Important News! CoinLink has merged..... Visit our NEW Site www.CoinWeek.com

BREAKING NEWS:....... Vist Our NEW Site at CoinWeek.com

Category: Gold & Silver Bullion

Pricing Controversy with New 5 oz. “America the Beautiful” Bullion Coins

The U.S. Mint’s Dec. 1 announcement that the new 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce .999 fine silver bullion quarter dollars were to go on sale December 6th was canceled earlier this week over Mint concerns and complaints that the much anticipated coins were being overpriced.

The US mint does not distribute its bullion products directly to the public, but rather uses a network of 11 “Primary Distributors” who purchase the coins from the US Mint at $9.75 over the spot price of silver, and then in turn mostly wholesale these out to retail dealers. Few of these Primary Distributors have retail facilities.

Here is a list of the Primary Distributors:

  • A-Mark Precious Metals
  • Coins ‘N Things Inc.
  • MTB
  • Scotia Mocatta
  • Dillon Gage of Dallas
  • Prudential Securities Inc.
  • The Gold Center
  • American Precious Metals Exchange, Inc. (APMEX)
  • Commerzbank International (Luxembourg)
  • Deutsche Bank A.G. (Germany)
  • Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. (Japan)

As part of the December 1st announcement, the Mint surprisingly drastically reduced the mintage’s for the much anticipated 5 oz  America the Beautiful Bullion coins from an anticipated 100,000 coin  (for each of the 5 designs this year), to a mere 33,000.

After the announcement, APMEX decided to offer the 2010 5 coin set to customers and allow them to pre-order the coins from their website. Apmex is one of the few Primary Distributors that maintains a retail presence  through their website (which is excellent by the way). The 5 coin set was being offered at $1,395.

Obviously with such limited supplies, the large (3 inches in diameter) bullion coins were expected to be in hot demand .

However within hours of this pre-launch offering, complaints started to be registered with the US Mint because Apmex, responding to the anticipated demand and low mintages, had placed a $130.00 premium per coin on the set.

Apmex customers didn’t seem to mind the hefty premiums too much because within 19 hours after the posted  pre-launch offer, they had sold 1000 sets. But the US Mint did mind. In fact they halted the release of the new 5 oz coins to review the situation. (more…)

Higher premiums don’t seem to hinder demand for Silver American Eagle Coins

By Steve Roach – the Rare Coin Market ReportCoin World

While bullion markets continue their wild fluctuations, demand for American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coins remains vibrant.

In October, the United States Mint increased the premium charged to its authorized purchasers for American Eagle silver bullion coins from $1.50 to $2 per coin. The premium was increased in 2009 from $1.40 to $1.50 per coin and in 2008 from $1.25 to $1.40 per coin.

While Proof American Eagle silver coins may be purchased directly from the Mint, the Mint sells the silver bullion coins only to dealers in minimum 25,000-coin shipments.

However, the premium increase seems to have had no noticeable impact on demand, as the Mint has sold more than 30 million silver American Eagles thus far in 2010, eclipsing 2009’s sales record of 28,766,500 pieces.

Surely silver hitting 30-year highs including a flirtation with $29 earlier in November has helped keep demand for the attractive and easily portable silver American Eagles robust. Demand for the coins throughout the holiday gift-giving season will mean that 2010 sales figures will continue to climb.

Proof 2010-W American Eagle silver coins went on sale Nov. 19, priced at $45.95, with a 100-coin household limit.

The Mint’s Web site already warns customers of possible ordering delays on Nov. 19, due to the deluge of customers who are likely to order in light of “unusually high demand.”

Until Proof 2010-W coins enter the marketplace, wholesalers are paying up to $57 for earlier Proof American Eagle silver coins in original Mint packaging.

Grading service population reports show that 2010 American Eagle silver bullion coins are extremely well-produced. Of the 44,160 graded by Professional Coin Grading Service so far this year, a whopping 36,470 pieces have received Mint State 70 grades. Currently PCGS MS-70 2010 silver American Eagles are selling in online auctions for $60 to $100, while certified MS-69 representatives can be found for around $35 and uncertified examples are seen at $30.

In large quantities, 2010 American Eagle silver bullion coins are available from wholesale dealers at silver spot price plus $2.60 per coin.

Gold’s Holding Pattern is a Golden Opportunity

Billionaire George Soros declares: “Conditions for gold are pretty perfect”

Gold’s holding pattern is a gift to bargain hunters

Gold prices stood near the $1,350 range today on news that China’s central bank acted to slow inflation but fell short of raising interest rates outright. Gold’s holding pattern is a gift to bargain hunters because gold “should continue to remain well supported too, both by the growing debt crisis in the euro-zone peripherals, which could spill over to other countries at any time, and the expansion of liquidity on the back of renewed quantitative easing of U.S. monetary policy,” Commerzbank analysts said. Richcomm Global Services’ Pradeep Unni agreed, saying a weak dollar and a firmer euro “will continue to provide a bullish bias to the metal.”

The trend is “back up again”

Gold prices surged back Thursday as the euro rose against the dollar on optimism of a bailout for Ireland. “Having held $1,330, and with the dollar a bit weaker … we are just following the trend back up again,” the Bank of Nova Scotia’s Simon Weeks said. VTB Capital’s Andrey Kryuchenkov noted: “Should fear in the eurozone escalate, gold would draw fresh support from risk-averse buyers similar to what happened earlier this summer when investors scrambled for the safe-haven asset on fears of sovereign default.” Investors also are watching China for potential news of an interest-rate rise, which would only create a buying opportunity for bargain hunters.

Billionaire George Soros tips his hat to gold

With quantitative easing going full-steam ahead and U.S. interest rates low for the foreseeable future, billionaire investor George Soros said the precious metal still has plenty of kick to it. “The conditions for gold are pretty perfect,” he said Monday. Soros also said the present world order is on the brink of breaking down. “There is now a rapid decline of the United States and a rapid rise of China,” he said. “It is happening very quickly. … If they persist in their present course, it will lead to conflict,” he said, adding that China’s neighbors are already getting nervous about its rising global influence. Read more

Inflation surfaces at Walmart, not in feds’ data

Offering up its statistics Wednesday, the Labor Department said the core consumer price index, an inflation indicator that excludes food and energy prices, was unchanged in October. However, a new pricing survey of 86 products sold there – mostly everyday items like food and detergent – showed a “meaningful” 0.6 percent price increase in just the past two months, according to MKM Partners. At that rate, prices would be close to 4 percent higher a year from now, double the Federal Reserve’s mandate. “I suspect that when [Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke] thinks about reflation, he has a difficult time seeing any other asset besides real estate,” said Jim Iuorio of TJM Institutional Services. “Somehow the Fed thinks that if it’s not ‘wage-driven’ inflation then it is somehow unimportant. It’s not unimportant to people who see everything they own (homes) going down in value and everything they need (food and energy) going up in price.” Read more

The Fed sticks to its quantitative-easing guns

Ben Bernanke had to defend the Fed’s actions on Capitol Hill, where he briefed skeptical lawmakers on the QE plan’s merits on Wednesday, and some of his colleagues said the bank is likely to follow through on its entire $600 billion bond-buying program, citing weak economic data. “It looks like we’ll be purchasing at this pace through the end of the second quarter to add up to $600 billion,” St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said. (more…)

WGC: STRONG OUTLOOK FOR GOLD DEMAND FOR REMAINDER OF 2010

Global gold consumption for 2010 will be higher than 2009 as a result of increasing levels of demand in India and China, sustained global demand for gold investment, together with growth in jewellery and industrial demand, the World Gold Council (“WGC”) said.

