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Date:  3/11/2016   Who Are the Guinea Pigs This Time?: Richard Smith

Boy, this was a rough task, coming back after two years and trying to write some worthy commentary about money and gold. Gold’s price action is the easy question, and here’s the short answer about gold prices versus the US dollar: after trending downward from its all time peak dollar price of $1895 in September 2011, and bottoming at $1049.40 about three months ago, gold prices have gained some $200 so far in calendar year 2016.

Date: 6/3/201 Panning For Gold  Black Swans Birds Of Prey:   By Bill Haynes

(June 3, 2015)Black swans are events that greatly impact markets suddenly and without warning, except that in hindsight they should have been predicted. It is often said that the World Financial Crisis of 2008 could not have been seen coming.

Date: 4/30/2014 Panning For Gold:   By Bill Haynes

(April 30, 2015Black swans are events that greatly impact markets suddenly and without warning, except that in hindsight they should have been predicted.  It is often said that the World Financial Crisis of 2008 could not have been seen coming.


(January 2, 2014) On New Year's Eve, gold prices tumbled in thin trading, touching down at a 3-year low in the $1180 area, only to rally back some $32 to finish 2012 at $1205. With gold prices now having made a double bottom around the $1,180 mark, have we now seen gold's price lows?

(December 19, 2013) Firday December 20th wrapeed up the year 2013 for us. Our entire staff is going to take a stretch of time off, and return on Thursday January 2nd, 2014. In the meantime, we will be checking our postal and email on December 26th and/or December 27th. We hope that everyone has a joyous Holiday time, celebrating with family and friends in the spirit of the season, wherever that spirit leads you. We’ll see you in 2014!

(December 2, 2013) Gold had a disappointing November, losing over $50 in price. With gold now trading at nearly $450 less than when this year started, 2013 will be the first year in the 21st century in which gold lost value. How bad is it for gold? As of a couple of days ago, an ounce of gold and a unit of Bitcoin virtual currency were both trading at around $1242.

(November 27, 2013) Onlygold will be closed on Thanksgiving Thursday, of course - but also Black Friday, and the weekend. We will be back in the market at 7 AM on Monday, December 2nd. New additions to our stock this week include the 2014 gold Pandas from China, and the Australian gold Kangaroo for 2014. Have a great Thanksgiving, and we hope to hear from you next week.

(November 3, 2013) “Rethinking Gold” in the Wall Street Journal Saturday/Sunday November 2/3 edition. Uh-oh, I thought as I fetched the paper up from the driveway. Here comes the full force of the WSJ brain trust, out to pound the very idea of gold, at a time when its price is really down. I don't like this headline word ‘rethinking,’ it can only mean one thing – this is going to be a total hatchet job on gold.

(October 20, 2013) For weeks, conflict has been the theme in Washington. The government was actually shut down, in part, over an argument among the Democrats, Republicans, and the new kids in town, the Tea Party. No one won, everyone lost, the world was shocked, financial instability was threatened in a big way, businesses found another excuse to stay un-busy, and in the end, the proverbial can was kicked down the proverbial road. In an attempt to avoid having another ‘civil war’ over the budget in three months, a Congressional bipartisan committee was formed to spend the next few weeks coming to a rational agreement on upcoming budget issues. * Insert cynical comment here.*

(October 6, 2013) It’s been a rough, tension-filled time in Washington DC lately. The present government shutdown will probably be with us for a while, as there is nothing on any table anywhere that even vaguely resembles ‘negotiations.’ Worldwide, markets and governments are starting to get nervous. The concern everywhere is that the October 17th debt ceiling deadline will just be another ‘do-nothing’ situation for Congress, as pathetic a display of partisan politics as is the current brouhaha. But on the positive side, we have a book report for you!

(September 22, 2013) Television, that most enjoyed, criticized, watched, hated, and addictive of electronic content providers, in its early years was called a ‘vast wasteland.’ But today, television is being revitalized by shows in which serious themes are explored in serial fashion. One such show, seen during the daytime on an irregular basis, is a reality feature starring a middle-age academic (complete with beard) who speaks a convoluted form of English that normally does not make for thrilling TV. The kicker is, he seems to be the most powerful man in the world.

