This all happened within a 5 minute period, on the same Brooklyn-bound subway car:
I noticed a man with an elaborate gold ring, and questioned him about it’s origin. “It’s from Ghana,” he said.
“Cool!” I replied. “Do you have any idea how old it is?”
“About 200 years,” he answered. Excited by this discovery, I asked him if I could photograph the ring. That picture can be found in the top left corner of this post.
The man got off at the next stop. Shortly after he left the car, I recognized another man who I had met a few weeks earlier. I knew that he collected and dealt in African artwork. I walked up to him with the intention of showing off my discovery. “Check out this ring,” I said, showing him the photo on my camera. “The guy said it was 200 years old and made in Ghana.” He quickly glanced at the photo.
“Bah!” he said. “That’s way too shiny to be 200 years old. You want to see something old?” He opened his briefcase, reached into one of the pockets, and pulled out a bundle of tissue. He unwrapped the tissue, revealing a sort of artifact. “That was dug up in Mali,” he said. “Photograph that!”