According to the WGC’s Gold Demand Trends report for Q3 2010, published today, demand for gold in the final quarter of 2010 will be driven by the following factors:

* Increasing demand by the world’s two largest markets, India and China, as rising income levels, high savings rates and strong economic growth continue to push up consumption.

* Gold jewellery demand is likely to exceed that of 2009 due to an anticipated recovery in India, the most significant gold jewellery market, and continuing strength in China. While jewellery demand may face challenges ahead, the latest figures show that demand in key markets has shown resilience in the face of higher prices levels.

* Concern over fiscal imbalances and currency tensions will continue to support investment demand for gold. Aside from the recent additional US$600 billion of quantitative easing by the US, the weakening of the US dollar and associated fears of inflation, demand is also likely to be driven by higher gold price expectations, as well as increasing availability and accessibility of gold investment products to retail investors.

* Industrial demand, which has returned to long-term levels, is expected to remain firm on the back of renewed growth in the electronics industry, due to the majority of semi-conductors being wired by gold.

Marcus Grubb, Managing Director, Investment at the WGC commented:

“Healthy gold demand growth in the third quarter occurred in the context of record international prices, demonstrating how consumers, particularly in India and China, are continuing to appreciate the enduring value of gold. The rediscovery of gold’s properties as both a currency and a monetary asset have been brought into sharp focus. Quantitative easing has forced the adjustment of global imbalances into currency markets and the resulting currency conflict is positive for gold. In addition, we believe demand will be facilitated by the growing number of channels that serve to make gold more easily accessible to a greater number of investors.” (more…)

Multi-year Gold Bull Market Is Firmly Intact

Adam Crum – Monaco Rare Coins

Critics Believe Second Round of Quantitative Easing By the Fed Will Further Devalue the Dollar and Create Inflation

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been quoted as saying he would fly over the United States and drop dollars from a helicopter should it be necessary.

Sans helicopter, for the time being at any rate, the Federal Reserve has announced that it plans to breathe new life into the economy with additional quantitative easing, a series of Treasury purchases starting with $600,000,000 that may ultimately total $1 trillion or more according to some sources. With the U.S. economy expanding at just 2 percent annually in the third quarter of this year and the jobless rate apparently stalled at about 9.6 percent, the Fed was pressured to do something to stimulate the economy.

Bernanke explained to students at Jacksonville University that a second round of easing will enable the Fed to accomplish its two Congressional mandates, ensuring full employment and stable prices while preventing deflation and generating some “good” inflation.

Critics say the dollar will weaken and create inflation

Critics believe that the dollar will weaken as these purchases (accomplished by printing money) increase the Fed’s balance sheet. Inflation is fueled by a weaker dollar as the real price of goods and services becomes more expensive. Using past research and her own models, Goldman Sachs strategist Robin Brooks suggests the dollar will need to drop a great deal more than the Federal Reserve thinks in order to meet the central bank’s inflation target.

“Substantial additional monetary stimulus is needed for the Fed to meet its dual mandate on inflation and employment,” wrote Brooks after the Fed’s announcement. She has raised her estimate for the total size of this second round of quantitative easing from $1 trillion to $2 trillion. “If indeed the Fed sees the dollar as one of its key policy levers for preventing inflation from staying below its mandate for a prolonged period, the dollar needs to fall a lot further from here,” says Brooks.

The big question is when Bernanke discovers that the plan isn’t working, how much farther could the dollar fall? This controversial plan of additional quantitative easing takes the Fed into essentially uncharted waters and puts the dollar at risk of crashing. Frankly, these additional bond purchases could be more destructive than critics even think if inflation is ignited when the economy finally comes around. (more…)

Rationing of American Gold and Silver Eagle Bullion Coins A Thing of the Past. Again.

GainesvilleCoins Blog

This September after more than two years, the United States Mint lifted the rationing of American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins. By law, the Mint is required to produce enough of both type of coin to meet public demand, but when they cannot supply enough coins, they resort to meeting as much demand as possible – by allocating the coins on a weekly basis.

The irony is that time and again the U.S. Mint imposes this limitation until it has sufficient coins to satisfy public need, at which time it ends the rationing, and consumers rush to buy the coins, draining the Mint’s resources within weeks or months.

The first time that the U.S. Mint imposed its ”allocation” program was in February of 2008, following a several-weeks’ suspension of Silver Eagles. This allocation rationed the amount of bullion coins amongst authorized purchasers, and the note of the Mint state simply said, “The unprecedented demand for American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins necessitates our allocating these coins on a weekly basis until we are able to meet demand.”

Last year’s rationing of both the gold and the silver bullion coins ended in June 2009 but, as predicted, demand soon shot up, forcing the November 2009 suspension of sales -soon resumed under the all-too-familiar allocation program.

By March of 2010 the rationing had ended for Gold Eagle coins, and by this September, the Silver Eagle coins became fully available.

It seems unlikely, given the U.S. Mint’s unsteady history, that the allocation program for both Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins will not soon come around again.

The Legacy of the Swiss Helvetia Gold Coin

The Swiss Helvetia (1897 – 1949) embodies Switzerland’s status as a financial center of the world. The coin’s long standing reputation among investors and collectors illustrates its outstanding beauty and quality. The Swiss Helvetia, like other European gold coins, has a rich and lengthy heritage.

Ancient Origins

The name “Helvetia” comes from the name of Switzerland during Roman times. Julius Caesar conquered the Helveti in 58 BCE, but the name for the currency was resurrected during the Helvetic Republic, when a standardized coinage was reestablished. Prior to 1798, approximately 75 different entities were minting coins in Switzerland. Each entity had its own corresponding monetary system, so there were at least 860 circulating coins in the country.

The Helvetic Republic lasted from 1798 to 1803. Its goal was the unification of the numerous cantons of Switzerland. During that period the government introduced a normalized currency based on the Berne thaler. These francs were equal to 1.5 French francs. Although the Helvetic Republic soon ended, the new monetary system served as a model for various cantons in the newly formed Swiss Confederacy.

Currency in Transition

The country’s regions readopted their individual currency systems, with some modifications. Between 1803 and 1850, approximately 22 cantons minted coins, but less than 15% of the circulating currency was local. The remaining 85% was foreign, acquired during Swiss mercenaries’ exploits. Private banks started printing currencies to supplement coinage. By 1848 the Swiss monetary system included over 8000 different currency types. This trend of accepting foreign money has endured to this day; many businesses in Switzerland still accept international denominations as payment.

The Swiss federal governments sought to end this complication with a new Federal Constitution of 1848, which specified that only the federal government could produce and issue money. Two years later the first Federal Coinage Act made the franc the official monetary unit for Switzerland. The franc would replace any other currency used by the various cantons. The term “Helvetia” resurfaced as a name for the franc, recalling the country’s ancient origins.

Since 1850, the Swiss Helvetia has undergone only one devaluation, in 1936. The coin’s value dropped 30%, along with that of the US dollar, the British pound, and the French franc. Like the rest of the industrialized world, Switzerland chose to abandon the gold standard that year. The value of the Swiss Helvetia has remained strong ever since.

Swiss Helvetias as Investments

Sometimes called “Vrenelis” after their obverse design, Swiss Helvetias minted in the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth century have gained popularity among investors. Their exquisite design and outstanding condition make them a natural choice.