(August 24, 2013) With 2013 nearly two-thirds over, this is shaping up to be the choppiest and most perplexing year for gold that we’ve seen, at least in this century. 24 months after gold traded at its all-time high in dollar terms, volatility and price uncertainty, along with a strong US stock market, have taken a drastic toll on retail demand for gold coins and bullion, both in the US and Europe. Yet, worldwide demand for gold coins and bars reached a record dollar value in the second quarter of 2013. What gives?

(August 12, 2013) As promised, after a week's vacation in cooler parts of the country, our entire staff has returned tan, fit, and re-energized. With gold now at its highest level since mid-June, we bring you a few words about backwardation, paper gold versus physical gold, demand trends, the two kinds of risk in this world, and the difference between fine art and refined art.

(June 26, 2013) Let’s be honest here – gold has lost more than 1/3 of its value from its peak of August 2011. For those of us who are heavily committed to the shiny yellow metal, there really hasn’t been much good news since two summers ago. Gloom dominates the physical gold market in the US. Bad-mouthing gold is the current national sport. Has it ever before been this bad? Yes, not so long ago, it was even worse.

(June 7, 2013) Good news! Silver bullion is once again available, with the production of silver bullion coins finally catching up with retail demand. Today, the popular 1-ounce silver Eagles, Maple Leafs, and other .999 coins can be bought, for the first time in seven weeks, at reasonable mark-ups. Which means that silver, which traded for more than $40 per ounce for several months during 2011, can now be had for less than half of its April 28, 2011 peak price of $48.70.

(May 7, 2013) The Marketplace Fairness Act (S 1832 IS) was passed by the Senate on May 6th, a bill which would require Internet companies to charge and collect local and state sales taxes on out-of-state sales, based on where their customers live. This bill attempts to override a Supreme Court ruling in 1992 that had affirmed that interstate commerce could not be interfered with by the states. But with online sales growing every year, state and local municipalities are now looking to collect sales taxes on transactions both local and national - a legally dubious attempt, with a host of unintended consequences that would decimate all but the biggest corporations involved in Internet commerce.

(April 20, 2013) Precious metals accelerated their history-making slide early this past week, with gold and silver both losing some 15% of their dollar value between Thursday 4/11 and Tuesday 4/16. Demand for physical precious metals in convenient forms began to rise during last Friday’s collapse, and was fast and furious all day Monday and Tuesday. The availability of gold bullion coins and bars so far has suffered a bit, while silver in nearly all its retail bullion forms has been vacuumed up so thoroughly that it has virtually disappeared from dealer and distributor stocks. What's a silver buyer to do?

(April 13, 2013) Gold for June delivery dropped over $70 on Friday 4/12, touching down at $1,476.00 in afternoon trading at one point, after free-falling through every (former) support level that had held for the past 18 months. Retail physical sales were extraordinary for most gold bullion dealers, but selling volume on the commodity exchanges was overwhelming. Prices of silver, platinum, and palladium suffered similar fates. In short, the bears triumphed.

(April 6, 2013) When gold prices tumbled to $1539 for a short moment on Thursday 4/4/13, this was the third time in the last year-and-a-half that level had been reached. Each time it happened, gold found firm support, and a surge in physical buying. During aftermarket trading on Friday afternoon, gold prices had rallied some $40 from Thursday’s low, trading over $1580 once again. Meanwhle, US gold Eagles are losing market share, and demand outpaces supply on 1-ounce silver coins.

(March 29, 2013) “Welcome to the year-round island. Enjoy a tour around Aphrodite’s Cyprus. The Mediterranean island at the crossroads of three continents, where there’s always a new world to discover. Where East meets West and a new experience awaits for you under the sun everyday.” - From the official website of the Cyprus Tourism Organization

(March 5, 2013) February marked the fifth consecutive month that gold has dropped in price. Gold is now trading about $300 less than its 2011 record high, a full $200 less than where it was five months ago, not to mention $100 less than it was five weeks ago. As of the first week of March, gold prices are already down 6% for the year so far. So, is the gold party over? 

