Peter strongly desired to attend a decisive football match in which his favorite team “Zenith” participated.
Alas, he had neither cash nor credit card.
Reluctantly, he decided to get rid of a souvenir “silver ruble coin”, which contained a 1000
ruble worth of silver.
He went to pawnshop, and in return for his coin got 750
rubles cash and a chit redeemable within a week for slightly more than the money he got.
Then he went to a friend – numismatist and, describing the silver dollar, offered him the chit for 750
The friend, an expert in coins evaluation, saw it as a good deal and paid the amount with no hesitation .
The total amount of 1500
rubles enabled Peter to get a first-class seat at the stadium.
The weather was wonderful, the view unobstructed, Zenith won the game, and Peter was more than happy.
Source: a Russian problems site (revised, translated, and abridged by A.Tz.)
The puzzle states that the coin contained 1000 ruble worth of silver, without specifying its numismatic value. The collector in effect paid somewhat more than 1500 rubles for it: 750 to Peter and 750 plus interest to the pawn broker.
If we are to trust that the collector knew what he was doing when he jumped on the deal without hesitation, then we can assume the coin was worth much more than 1500 rubles--enough to cover the interest and then some. In that case, Peter lost out on being able to have some money left over after buying the ticket, as he received only $1500 for a coin that's worth more. But of course he was in a hurry, and maybe didn't have numismatic connections, and it seemed worth it to him.
If, however, the numismatist was mistaken in the value of the coin, maybe he overpaid and was the loser. It could be said that it was worth it to him, so it wouldn't matter if he couldn't later sell it at a profit. In this sense, it's possible that no one lost, as everyone is happy. The economic positive sum works out: the coin was worth more to the collector than to its original owner.
Posted by Charlie
on 2014-11-03 15:57:12