On the coin’s obverse is a portrait of “Vreneli” the fabled “Swiss Miss” of the Alps. The reverse features the Swiss Coat of Arms and the wreath of the Republic. They are generally available in brilliant uncirculated quality. The excellent luster and engraving of the Swiss Helvetia supplement the coin’s intrinsic value. Investors who seek a unique and historical precious metal will find the Swiss Helvetia a wise and interesting addition to their portfolios. (more…)

Gold tops $1,350 Before Fed Meeting Next Week

Markets await more money printing and key midterm elections

GDP meets expectations

Gold broke $1,350 today just before data showed the U.S. gross domestic product grew by 2 percent in the third quarter on high consumer spending, meeting economic forecasts. In a big meeting Tuesday – also Election Day – the Federal Reserve will discuss the prospect of further quantitative easing, or QE, which will have a major impact on the dollar, inflation expectations, and gold prices. “The Fed meeting next week has been dominating the markets,” said Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet. “We think the gold market has priced in around a $500 billion QE exercise by the Fed,” he said. “If the Fed comes out with a higher figure, we think gold will move higher.”

The trillion-dollar question: How much money will the Fed print next?

All eyes are on the Fed and its next anticipated round of QE. Most experts agree that some form of QE will be launched at the conclusion of a two-day meeting of its policy-making committee next Wednesday. It’s now just a question of how many billions worth of assets it will purchase and how much the financial markets have already priced in that QE.

“Shock and awe”?: Goldman Sachs thinks the Fed ultimately might buy $2 trillion of assets – a figure close to its “shock and awe” purchase of $1.7 trillion in longer-term Treasury and mortgage-related bonds at the height of the financial crisis. “We expect an announcement of $500 billion or perhaps slightly more over a period of about six months,” said Goldman economist Jan Hatzius. “The key question, however, is not the size of the first step, but how far Fed officials will ultimately need to move to achieve their dual mandate of low inflation and maximum sustainable employment.” The Fed also might announce a monthly purchase rate of perhaps $100 billion that will remain in place until the outlook for jobs and inflation improve “significantly,” he wrote. Goldman thinks as much as $4 trillion of additional asset purchases might be needed to bring inflation and unemployment into line with the Fed’s targets.

Likewise, Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch Global Research has forecast $1 trillion in QE, and a Reuters poll showed Wall Street analysts expect the Fed to buy between $80 billion to $100 billion in assets per month.
Or “a measured approach”?: However, on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal downplayed expectations of a major round of QE: “The central bank is likely to unveil a program of U.S. Treasury bond purchases worth a few hundred billion dollars over several months, a measured approach in contrast to purchases of nearly $2 trillion it unveiled during the financial crisis. … Officials want to avoid the ‘shock and awe’ style used during the crisis in favor of an approach that allows them to adjust their policy, and possibly add to their purchases, over time as the recovery unfolds.”

Gold stands to gain: The launch of any significant QE should have an uplifting effect on gold prices. Gold could rise to $1,400 an ounce and the dollar could lose another 2 percent to 3 percent if the Fed buys $500 billion over the next six months, HSBC analysts said Monday. The Fed could eventually buy up to $2 trillion in bonds – way more than the government will issue this year, according to HSBC.

Unbottling the inflation genie

In leading the Fed into uncharted monetary territory, Chairman Ben Bernanke is risking unleashing 1970s-style inflation – against which gold is your best protection. “By reducing real interest rates and trying to break the psychology of ‘Why spend today when I can buy goods cheaper tomorrow,’ they are hoping to drive growth that would be more commensurate with a pickup in employment,” said Miller Tabak & Co. chief economic strategist Dan Greenhaus. “The risk is a late-1970s type of scenario where the inflation genie gets out of the bottle.” (more…)

J.P. Morgan and HSBC accused of silver manipulation in two lawsuits

Two separate lawsuits filed in federal court in Manhattan Wednesday allege that the two banks [J.P. Morgan and HSBC] manipulated silver futures by “amassing enormous short positions,” according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been investigating allegations of price manipulation in the silver market since 2008.

A Bloomberg report today stated “The investor, Peter Laskaris, alleges that starting in March 2008, the banks colluded to suppress silver futures so that call options, or the right to buy, would decline, and put options for the right to sell would increase, according to the complaint filed today in federal court in Manhattan. The collusion was also intended to maintain prices at levels at which some options would expire as worthless, Laskaris claims.

The banks placed so-called spoof trading orders, or the “submission of a large order ” according to the complaint.”

It is alledged the banks used their large positions to effect the market by “flooding” it with a disproportionate number of orders which are not executed but influences prices, and is then withdrawn before it reasonably can be executed. They “reaped hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars in profits from their unlawful and manipulative suppression of the prices”.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission began probing allegations of price manipulation in the silver futures market in September 2008.

Commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Bart Chilton. Photographer: Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg

At a hearing in Washington yesterday, CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said there have been “fraudulent efforts to persuade and deviously control” silver prices and that violators should be prosecuted. [His full statement can be read at http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/SpeechesTestimony/CommissionerBartChilton/chiltonstatement102610.html.]

A seperate suit was also filed today “on behalf of investor Brian Beatty, and naming the same banks as defendants, claims a whistleblower contacted the CFTC last year and reported the banks’ conspiracy to suppress prices of silver futures to profit from “enormous” short positions in silver futures.”

The respective plaintiffs, Brian Beatty and Peter Laskaris, each said they traded COMEX silver futures and options and contracts, and lost money because of the alleged manipulation.

The cases are Beatty v. JPMorgan Chase & Co et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-08146, and Laskaris v. JPMorgan Chase & Co et al in the same court, No. 10-08157.

The lawsuits were filed one day after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposed regulations to give it greater power to thwart traders who try to manipulate prices.

“Going back to the early 1980s, silver has been an extremely volatile market,” said Bill O’Neill, managing partner at Logic Advisors, an Upper Saddle River, New Jersey investment firm specializing in commodities. “I often describe it as a speculative playground. You have to be a big boy to play.”

According to a Reuters article “Only once in its 36-year history has the CFTC successfully concluded a manipulation prosecution, in a 1998 proceeding concerning prices for electricity futures.”

Coin Guides: Tips on Buying Precious Metals and Bullion Coins

By Gainesville Coins – www.gainesvillecoins.com

The Advantage of Physical Assets

Precious metals have long been treasured both for their beauty and rarity. As a result, these metals have been used by many civilizations as a store of wealth, and in some cases, a foundation for currency.

Historically speaking, these stores of wealth have not experienced the kind of boom and bust cycles present in other forms of investment. This observed stability exists for several reasons. First, precious metals such as modern bullion have intrinsic value. The fact that precious metals consist of something that actually has value makes them more stable than fiat currency which is made of near-worthless paper.

In addition, these metals in many cases have practical applications. Modern industrial processes make use of metals such as gold and platinum for their unparalleled conductivity and use in manufacturing electronics. Moreover, in the case of economic turbulence, when investors do seek investments other than those vulnerable to market fluctuations, they wisely turn to the stability of precious metals. This increased demand has the effect of increasing their values, making them an even better investment.

Finally, when precious metals are minted as collectable coins such as the popular Gold Eagle or Gold Buffalo, they are sought after not only for their intrinsic value, but for their rarity as a collectable item. Again, because there is a fixed supply of any one coin, increased demand for such an asset increases its value. It is for these reasons that for hundreds of years, gold and silver coins have enjoyed a remarkable history of defining purchasing power and backing international finance. For more on this subject, see our article addressing the superiority of precious metals.

Technology and Precious Metals

The influence of the Internet on the trade of precious metals has been vast. It is no longer necessary for collectors to buy and sell coins only locally. The Internet has several venues through which to vend or purchase these assets to buyers or sellers around the world. (more…)

Gold Coin Scam Victims: Where To Turn For Help

What do you do when a gold seller fails to deliver or the merchandise you received was not as described when you ordered it?  Who can you contact for help when you don’t receive payment for gold you’ve submitted to sell?