(February 10, 2013) With gold prices absolutely in the doldrums once again, we find time to explore our favorite grey metal, platinum. It’s certainly not a beautiful sight – platinum lacks the shiny yellow luster of gold, instead giving off a certain ‘industrial’ aura. Although its price action over the past few years has been volatile to the extreme, platinum is widely useful and quite scarce, and likely to become more so.

(January 22, 2013) After a rousing finish to the 2012 bullion market, high demand for physical 'real money' meant that very little overhanging inventory remained in dealer stocks at year's end. We have now reloaded with 2013-dated coins including gold Buffaloes, gold Eagles in all sizes, gold Pandas in all sizes, and gold 1-ounce Maple Leafs, Philharmonics and Kangaroos. Also 2013-dated silver Eagles, but there’s a story...

(January 10, 2013) You may have heard the idea that the upcoming debt ceiling battle could be avoided by having the US Mint strike platinum coin(s), each with a stated face value of $1,000,000,000,000.00. Of course, it’s easy to just laugh (or cry) about this monumental absurdity. But, we believe that Mr. Spock from Star Trek would probably agree with us that if Quantitative Easing is logical, then so is creating a trillion dollar coin.

(January 2, 2013) We return from our annual Winter Break, and see that the gold market senses that the so-called Fiscal Cliff deal is no great shakes. With spending cuts postponed until some vague future date, and another debt ceiling fight scheduled for a few weeks away, it seems that Fiscal Nonsense threatens to be part of the political landscape until Heck freezes over.

(December 21, 2012) today started our annual year-end Holiday break. We wish the best of the season to everyone, and will return on Wednesday January 2nd, to welcome the New Year of 2013. We hope to hear from you then.

(December 2, 2012) Although gold prices have essentially trended flat- to-down over the past few weeks, US demand for physical bullion has taken a huge leap in November. Elsewhere, gold ETFs continue to pile up the metal, for those investors who like their gold more on the virtual side. And who's afraid of the 'fiscal cliff,' anyway?

(November 28, 2012) Gold prices have been nigh on boring over the past week, month, and longer, having been range-bound ($1540- $1900) since July of 2011. So it was quite the shock when Wednesday morning’s action in gold went from slightly negative to down $30 for the day, literally in the time it takes to listen to a pop song.

(November 26, 2012) We are back from our long Thanksgiving break, and yes, are now stuffed with good cheer and enthusiasm. Here's hoping you and your family the best Thanksgiving celebration ever. We see that the precious metals have moved up pretty well in our absence, so we will continue to track how the negotiations ahead of the 'fiscal cliff' effect the dollar values of real assets.

(October 23, 2012) Retail gold bullion demand is just not what it was a few years ago. Gold demand exploded during our recent economic crisis, with sales of gold coins and bars worldwide going through the roof starting in year 2008. Although gold accumulation continues strong among the 1% (and central banks), the popular clamor for gold has cooled down.

(October 9, 2012) Gold prices have surged over 12% since mid-August, as sentiment towards the shiny yellow metal has shifted dramatically. Blame what is now being called QE-Infinity and the dimming possibility of any serious effort to reduce America's growing deficit. As gold approaches $2,000, we begin to see the possibility of the dollar becoming, in essence, a penny.

(October 8th, 2012) Columbus Day is celebrated in the United States of America on the second Monday in October, marking the date on which Christopher Columbus discovered some islands a few hundred miles from what is today the United States, all of which later came to be known as part of the Americas.

(September 16, 2012) The news from the Fed’s meeting at Jackson Hole last week was the launch of a third round of Quantitative Easing, that ghastly euphemism for ‘printing more money.’ QEIII will be a new $40 billion per month buy-up of mortgage-backed securities, to be added to the current $45 billion/month "Twist" purchases. We are supposed to believe this will help get the economy moving.

(August 30, 2012) With gold up $100 since its July low, the idea of ‘hard money’ makes the news as the Republican Party platform recommends a commission to study the possibility of pegging the US dollar to some constant “metallic” value. Meanwhile, the dollar that we have today swings wildly as measured against our favorite metallic, gold, in anticipation of possible Fed action at a place called Jackson Hole.

(August 18, 2012) Platinum prices Friday hit a six-month high, rising 5.5% last week as strikes at South Africa’s mines turned violent. Conflicts feuled by political strife between two miners’ unions, set in an environment of high unemployment, have left some 50 people dead.

