). If you think I'm joking here think again...I'm not joking at all. No matter how well you think you know someone be they spouses, relatives, friends, or even your own children, when big money starts dancing in front of people's eyes anything can happen (and usually does). I know all this sounds terribly harsh and cynical, but it needs saying anyway. Sure, I see you sitting there shaking your heads and saying to yourselves, "No J.R., no way and no how! NO ONE in my family or closest circle of friends would behave this way, steal from me...or worse." You may be absolutely right my friends and I hope you are if you ever do hit the "big one." But just the same, remember my little admonition here will you please?
Oh, one other thing here...I don't have to tell you NOT to trust tax experts, financial advisers, lawyers, public officials, or media types do I? I didn't think so...
"Parcel" your find(s) out slowly and to the greatest effect. One of the quickest ways to bring unwanted attention to yourself (other than letting your fragile ego or flapping gums run wild) is to sell off significant amounts of rare and valuable gold or silver coins, mind-boggling stacks of bullion, or exceptionally large gold nuggets all at once. Since events like these are relatively rare among those who buy and sell day in and day out, red flags are going to pop up all over the place in the shops or auction houses you visit. You'll be pressed for "wheres, whats, and whys" such as documentation or provenance paperwork, ownership certificates, locations of your finds, and so on. Sooner or later the news will get out and you'll be inundated by unwanted visitors from all directions.
If any of you ever saw the based-on-real-life mob movie "Goodfellas" there is a direct correlation to what I said in the previous paragraph and what happened to Jimmy's, Tommy's, and Henry's crew after pulling off the huge Lufthansa heist. Some of those involved didn't listen to Jimmy about laying low and not rushing out to buy new cars, mink coats, etc. In other words, they couldn't do things on the down low and ended up dead...or at least some of them did anyway. The same holds true (metaphorically speaking) if you hit it big yourself. It takes discipline, control, and willpower to hold back and sell off your "goodies" a bit at a pop over an extended period of time. That's what I recommend you do. It reduces the chance for bad things happening and can potentially reduce your tax burden as well.
(Left to right, "Goodfellas" Tommy, Henry, and Jimmy.)
The latter topic is something I'm going to avoid like the Black Plague since Big Brother and his minions are always out and about. I won't tell you to pay taxes on your finds nor will I suggest to you to avoid that alternative if you can. On the tax topic as it relates to treasure trove or gold finds I remain mute and firmly in the middle, walking a tightrope. I think you understand what I'm saying here. Only you can decide what's best for you or what the right thing to do is when it comes to claiming part, all, or even none of your big find. This last is probably the most risky approach and not for the faint of heart or the truly value driven among you. What have I done in this regard in the past with some of my better finds? I take the 5th...not unlike the crooked politicians do in Washington, D.C. when they don't want to be found out.
Anyway, only you can make these sorts of decisions in the long run. I truly hope each and every one of you hit the "big one" somewhere along this twisting path called life and that your financial and personal issues become ancient history. If you do get lucky, remember the perils involved and play it smart.
Best to you all.
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2014
Questions? E-mail me at email@example.com