In two recent cases, “Howard” in Mississippi wired $20,000 several months ago to a California coin and bullion dealer to purchase gold coins, and “Richard” in Virginia sent $150,000 to the same dealer.  With the recent run-up in bullion prices they both would have made a nice profit, except they still have not received any gold from the dealer.  Howard laments, “All I’ve gotten is the run-around.”

“If you don’t know gold coins, you’d better know your gold coin dealer,” is the advice to collectors and investors from three nonprofit organizations: the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org), the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (www.ictaonline.org) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.pngdealers.com).

“There are many reputable, professional numismatists in the United States,” the three organizations emphasize.  “Before you make a purchase or offer something for sale, do your homework and check the dealer’s credentials.  For example, contact the Better Business Bureau to check the company’s BBB rating or if the company is even accredited by the BBB.”

A listing of Better Business Bureau accredited and rated companies nationwide can be found online at www.bbb.org.

The dealer that received the combined $170,000 in unfulfilled purchase orders from “Howard” and “Richard” had an “F” rating from the BBB.

Typically, dealers who are unresponsive to reasonable requests from customers seeking resolution of disputes are not involved in the mainstream of numismatics, but may advertise in prominent, mainstream news media.

Based on the experiences of the ANA, ICTA and PNG, and in consultation with law enforcement agencies, the three organizations suggest that buyers or sellers of gold coins who encounter problems consider taking these actions:

  • Make copies of all correspondence, receipts and transactions and if possible have copies of advertisements or the dates and times ads were broadcast.
  • Always contact the company directly to try to resolve the dispute.  Ask for the manager or company owner.
  • Take thorough notes of your conversation(s).

If the problem is still not resolved after a reasonable amount of time, contact the Customer Service and/or Advertising Departments of the news media organization(s) that published or broadcast the company’s advertisements and let them know about the problems.

The ANA, ICTA and PNG advise: “It’s your money, so do your homework before placing an order, and if there is a problem then don’t just sit back and wait.  Be persistent in your efforts to resolve the dispute. Follow up with the company you did business with and the agencies where you’ve filed a complaint.  You may also want to consult with an attorney.” (more…)

Gold & Silver Political Action Committee (PAC) Formed to Support Rare Coin & Precious Metal Community

Updated 10-19-10
The first informational meeting of the recently created Gold & Silver Political Action Committee (GSPAC) occurred in Long Beach, California on September 22, 2010. The creation of the PAC was prompted by enactment of new Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 reporting requirements and other proposed legislation that could create tremendous burdens on dealers as well as collectors and investors.

GSPAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)

Thirty-one people attended the inaugural meeting in Long Beach, including state and federal government relations experts, rare coin and bullion dealers, executives of several national numismatic organizations and a former US Mint Director who also previously served as chief of the majority staff of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

[iframe http://www.coinlink.com/Video/092310_pac_stuppler.html 544px 395px]

“The Gold & Silver PAC is an effort to elect public officials with a better understanding of the numismatic and precious metals community and pending legislation and regulatory issues that could positively impact or adversely affect the hobby and profession,” said Barry Stuppler, Chairman of GSPAC.

“GSPAC does not compete with existing organizations, such as the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) or the Coalition for Equitable Regulation and Taxation (CERT). By working to elect legislators who understand our community’s needs, issues and concerns, we complement their efforts in Washington and state capitals.”
Veteran government legislative specialist, Nicholas A. Pyle, President of Pyle & Associates in Washington, is volunteering his time to work with GSPAC and among those attending the meeting. Pyle will create an informal “Congressional Coin Caucus” composed of members of Congress interested in coin and precious metals issues.

Stuppler outlined nine “core issues” that GSPAC will use as criteria to evaluate candidates:
• IRS Form 1099 reporting on purchases of merchandise over $600
• Regulation of the purchasing and marketing practices of gold and precious metals dealers
• Enforcement of the Ancient Antiquities Act on Greek and Roman coin imports.
• Problems caused by high-quality Chinese-made counterfeit coins and bogus certified numismatic holders
• Traveling and hotel gold buyers who may be purchasing gold coins and jewelry without required licenses
• Allowing certified rare coins to be placed in IRA accounts
• Exempting coins, currency and precious metals from possible Value Added Taxes (VAT)
• Exempting coins, currency and precious metals from the Streamlined Sales Tax Plan (SSTP) all inter-state Internet or mail-order sales taxes
• Capital gains tax rates on precious metals and rare coins

“I am excited to share that the Gold & Silver PAC raised over $160,000 in contributions from individuals and another $150,000 in pledges,” explained Stuppler. (more…)

The Gold, Silver and Rare Coin Market Report

By Laura Sperber – Legend NumismaticsBelow is a portion of the most recent Legend Market Report

GOLD

This is hard for us to believe that gold spot went up, yet ALL Generic $20’s came down! That is the most ridiculous thing we have ever seen. We have been told that the market makers here are flooded with coins. Plus, there seems to be a huge flood of gold coming from Europe. We have even heard some grumblings that the quality of these new arrivals have been poor (more gradeflation?). So no one wants to step out and make bids.

At one point last week, the LARGEST market maker in MS65 Saints quoted us $2,000.00 as his “buy” on a day when gold went up $20.00 (MS65 BID did end the week at $2,200.00). In the meantime, we know dealers who badly need CAC MS 65 Saints and have open BIDS of $2,300.00-$2,400.00 per coin and are buying very few.The demand for NON CAC generics is obviously thin.

The demand for CAC coins is huge with many MAJOR Funds or financial advisers selling the coins easily. We know they cannot get enough, because we supply them and we haven’t bought squat. We will still buy ALL the PCGS /NGC W/M MS66 CAC we can get at $3,475.00 sight UNSEEN. We will pay $2,675.00 for NON CAC PCGS coins only on a SIGHT seen basis. BTW, for anyone who wants to cat call, the CAC market is NOT artificial, its as real and powerful as you get.

The CAC coins sell by demand, not dealers creating phony bids and trying to pump the market. With gold (especially generics) right now for sure there is a two tier market, and quality is what people want.

You know there is something seriously wrong when graded MS61 $20 Libs are priced at $100.00 OVER melt!

With $20’s, it also seems to us that the market feels they are too high (along with the price of gold). We doubt at the lower grade levels quality is the issue. Something has to give in that market. We believe there will be a correction in the price of gold sometime soon. But, its really the hedges who control the price of gold and it seems they want to take it up a little further.

Its totally bewildering to us why there are not stronger premiums since gold is climbing daily into record territory. Something is just not right with this picture.

Right now the BEST buys are $10 Indians and $5 Indians (no 09D) in MS64 and higher. You can not find them emass, and the grading seems to be OK. If you insist on playing the $20 generic market we still believe MS66’s are too cheap or, you can buy NICE MS61/62 $20 (if you can find them) for little over melt and hope one day the premiums expand. We still recommend building a Gold Type set. You can include ANY coin you want then.

SILVER

People are finally waking up to the fact silver is at its all time high. Here too, things like MS65 Morgans and Walkers have come down. That’s insane! How can such a huge market as coins show little demand for simple $100-$200.00 items that actually were popular? Where are all the collectors? (more…)

Wall Street Journal video: “Gold will probably approach $5,000,” Guggenheim Partners exec says

“People have lost faith in paper money” as the Fed debases the dollar. Gold at $1,387 over 2 record days

After settling above a record $1,370 an ounce Wednesday, gold continued its blistering run Thursday by piercing the $1,380 level, going as high as $1,387. What do the experts say is driving gold?

“Gold is an international currency phenomenon. Around the world, people are turning disdainful of their own currencies and everyone else’s. So, where do they turn? They turn to the gold market.” – Dennis Gartman, hedge-fund manager and Gartman Letter publisher.