(August 13, 2012) Back from our annual summer week off, we find gold up twenty bucks or so, and London's Olympics now over with US athletes bringing home quite a bit of gold themselves. And for this fall's competition, the selection of Paul Ryan means lineup cards are now completely filled out for the upcoming presidential race.

(June 1, 2012) Gold prices on May 30th once again bounced off gold’s new ‘floor’ of around $1530, a level we last saw during the final week of 2011. Gold price are often perplexing – it seems to make no sense that gold’s ‘value’ can sink at the same time that prospects for the world economy deteriorate

(April 30, 2012) One of my long-held goals for our business has finally been achieved: We now are under a company name without the words “Coin” or “Gold” in it. The Georgia Sonora Company is our new name, and here's a little story about how and why that came about, and why it actually matters.

(April 11, 2012) A short look at how cash money has been degraded and stigmatized in ways both subtle and overt. How the physical dollar, from the once-mighty C-note down to the useless penny, has become a disfunctional currency that stinks from top to bottom. How this came to be, and why it matters.

(4/9/12) In the week just past, gold prices took some harrowing dips, including Wednesday's loss of some 2.5% in one trading day. By Thursday, some stability seemed to be reached around the $1,630 level, just in time for the long trading pause in London and New York for Easter weekend.

(February 21, 2012) We now have in stock the new 2012 1-ounce platinum Maple Leafs from the Royal Canadian Mint in stock. Plus, Andre Sharon explains why only gold is worth squirrelling away, no matter what the gold sceptics say. (Print, cut out, and carry with you at all times)

(January 25, 2012) Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke held a press conference today, and gold promptly rose by fifty dollars. The same market that roundly ignored the President’s State of the Union address last night, made its normal surge while the Fed chairman spoke.

(June 1, 2010) There is nothing like a 9-year rally in a monetary commodity to focus media and political attention on the soaring yellow metal. A New York Congressman launches a full-scale attack on doom-and-gloom marketing, while Barrons prints a full-page guest editorial about gold - from a banker offering investment advice.

(November 19, 2011) Gold, with its intrinsic characteristics of brilliance, malleability, and resistance to corrosion, has an allure that affects people unlike anything else found on the periodic table of elements. The blunt question so often asked is: what is gold worth?

(November 14, 2011) Gold price patterns the second part of this year have retraced familiar seasonal trends. Buying in India has been huge, while US and European demand for gold bullion products have lagged going into autumn.

(November 11, 2011) Thanking our armed forces veterans for their service in the defense of our freedoms and way of life should be a daily event. Be sure to take the time to thank each and every veteran you meet, for their selfless actions from Midway to Pork Chop Hill, from Khe Sanh to Kabul.

10/31/2011 After trading below $1600 briefly on Thursday 10/20/11, gold rallied sharply over the next six trading days to finish Friday 10/29/11 at $1745. Silver and copper followed upwards, also, and the dollar made new lows against the Japanese yen.

(10/11/11) Sales of the Perth Mint's Year of the Dragon 2012 gold issues have topped all previous Series II Lunar records, with the 1-ounce in short supply as all 30,000 pieces were sold out immediately, and fractional issues are selling strongly as well.

(October 10, 2011) With banks and post offices closed, we are taking Columbus Day off. Onlygold will resume trading on Tuesday 10/11/11. Some new Specials have already been posted up, and more will follow on Monday. Give us a call Tuesday!

(September 25, 2011) The noise you might have heard last week was investors running frantically for the exits: abandoning equities, abandoning commodities, and most noticeably, abandoning hope altogether that world economies would improve anytime soon.

(September 20, 2011) The most anticipated gold bullion issue of all time has now arrived – the 2012 Dragon from Australia’s Perth Mint. The 1-ounce gold, limited to 30,000 pieces, was allocated through various world distributors, who took every single piece for their various customers.

August is normally a sleepy time for metals markets.All of Europe, including bankers and traders, takes its annual month off for beach trips and the like, and seasonally the theme is ‘not much happening’ for most of the summer

(August 8, 2011) If you missed last week (as we did), the best that can be said is that it was not pretty. True to form, gold gained during the chaos, silver hung in there pretty well, while the grey metals (platinum and palladium) took it pretty hard.

