If you spent $13,000 on coins in the 1970s...
I saw a cousin this evening and she told me a story that got my attention. Since all I have right now is the story, it might be fun to see what guesses people come up with here...
According to her, her father spent $13,000 on coins in the 1970s and he's bummed because he thinks they've lost all their value and they're worthless now. She's seen them, but she doesn't know anything about coins and she wasn't really paying attention. She describes them as a small enough group to fit in a safe, and they were mostly different. Based on that, it sounds to me like maybe 100-ish individual coins rather than rolls or bags. She says they were purchased from a "real coin dealer" and were actually worth what he paid for them at the time. She thinks that the coins are still in their original holders from the 1970s. There's no concern that the lost value because they were in a fire or otherwise damaged. According to her, the coins had a fair value of $13,000 in the 1970s, and the same coins in the same condition have lost all their value now.
...and that's all I have. Of course I asked for pictures. Maybe I'll get them. What sort of guesses can we come up with, from that story alone?
One scenario is that her father got scammed, and the coins were never worth $13,000. I'm going to ignore that, because it isn't interesting, even though it's certainly possible.
Another scenario is that her father is right, and the coins have lost all their value since the 1970s. I have a hard time figuring a way that could happen. There would have been ways to lose that much money on coins. If someone spent all their money buying up 1950-D nickels, that would have been sad. Or similarly if they bought rolls and rolls of cents from the 1960s. Neither of those works with her description of a small number of mostly different coins that could fit in a safe.
Question 1: Can you come up with a way to spend $13,000 on a small number of fairly-priced coins in the 1970s, and have coins that are basically worthless now?
A third scenario is that her father is wrong, and the coins haven't lost their value after all. I'm rooting for this one!
Question 2: What sort of coins might someone have legitimately spent $13,000 on in the 1970s?
This isn't a time travel question, where you know now how the money should have been spent then. The question is how someone really would have spent the money, based on the coins that were available and popular at the time.
I will follow up if I get the rest of the details (and if I'm allowed to share). That might not ever happen, sorry. Until I know more, any guesses?