“If there is further dollar weakness surrounding quantitative easing … it is almost certainly going to be highly supportive for gold.” – RBS Global Banking & Markets analyst Daniel Major.

“With the weaker dollar, inflation will pick up in the commodity space, which is the most sensitive to monetary stimulus. So, it’s only logical that gold will do very well in that environment.” – Axel Merk, who manages $500 million in mutual-fund assets.
!

“Although [quantitative easing] expectations are an important element of the rally, currency disputes are also a prime driver of gold prices. The recent [International Monetary Fund] meeting saw the public airing of sharp disagreements between China and the United States on currency policy.” – HSBC’s Jim Steel.

“Because we are in a world of quantitative easing in the developed economies, and as QE is almost synonymous with competitive devaluation … gold and the precious metals (are) taking on the function of an alternative currency. As we go into the next one to four quarters, the role of precious metals as alternative currency will become much more paramount. The role of gold as an inflation hedge is not important now, but it may become important in the next cycle when the time to reverse quantitative easing comes.” – Ashok Shah, chief investment officer at London and Capital.

Despite record highs, gold can be expected to rise even higher, says Guggenheim Partners’ Scott Minerd in an Oct. 12 interview with WallStreetJournal.com.

“People have lost faith in paper money, and the monetary substitute – the old maid of monetary substitutes – is gold,” Minerd says.
(more…)

Coin Show Myth: The Long Beach Curse

By Pinnacle Rarities

Gold Closes Up, But the Myth Lives On

Before last week’s convention, I had a discussion about the myth referred to as the “Long Beach Curse.” The prevailing sentiment is that the spot price of gold always goes down during the week of the convention. This phenomenon is often bantered amongst gold dealers deciding whether to load up or unload inventories around these major conventions. During last week’s show, gold touched an all time high, and settled on Friday about nine dollars up for the week seemingly debunking the myth. A quick review of spot prices for the last decade’s thirty shows reveals the trend has some statistical backbone. However, the true curse has been the lack of quality material available for purchase. And this isn’t limited to the Long Beach Convention.

Collectors have continued to cull their collections as economic uncertainty has caused many to tighten their belts. However, they sell off the lesser quality material first. Spending habits have become more selective with the prevailing market focused on value and rarity. When major collections and true rarities enter this market the best quality material is quickly absorbed. The dregs are then recycled through dealer inventories and the myriad of auction houses that also clamor for fresh material. But rest assured, if you’ve been selective in your purchases and your collection was purchased for the coins it contains and not the plastic that contains it, you’re in good shape. The rare coin industry is alive and well – with an emphasis on “rare.” Looking at auction records over the last couple years, it’s easy to see quality and rarity still rule in this hobby of kings.

Now, back to that myth. During the last decade the spot price of gold has gone from a $256 in 2001 to $1297 (the Friday close after the latest Long Beach). It’s hard to imagine during this meteoric rise that the price of gold in any given week faltered. But overall, there were 19 of 30 weeks that showed declines in spot gold during the Long Beach convention. During the first five years of the decade, the rate of down cycles was an astounding three of four shows.

The number of down weeks is a bit padded as several of the weeks with advances only showed modest gains of $2 or less. So if you left the show early, the spot price would have been theoretically down for that show also. Regardless, with over three quarters of the conventions showing weak or down trends, it is no wonder the rumors started. The last five years have shown an improvement on the trend, but gold was still down at more than half the shows (eight of fifteen had declines).

So there is some statistical indications as to how the Long Beach Curse gained acceptance. But again, the real curse is one we recognize with all numismatic venues. There is an extremely diminished amount of quality material. True rarities and top pop condition rarities are commanding strong premiums, while the more common and lesser quality stuff has fallen stagnate. This increasing shift in the supply and demand equation coupled with an ever stronger precious metal price makes the outlook for rare coins seem bright – if only we could find the more coins.

A quick note to thank all our customers who have recently sold us coins or collections. Many of these items were exceptionally rare and of high quality. Thanks to you we have avoided the curse.

Gold’s astounding ride

By Steve Roach – Rare Coin Market Report Blog
First published in the Oct. 18, 2010, issue of Coin World

Gold continues to astound as it broke the $1,300 ounce level for the first time on Sept. 28, closing in New York at $1,306.60 an ounce.

The next day, gold hit a high of $1,313.20 before closing at $1,308.50.

In a nice contrast to the previous week’s House Subcommittee hearings focused on fighting fraud in the sale of gold coins, the Sept. 29 Wall Street Journal featured a front-page story that was overwhelmingly positive about gold’s potential to top $1,500 next year.

It focused on investors’ growing desire to hold actual gold in the form of coins and bars.

Reports by numerous analysts and banks seem to share a bullish view for gold, evidenced by a Sept. 28 report by Deutsche Bank that stated that $1,600 an ounce gold would not be surprising for 2012 and that gold would not be in a “bubble” until hitting $2,000.

The recent bull run-up in gold prices has been attributed to many things: continued uncertainty in the real estate market; concern about the value of currencies, especially China’s; low consumer confidence in the United States; and general concern about large central banks’ ability to control the money supply adequately.

But to collectors, one thing is clear: gold coins are much more expensive than they were in 2000, in large part due to the price of gold rising 353 percent over that time.

The increased threat of intrusive federal regulations in the coin industry, such as the recently introduced Coin and Precious Metal Disclosure Act (H.R. 6149) have done little to dampen the public’s appetite for gold coins.

But dealers have responded vocally to fight multiple pieces of legislation that could affect the coin market, forming political action committees aimed at fostering better communication between the coin community and legislators.

Many dealers reported that gold was the lone bright spot in the market at the recently completed Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectables Expo, where several market-makers elected to stay home, instead budgeting to attend the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Philadelphia Expo, another major show, scheduled for the following weekend.

Commentary: Glenn Beck, Goldline and the “Precious Coins and Bullion Disclosure Act”

One of many factors pushing the price of gold upwards is the demand for physical gold from investors who strongly believe that the U.S. dollar and world currencies in general are becoming worthless scraps of paper. Distrust of the President’s social programs and Congress, combined with Trillion dollar deficits, inept oversight, huge government bailouts for mismanaged companies, greedy bankers, Wall Street Ponzi schemes and the Flash Crash make arguments supporting gold ownership an easy sell.

This is particularly true for the conservatives amongst us who see the path being taken since the election of President Obama as moving the country in the wrong direction.

Enter Glenn Beck and NY Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Since the inception of  both his Radio and TV show, Glenn Beck’s popularity along with the sarcastic analysis of the President,Congress and our financial condition has risen significantly. Part of Beck’s overall presentation is his belief in the security and benefits of owning gold.

This past April, Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY) launched an “investigation” into the sales practices of one of Beck’s sponsors, Goldline International of Santa Monica, California. His “concern” was twofold: First, that Beck and other conservative talk show/TV personalities had formed a “unholy Alliance” with Goldline by unduly influencing their trusting viewers to purchase gold from Goldline and second, that Goldline was ripping its customers off with “bait and switch ” and hard sell tactics, and “peddling overpriced collector coins.”

Basically, Beck was seen as scaring his viewers with doom and gloom analysis and then inappropriately influencing his viewers to buy gold from one of his sponsors, who were paying Beck a handsome sponsorship fee. In short, Weiner accused Beck of being a shill for Goldline, who in turn was running a scam and grossly overcharging customers.

Weiner strenuously insisted that there was no political agenda behind his attacks on Beck and Goldline, and that his primary objective was to expose this situation and to protect both the viewers of Beck’s show and customers of Goldline against the abuses he saw. Weiner also called for congressional hearings on the matter, which are scheduled to begin this week, September 23rd at 10:00am.

