A true silver dollar is hard to find these days. They have become collectors’ items. The Eisenhower Dollar, although technically not a silver one, is called a Silver Dollar because of its close resemblance to the real thing. So, what’s it worth? It can’t buy you a cup of coffee if you’re at Starbucks or most other places nowadays. You can’t put it in a slot machine. They only take paper money. It is legal tender, but a one dollar coin really doesn’t have much use today, even in Las Vegas.
However, to a local businessman its value has taken on a new meaning that is very special. What’s that you say? Well, it isn’t materialistic or numismatic. It’s actually something “money can’t buy”. But it’s also something that “ money can buy”. Give up? It’s joy! It’s happiness. It’s gratification. Even love. How can a Silver Dollar be such a panacea for the conflicts and stress we face and feel in today’s world?
To learn how it’s done, you only need to follow him around to observe him in action. “Him” is Bob. Quiet, shy, reserved. He’ll greet you with a smile, chat a bit and then extend his right hand. Your mind doesn’t know exactly what the gesture is about, but your right hand automatically extends to meet his. You haven’t seen anything in his hand so you’re surprised when something round and silvery slides into your palm, your fingers react by cupping it. Now your eyes are curious and look to see what it is that was mysteriously placed in your hand. It’s round and silver in appearance. It’s too big to be a quarter, looks about the same size as a fifty-cents piece but feels slightly heavier. Wait, is it a Silver Dollar? It is. “Wow,” you say, “I haven’t seen one of these things in a long time.” Then the emotions start rushing in.
In my case it was going way back in my memory bank to my grandfather, a kindly Jewish man who came from the old country to the Boston area. A business man, he owned and ran a hardware store in Quincy. I was his only grandchild and a granddaughter at that. We didn’t live nearby, but drove to be with him and my grandmother for Thanksgiving every year. I apprenticed to be a businesswoman under him. He issued me my first social security card at 7, carefully typing my name and some numbers on a piece of paper in his office on the second floor of his store that overlooked the entrance and floor of commerce below. When I was older I would take the train to Boston and transfer to a commuter line to Quincy and stay with them. Every morning I went to work with my grandfather and helped in a variety of jobs. He was a kind and loving man who made me feel special and loved.
When Bob hands you an Eisenhower dollar he will tell you it’s for good luck. But it’s really more than that. It’s a blessing from him. It’s something “special” and “loving”. But I haven’t told you about the other half of the coin, Bob’s reaction. Your smile, your amazement, your joy, your memories, your thanks. …they bring a special joy to Bob.
So what’s a Silver Dollar worth? A lot if you live in Las Vegas and happen to encounter Bob. It’s Bob’s hallmark, when you care enough to give the very best.