COMMODITIES: Dime Store Gold Rush

As one General Services Administration official put it: "This wasn't any 5 and 10¢-store trade. These were Tiffany items." On the block in what must have been one of the most widely watched auctions ever held was a small chunk of the U.S.'s 276 million-oz. gold stockpile, offered for sale to the public in minimum lots of 400 oz.—worth $70,000 at pre-sale prices. But when the 209 bids submitted last week were opened, it looked like the great gold sale had drawn a strictly Woolworth's crowd.

European Buyers. The Government threw out 56 bids, among them a number of frivolous ones...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!