In tandem to all of this, Brian Ross at ABC News ran and “expose” about Beck and Goldline (07-19-10) outlining in greater detail the “questionable” practices of Goldline and the connection to Beck and other conservative TV and Radio personalities. The report included interviews with individuals who were “ripped off”, each describing pressure tactics used by the Goldline sales people: directing them away from low margin bullion coins to the high margin foreign gold coins that would not be subject to another Gold confiscation order like the one FDR signed in 1933. This order made it illegal to own certain types and quantities of gold.

Subsequently, Beck has posted up a rather sophomoric website called Weinerfacts.com which basically defends his position by mocking Representative Weiner and marginalizing his claims. The LA County prosecutors office has opened an investigation (See ABC News Report Here) based on about 100 complaints they have received and it was reported that Goldline had retained the services of Prime Policy Group, a Washington lobbying company to assist them in preparing for the upcoming congressional hearings. (more…)

Gold Confiscation Past and Present

There was a recent article posted  by David Ganz in Numismatics News titled “Protect Your Gold Against Seizure” (actually it is just the first part of a multi-part article), where several topics were discussed, not the least of which was FDR’s Executive order from April 5, 1933.

Many “Gold Bugs” in addition to just regular investors who have moved into the gold marketplace are concerned that if the economic crisis worsens, there is or might be the possibility that we could see new efforts to confiscate gold on the part of the government.

Indeed the Glen Beck-Goldine controversy with NY Congressman Anthony Weiner is in part about what Rep Weiner calls misleading statements and fear-mongering on the part of Beck and Goldline, to use the 1933 Executive order to steer buyers into numismatic coins (and common date foreign gold coins) which were exempt under the 1933 confiscation order, rather than purchasing lower margin bullion products, such as American Gold Eagles, Krugerrands and the like.

CoinLink is going to have an article about the Beck-Goldline-Weiner story next week which is sure to piss off a number of people.

Back to David Ganz’s article. There were several thing in the piece that raised our eyebrows and were just interesting.  Mr Ganz is both an attorney and a highly intelligent and insightful coin enthusiast. We always follow his articles with the highest degree of interest.

FDR Ends Gold Standard in 1933

He related that there was some disagreement on whether or not FDR’s Executive order was indeed a confiscation order, or a request for voluntary compliance in the national interest.  It is true that the police did not come knocking at the doors to take all of their gold, but we would have to disagree with Maurice Rosen’s conclusion that this was a voluntary situation. Clearly Section 9 of the Executive Order  (See full text of Executive Order 6102 below) calls for a $10,000 fine and Up to 10 Years in prison for ‘non compliance. That does not sound very  “Voluntary” to me. (more…)

World Gold Demand Jumps 36% with ETF Investment Demand Rising 414% to 291.3 Tonnes

Gold demand reached 1,050.3 metric tons in the second quarter, 36% higher than the same quarter in 2009, mostly thanks to soaring investment demand

According to the WGC’s Gold Demand Trends report for Q2 2010, published today, demand for gold for the rest of 2010 will be underpinned by the following market forces:

* India and China will continue to provide the main thrust of overall growth in demand, particularly for gold jewellery, for the remainder of 2010.

* Retail investment will continue to be a substantial source of gold demand in Europe.

* Over the longer-term, demand for gold in China is expected to grow considerably. A report recently published by The People’s Bank of China and five other organizations to foster the development of the domestic gold market will add impetus to the growth in gold ownership among Chinese consumers.

* Electronics demand is likely to return to higher historic levels after the sector exhibited further signs of recovery, especially in the US and Japan.

Investors are making the switch from buying gold only in times of crisis to having gold as part of a diversified portfolio, said Jason Toussaint, a managing director for the World Gold Council.

“Gold is the ultimate diversifier,” he said. “Correlation to U.S. equities is zero” in addition to its proven ability to not only hold value in times of crisis but increase.

Marcus Grubb, Managing Director, Investment at the WGC commented:

“Economic uncertainties and the ongoing search for less volatile and more diversified assets such as gold will underpin investment demand for gold in the immediate future. Further, in light of lingering concerns over public debt levels and the euro, European retail investor demand has increased significantly.

Over the past quarter, demand for gold jewellery in key Asian markets has been challenged by rising local prices. Nevertheless, we are seeing a deceleration in the pace of decline in demand, providing a strong outlook for ongoing recovery in this crucial market segment.”

DEMAND STATISTICS FOR Q2 2010

* Total gold demand1 in Q2 2010 rose by 36% to 1,050 tonnes, largely reflecting strong gold investment demand compared to the second quarter of 2009. In US$ value terms, demand increased 77% to $40.4 billion. (more…)

Prices for Proof American Eagle Gold Coins Tumble

By Steve Roach – First published in the Aug. 30, 2010, issue of Coin World

Proof American Eagle gold coins have provided some sparks in the marketplace this past year, but the fast fall in prices over the past several weeks serves as a reminder that what goes up usually comes down.

Some major buyers have stopped buying these and prices have fallen sharply.

For some smaller dealers who were stockpiling the coins in anticipation of continued demand, the change in the market means they have lost substantial money, for now, as the coins are now worth substantially less than what the dealers paid for them.

During July, several large dealers were paying between $1,950 and $2,000 per ounce for Proof American Eagle gold coins in original Mint packaging – the inner and outer boxes, original capsules and original certificate of authenticity with the same year as the coins.

For example, on July 14 a major wholesaler was paying $2,025 per ounce; the dealer’s price gradually declined to $1,900 July 26. Then on July 27 the dealer’s buy price went down to $1,850. On July 29 in the morning the dealer’s buy price was $1,830 and by the afternoon it went to $1,800. On Aug. 3, the price hit $1,750 and then, with orders filled, that dealer stopped buying.

Incidentally, the price of gold on July 26 was $1,189 per ounce and the price on Aug. 3 was $1,184, meaning that the drop in demand was not directly related to the bullion market.

On Aug. 6, when gold increased to $1,205 per ounce, one dealer offered $1,650 per ounce for coins with original packaging, and for coins without the packaging, the price dropped sharply to $1,400 per ounce.

If those who are closest to the market are not buying at the high levels that have characterized these Proof issues for the last year, are they doing this because they know something that we at Coin World don’t know?

On Aug. 6, the U.S. Mint told Coin World that no decision has been made as to whether Proof 2010-W American Eagle 1-ounce gold coins would be struck.

If the U.S. Mint releases Proof American Eagle gold bullion coins in 2010, supplies will increase and less pressure will be placed on the current supply, likely ending the bull market for these issues.

Mr. Roach maintains a website/blog titled The Rare Coin Market Report

Gold Shipwreck Bar Valued at $550,00 Stolen from Mel Fisher Museum

One of the most iconic and best-known objects’ at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum was taken. The gold bar came from a 1622 shipwreck that Fisher discovered.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida holds the richest single collection of 17th-century maritime and shipwreck antiquities in the Western Hemisphere, including treasures and artifacts from the Atocha and Santa Margarita.

It was reported that two thieves entered a museum shortly after closing at 5PM and stole a 74.85-ounce, 11-inch (28-centimeter) gold bar which was inside a glass display case with a small opening where visitors could stick a hand inside and lift the bar to examine it.

Photo Credit: Miami Herald/Florida Keys News Bureau

Police and the FBI are working to identify the suspects who took the gold bar which had been on display for more than 20 years. Surveillance captures caught the faces of these two men, believed to be the suspects who walked off with the gold bar.

According to Alyson Crean, Key West Police spokeswoman, one suspect is described as a white male, about six feet tall with dark hair and a medium build. The second suspect is about five feet, six inches tall.

Anyone with information about these men should contact the Key West Police Department at (305) 809-1111.

