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The Buffalo Has Arrived!
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(June 20, 2006) This week the US Mint officially releases its new .9999 pure gold bullion coin, featuring a Native American in profile on the obverse, and an American Bison in full on the reverse. If you are a numismatist, that combination of themes on US coinage should seem pretty familiar – it was first seen in general circulation 93 years ago.
This design is an adaptation of the old “Buffalo” nickel that was conceived by James Earl Fraser and produced from 1913 to 1938. And this is not the first time that Fraser’s classic design has been recycled by the Mint – in 2001 a commemorative silver dollar was struck with this same design as a fundraiser for the Smithsonian Institute.

This newly adapted Buffalo design will makes its debut in the form of a 1-ounce .9999 gold bullion coin on Tuesday, June 20th. This year, only the 1-ounce gold bullion version will be produced, to be followed in 2007 by half-, quarter-, and tenth-ounce versions. Diameters of the various issues will be exactly the same as the Eagles, but of course each Buffalo will be slightly thinner as it lacks the extra bulk of alloy present in the Eagles. The American gold Eagle program will continue to be struck, as it has since 1986, in all four sizes of .917 fine gold.

Packaging for the new gold Buffaloes will consist of each coin sealed in a mylar-like plastic sheet, configured 4 rows of 5 coins each. These 20-coin sheets will come from the Mint in boxes of 500 1-ounce coins per box.

We have been selling this new coin for about a week now, and the first orders that we received will be shipping June 28-30th.

Speaking of buffaloed, that’s quite some frightening downturn we’ve seen in the metals markets lately, eh? So let’s check out a few comments seen here and there over the past few days:

“Last month the gold bugs were the talk of Wall Street and today they couldn't buy a friend with a fist full of Krugerrands”. – Enrico Orlandini, June 14th

“The mindset right now is that gold is not quite through consolidating and so many traders burned by the recent moves in the yellow metal will stand aside and let the blood-letting finish." - Kevin Kerr, June 12th

“The investment business in general tends to fall into a lull during the summer months and gold is no exception.” – Michael Kosares, June 15th

On the subject of gold investor sentiment, Richard Russell wrote on June 16th, “But down 83.3% over 12 days is still very impressive and it implies a downside panic -- even capitulation.” … “On the basis of the above study, I added to my gold position yesterday.”

“‘… gold's prospects are as bright as ever, and the sharp fall likely created one of the best buying opportunities of the current bull market.”- Peter Schiff, June 15th

“…but ultimately the market is more powerful than all the central banks and the governments put together.” – Congressman Ron Paul

My own opinion? As most of our clients know, we believe that only gold will protect you against the often interrupted, but ultimately inevitable, deterioration of our fiat dollar. We also believe that gold is now in a very early phase of a secular bull market.

I cannot count the number of times that I have counseled the very simple idea that you should own sufficient quantities of gold as a percentage of your net worth so that you sleep better at night.

Paul van Eeden actually calls this the Better Sleep Principle. So now our simple philosophy has a name. On June 16th he wrote:

“I am therefore on the one hand tempted to buy gold stocks since the price of gold is less than I think it should be. On the other hand, if the fund managers that have been pouring capital into metals decide that they want out, the gold price could still come under considerable pressure.”

”This is where the Better Sleep Principle comes to play. I had not really thought about it but I have for many years now subconsciously followed the Better Sleep Principle in my own investing. It works like this:”

”If I start worrying about something when I go to bed at night I fix it the next morning. For example, if I own too much of a stock and am concerned about what would happen if the price falls, I sell some. If I don't own a particular stock and I lie in bed worrying that the price would go up before I get a chance to buy it, I buy some. I do whatever it takes to make me sleep better at night.”

”Here's why you should follow your own instincts to make sure you sleep well at night: it doesn't help if you follow someone else's advice and they sleep well while you lie awake. Investing is a very personal endeavor; only you know what you need to do.”

 

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