Broken Gold

I will never forget the first time I realized we were ripping people off. It’s the one and only time in my life that my older brother, a very gentle person by nature, swore at me. A pretty young woman, maybe twenty-three at the oldest, with one baby in her arm and another in a stroller, had been waiting about an hour, and I drew her number. When she came to the counter I was already sick to my stomach. She wanted to sell her diamond engagement ring and her gold wedding band. I had been taught the trick of how to buy gold. I could have weighed her ring on a gram scale and offered her that price immediately, but I knew you always bid on the biggest item first, because then the smaller offers for cheaper items feel less important, like small change.

—Clancy Martin, We Buy Broken Gold