The Gold bar has an estimated value of $550,000 and the Museums insurance company is offering a $10 thousand reward.

“Everybody who comes to the museum is encouraged to lift the gold bar and to have a firsthand experience with history,” said Melissa Kendrick, the museum’s executive director. “This is one of the most iconic and best-known objects in the museum.”

“The security systems worked because we knew the bar was stolen within 10 minutes, and we have usable video and photos for law enforcement,” Kendrick said. “The museum made a decision to designate this as a handling object, allowing people to touch the artifact, and this was part of the risk involved in granting public access.”

Perth Mint Unveils the Gold and Silver Bullion Coins to be offered in 2011

Recognized throughout the world for their superior quality, superb artistry and Government guarantee of weight and purity, the Perth Mint has unveiled it’s 2011 Australian Bullion Coin Program. These pure gold and silver coins are actives sought after by both investors and collectors.

The comprehensive line-up for 2011 includes two designs for gold bullion coins ranging from 1/20oz up to 10 kilos and three designs for Silver bullion coins from 1/2oz up to 10 kilos.

Struck by The Perth Mint from 99.99% pure gold, each coin is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the undisputed guarantee of its weight and purity. Portraying creative new reverse artistry, every 2011 gold bullion coin also features The Perth Mint’s historic ‘P’ mintmark, a traditional symbol of quality trusted by investors worldwide. Uniquely, many of these releases are restricted by mintage, a feature that creates an exciting potential for even greater investment return in the form of a numismatic premium.

AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO GOLD BULLION COINS : 1 kilo, 1oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz
A kangaroo is the most instantly recognisable wildlife symbol of Australia. In 2011, The Perth Mint is releasing four small gold bullion coins portraying two kangaroos ‘boxing’ in the outback. In addition, a large 1 kilo Australian Kangaroo coin is available with a classic kangaroo design by Dr Stuart Devlin, AO CMG goldsmith and jeweller to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

No more than 350,000 1oz coins, 100,000 1/2oz coins, 150,000 1/4oz coins and 200,000 1/10oz coins will be produced in 2011.

AUSTRALIAN LUNAR GOLD BULLION COINS : 10 kilo, 1 kilo, 10oz, 2oz, 1oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz, 1/20oz
The Australian Lunar series of gold coins epitomizes The Perth Mint’s rich tradition of minting investor coins portraying Chinese themes. This year’s releases mark the 2011 Year of the Rabbit, one of 12 animals associated with the ancient Chinese lunar calendar. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Rabbit – 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011 – are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract.

No mintage limit applies to 1 kilo, 10oz, 2oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz and 1/20oz coins. However, production will close at the end of 2011, when The Perth Mint will declare each coin’s official mintage. A maximum of 100 10 kilo coins will be produced on a made-to-order basis. However, production will close at the end of 2011, when the coin’s actual mintage will be declared. The Perth Mint will produce no more than 30,000 1oz coins. Production will cease when the mintage is fully sold or at the end of the series, whichever comes first. (more…)

UPWARD TREND IN GOLD PRICE DURING SECOND QUARTER 2010 BACKED BY STRONG FUNDAMENTALS, SAYS THE WORLD GOLD COUNCIL

Mixed economic news around the world, concerns over a double dip recession and significant fiat currency weakness meant gold retained its lustre as a protector of wealth during the second quarter 2010, according to the World Gold Council’s (WGC) latest Gold Investment Digest (GID).  The quarter recorded significant net inflows into various gold-backed investment vehicles, as investors sought to harness gold’s investment benefits at a time of weakness and pronounced volatility in other asset classes.

While China has remained resilient, GID also suggests that jewellery demand in other key markets has continued to recover from a weaker 2009.

The report, which was published today, showed:

  • Heightened investor activity supported an upward trend in the gold price throughout the quarter; on several occasions breaking record highs and reaching US$1,261.00/oz on the London PM fix on 28 June, as investors sought out assets offering protection, diversification and liquidity.
  • Investors bought 273.8 net tonnes of gold via exchange traded funds (ETFs) in Q2 2010.  This represents the second largest quarterly inflow on record and brought the total amount of gold held in the ETFs that the WGC monitors to over 2,000 tonnes (worth US$81.6 billion). In particular, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) surpassed the US$50 billion milestone.
  • In the early part of the second quarter, many currencies around the globe not only fell against the US dollar but also experienced higher levels of volatility as credit woes in Europe had a negative impact on the outlook for the euro and the British pound. While the dollar appeared to fare better, investors sought out gold as a currency alternative as evidenced by large purchases of coins and small bars around the globe.
  • Many assets, including global equities and commodities, experienced a period of pronounced volatility, in some instances surpassing levels seen during the first quarter of 2009.  Gold price volatility, however, remained much lower than many of these assets during the period, meaning gold outperformed versus S&P 500 Total Return Index, the MSCI World ex US Index and S&P Goldman Sachs Commodities Index (S&P GSCI) on a risk-adjusted basis.
  • In Q2 2010, the diversity of gold’s demand base, less driven by industrial uses as many other commodities, meant that gold was one of the best performing commodities.  Oil fell by 9.1% and, similarly, metals with a greater degree of exposure to industrial cycles fell substantially: zinc, nickel and lead dropping by more than 20.0% quarter-on-quarter. Even platinum and palladium posted quarterly losses on the order of 6.7% and 7.9%, respectively.

Juan Carlos Artigas, Investment Research Manager, World Gold Council commented:

“During the second quarter, many financial assets, especially in Europe, suffered losses as risk aversion, credit concerns, and disappointing economic news around the world prompted investors to seek assets with little or no default risk, greater liquidity and lower volatility.  As a result, gold was, once again, one of very few assets that exhibited a positive price performance during the period.  However, it is important to note that while gold continued its upward trend during Q2 2010, its price, relative to the price of various assets is not overvalued by historical standards1 . (more…)

The Story of the Two Greatest Gold Shipments In The History of the United States Mints

by Dr. Thomas F. Fitzgerald from the California Numismatist

Twice within a span of almost twenty-five years, all of the gold from the vaults of the 2nd San Francisco Mint, sometimes called the “Granite Lady,” was sent to the United States Mint in Denver, Colorado. Yet the story of these two operations could not have been more different. The first transfer was accomplished with so much secrecy that even the newspapers knew nothing of what was going on. But the second transfer was so well publicized that it included parades and search-lights calling attention to the shipments. This is the story of these two great shipments of gold.

The Very Secret Gold Transfer of 1908

In May 1897 newspaper editor and publisher Frank A. Leach accepted a political appointment by President McKinley to become the superintendent of the San Francisco Mint. He had wanted to divest himself of the newspaper business and this seemed like an ideal new career. Leach assumed his duties on August 1, 1897.

The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fires

It was a typical dawn in the Bay Area. Without warning a shaking of the earth occurred. It was 5:12 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, 1906! The “Great San Francisco Earthquake,” as it became known, was followed within seconds by a violent shaking that ruptured numerous gas lines resulting in dozens of fires. At the same time it was discovered the city’s water mains had been damaged. San Francisco, surrounded on three sides by water, could not battle the flames with water.

Just two years after the famous 1906 earthquake left the San Francisco mint’s surroundings in shambles, concerns about the mint’s storage capacity and security prompted the move of 331 million dollars worth of bullion to the mint in Denver.

Frank Leach made his way from his home in Oakland to the mint and, together with 50 mint employees and a squad of 10 soldiers, prepared to fight the inferno and save the mint. However, at the beginning of the struggle, the outcome was very much in doubt. The battle lasted for hours but shortly before 5:00 p.m. the fires were out and the building was saved. The men were able to leave the mint, return to their homes and reunite with their families.

