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December First Report
(12/1/08) The currently accepted consensus is that the various federal ‘rescues’ and ‘bailouts’ conceived over the past few months will clock in at some $7.5 trillion dollars. Or, to put it another way, $7,500,000,000,000.
It is easy to create money, even money with lots of zeroes in it. And in the short term, it's just as easy to ignore the consequences of doing so. But in the long run, good old reliable gold faithfully performs its primary function: pointing out through price discovery the fallacy of trying to create wealth by creating currency.

So the gold rush charges onward, and demand for physical gold continues at levels we haven’t seen since the pre-Y2K days. The US Mint, which turned out some 147,000 gold Eagles in 2007, has struck 200,000 in the past eight weeks, and it still isn’t enough to meet US demand. In fact, the US Mint has suspended production of the gold Buffalo and fractional size gold Eagles, as well as the proof version of the silver Eagle, marshalling all its resources toward the striking of bullion gold and silver Eagles in the 1-ounce size exclusively.

Further, the Mint this past week announced that their initial January release of 2009 dated bullion products will include neither .9999 Buffaloes nor fractional-size gold Eagles, but that the New Year’s first releases will be of only the 1-ounce size gold and silver Eagles. And, those releases will continue to be on allocation.

The Perth Mint of Australia earlier announced that they are so backlogged that they will not be taking further orders until February 2009. Therefore, the small number of gold Mice and Ox that we offered over the past few months may be all we see from Perth for quite a while.

The Royal Canadian Mint is devoting most of its resources to producing the bullion gold Maples Leafs in .9999 gold. The 2008 limited edition version of the 5-9s pure (.99999 fineness) will likely be struck no more, and final mintage figures are not yet available. But very shortly we expect to have 2009-dated 1-ounce gold Maples to offer. Unlike the US Mint, the RCM often releases product ahead of the date on the coin.

This week, we are locking in our first shipment of the 2009 1-ounce gold Panda coins from China. We’ve yet to see the design, but are hopeful that they will continue the trend set by the artistry of the 2008 coins. We expect delivery probably the week before Christmas, and will post images as soon as available.

Our friends at Pamp Suisse continue to come through with almost-daily shipments of their .9999 gold bars in 100-gram and kilogram sizes. With the recent, peculiar situation of gold coin shortages in a climate of intense demand, we have sold far more gold bars in the last two months than we had in the last eight years.

We are also offering a new product later this week – the Pamp Suisse 1- ounce platinum Fortuna bar. It is similar in design to Pamp’s gold and palladium bars, being die-struck with the Fortuna design, serial- numbered, and mounted on an assay certificate/card. With platinum prices down some 60% this year, we anticipate strong demand for the familiar Pamp design bar in pure platinum.

So December is upon us. Here's hoping you and yours had a good Thanksgiving. Now we'll see what other surprises this tumultuous year will bring.


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