More importantly for our story, the mint’s basement vaults that contained millions of dollars of gold and silver coins were saved. (more…)

Gold to Shine in Forum at World’s Fair of Money

Two leading experts on the acquisition and trading of gold coins and bullion will provide a wealth of inside information on those subjects – free of charge – during the ANA World’s Fair of Money (www.WorldsFairOfMoney.com), the year’s biggest coin show, on Friday, August 13, 2010, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The experts, Scott A. Travers and Maurice H. Rosen, will be the featured speakers at Coin Collector’s Survival® Conference 2010, a 90-minute seminar that will give attendees useful information on how to “survive and thrive during the decade of gold.”

The Survival Conference will start at 10:30 a.m. August 13 in Room 200 of the convention center. Admission is free, and everyone who attends will receive a copy of one of the bestselling books authored by Travers, as well as a newsletter published by Rosen. The free books and newsletters will be vintage copies of earlier editions.

Travers is a nationally known New York City coin dealer, author and consumer advocate who has written more than half a dozen award-winning books, including The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual®, a hobby bestseller that will have its seventh edition published by Random House in November. The New York Times has described him as “the Ralph Nader of numismatics” for his consumer activism.

Rosen is a prominent professional numismatist and coin market analyst from Plainview, New York, whose influential Rosen Numismatic Advisory is recognized perennially as the outstanding newsletter in the field of rare coins and precious metals. He forecasts in the soon-to-be-published edition of the Survival Manual that “by the end of 2020, the price of gold in U.S. dollars will be $5,000 to $10,000 per ounce.”

Travers and Rosen both foresaw the tremendous advance in the market value of gold well before it began. Travers was predicting $1,000-an-ounce gold in books and articles several years beforehand, when the price was less than half that amount and barely one-third its present level of about $1,200.

Also taking part in the symposium will be Jerry Jordan, award-winning news editor of The Examiner, a newspaper in Beaumont, Texas, who wrote a series of articles exposing apparent abuses by traveling gold buyers. Jordan’s four-part series revealed that in many cases, the itinerant buyers – operating out of hotel suites – apparently offered unwary sellers a small fraction of the true value for their gold coins and jewelry.

Gainesville Coins Honored with “2010 Best Bullion Award” form National Inflation Association

The National Inflation Association is pleased to announce the release of its first ever update to its unbiased reviews of the major online sellers of gold and silver bullion. NIA’s ‘Gold and Silver Seller Reviews’ feature was originally launched on January 14th and has become widely recognized in the industry as the premiere spot for precious metals investors to become educated about how online gold and silver coin and bullion dealers are rated in the categories of pricing, selection, shipping/processing, customer experience, and overall.

The online gold and silver seller industry is one of the most rapidly growing in the world today. NIA is dedicated to ensuring that Americans get the most real money for their fiat money when making the most important investment decision of their lives. NIA believes it’s important for Americans to receive their precious metals in a timely manner, as hyperinflation in the U.S. can literally break out overnight due to an unforeseen event taking place in one of our creditor nations.

NIA decided to award Gainesville Coins with our “NIA 2010 Best Bullion Award“.

Gainesville Coins is the highest rated company in our review with prices for precious metals that are the lowest out of all the companies in our review. Gainesville Coins had already earned a perfect 5 stars in all categories in our original review, but they have somehow managed to improve their site by adding precious metal spot prices as well as new “Deals of the Week”, “Featured”, “New Arrivals”, and “Top Sellers” features. NIA members who make a purchase on Gainesville Coins can now receive an automatic $5 discount on their order by applying the following coupon code in their shopping cart: ‘NIAUS’ (NIA does NOT earn any kind of a referral fee).

NIA has added three new companies to its review: Austin Rare Coins, Monarch Precious Metals, and Northwest Territorial Mint. NIA has also updated the reviews of previously reviewed companies. NIA’s next update to its review will be released later this summer. NIA plans to soon implement a new feature that will allow its members to submit new companies for NIA to review. NIA members will also be able to submit complaints about companies that should be avoided.

220 Pound Gold Coin “Disappoints” And Only Sells For $4.02 Million

The Vienna auction house Dorotheum has sold the world’s largest gold coin, a Canadian Maple Leaf manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and carries a face value of one million Canadian dollars (800,000 euros, 970,000 US dollars) measuring 53 centimetres (21 inches) in diameter and weighing 100 kilograms (220 pounds).

According to the Wall Street Journal,The coin was sold as part of the liquidation of the assets of bankrupt Austrian investment firm AvW Group, founded by Wolfgang Auer von Welsbach, the great-grandson of a 19th century Austrian nobleman and industrialist who invented the lighter flint and gas mantle.

Mr. von Welsbach is in police custody and faces possible charges of embezzlement and fraud in connection with the company’s collapse.

AvW had acquired the coin in 2007, joining an exclusive club of owners including Queen Elizabeth, who is also displayed on one side of the coin, two unidentified investors in Dubai and one who is so reclusive even his or her residence is unknown.

The bidding started at 3.27 million euros, with Oro Direct, a Spanish gold-trading firm being the lone bidder. It is reported that up to 8 different bidders had registered but no counter bids were made. The auction room was packed with more journalists than potential buyers.

The auction price disappointed Michael Beckers, Dorotheum’s coin expert who oversaw the sale. He had predicted that the price could go as high as €4 million “on a good day”.

“I’m a little disappointed. I had hoped and expected to achieve more,” he said, minutes after the hammer fell.

The Royal Canadian Mint manufactured and launched the coin in 2007 to showcase its production facilities and steal the entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s biggest gold coin.

That title had previously been held by the Austrian mint, who in 2004 produced fifteen 100,000-euro coins weighing 1,000 troy ounces (31.1 kg) to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its best-selling Philharmonics coin.

Valencia-based Oro Direct’s managing director Michael Berger said his firm intends to use the coin in its marketing efforts, .

“We believe in gold, and therefore also believe we have made a great investment. We believe that going forward, gold will offer the only real safe haven in this uncertain economic environment,”

Gainesville Coins Launches Mobile Coin and Bullion Website

Gainesville Coins announces the launch of the mobile version of GainesvilleCoins.com. Inspired by an increasingly mobile society, the mobile site development was seen a natural progression in serving our tech-savvy customer base.

Notable Features of the Gainesville Coins, Inc. Mobile Website, Mobile.GainesvilleCoins.com, Include:

  • Access from any Internet-Capable Cellular Phone: The mobile site was designed to give Smart Phone users the ability to easily access spot pricing, product pricing (both bank wire and credit card price) and other precious metals market information. To this end, the mobile website has been designed for ease of access from any internet-capable cellular phone, without the need to download a program or application.
  • Search All Products: Striving to add to the growing list of mobile-friendly websites and create a better customer experience, Gainesville Coins included an easy-to-use search function on their mobile website. For ease of navigation, this feature allows customers to find products by a keyword, such as the name of a specific coin or type of coins.
  • Live Spot Pricing: Precious metals investors know to closely watch spot prices, and Gainesville Coins is committed to helping investors make smart purchases. The new mobile website includes a feature which extends this information on a moment-to-moment basis.
  • Click-to-Connect: When the time and price is right to make a purchase, Gainesville Coins’ mobile site makes it easy with a Click-to-Call feature. With the click of one button, customers can be instantly connected to a precious metal expert who’s ready to help or send an email for more information.

In combination with Gainesville Coins’ Price Level Alerts, customers who buy precious metals at certain price levels can be automatically notified of their preferred price and easily get more information and/or purchase their preferred products with ease.

If you don’t have an internet capable phone, take a sneak peak at Mobile.GainesvilleCoins.com.