(July 5, 2011) The US Mint in June cranked out its lowest number of 1-ounce gold eagles (56,000) since August of 2010, proving, if nothing else, that the middle of summer is traditionally a slow time for bullion sales. Is that a useful bit of information?

(June 21, 2011) Rumors fly faster than the speed of light on the Internet, with one site linking to another, another, and another. Lately, a barrage of rumors stem from a misinterpretation of provisions in the Dodd-Frank bill which decidedly DO NOT effect trading in physical precious metals for near-term delivery

(June 6, 2011) On Friday June 3rd, the London PM fix was $1540.00, nearly achieving the former record price of $1540.25 reached on May 3rd. In between, a substantial sell-off in almost all commodities left its mark, while gold and oil were among the first to recover.

(May 8, 2011) Oil was likely the catalyst in last week’s stunning price debacles in world commodity markets, and as prices plunged in the crude market, silver, gold, and many other markets followed suit. Silver, one of the smallest of these markets, took the biggest hit, falling 12.9% on Thursday alone.

(May Day, 2011) April is both the cruelest month, according to a bard, and also what brings May showers. Exactly what sort of precipitation could follow the likes of the past 30 days is anybody’s guess. Let’s review this month just past, chockfull as it was of action as we just haven’t seen lately…

(April 8, 2011) Gold ended this week around $1475.00, silver climbed over $40 for the first time in 31 years, and oil traded over $110/barrel, all in the face of Mideast turmoil, including NATO’s incursion into Libya and subsequent Western military involvement in that country’s struggles.

(March 15, 2011) Early last week, gold reached another record high at $1444, while silver set new multi-decade price records as it continued its spectacular performance. By Friday, uncertainty caused both markets to fall, with silver experiencing a price swing of almost $2 on Friday 3/11.

(February 27, 2011) With gold on its fourth trip past the $1400 mark, interested parties might begin to wonder, is this it? Will gold this time blow through the $1425 level on its way to the next Big Round Number of $1500…and beyond?

(February 22, 2011) Gold prices surged over the $1400 mark again on 2/21/11, and silver vaulted the $34 level, all on news out of the Mideast of political turmoil spreading outward from uprising in Egypt. Not to mention the spectre of $100/barrel oil capping recent inflationary trends in virtually all commodity markets.

(February 12, 2011) Silver leads the way again, much as it did for most of 2010. After prices dropped to below $27 on January 25th, silver rallied 10% to close over the $30 level on 2/11/11. Gold followed also, after its correction of nearly $100 in the first three weeks of 2011.

(January 26, 2011) Gold prices today are down nearly $100 in less than a month’s time, after gaining about 30% versus the dollar in 2010. The year 2011 so far is telling us a different story – but what is that story?

(January 18, 2011) Comex trading resumes today after Monday's MLK Day pause, as precious metals continue to trade well off their highs of just two weeks ago. We are back in the saddle with 2011-dated gold and silver Eagles, Pandas, and more.

(January 3, 2011) 2010 was a gangbuster year for the precious metals – gold gained some 28% in the twelve months just past, while silver added a whopping 79%. Palladium was the overall winner for the year, breaking the $800 mark for the first time this century, up some 89% in 2010. Platinum was the laggard, up some 17% for the year.

(12/21/10) will be closed for trading starting on December 24th. We will take the rest of the year off, and then be back on Monday January 3, 2011. Thanks for a fabulous year!

(December 11, 2010) As the days continue to shorten, so does the time left for the current Congress to address taxes and, yes, death taxes. A compromise to extend the Bush tax cuts hashed out between Congressional leaders and the President runs into trouble with his own party, with not much time left on the clock…

(December 5th, 2010) After drifting for a few weeks, gold prices soared above the $1400 level this past Friday, gaining nearly $50/ounce for the week, partly on reports officially confirming the extent of recent gold purchases by China.

(November 29. 2010) Gold over the past couple of months has traded between $1307 and $1421. Since it first breached the $1300 level two days before this Halloween it hasn’t looked back. When its price reached $1420 for a brief moment three weeks ago, gold was all the rage…

(November 24, 2010) We will of course be closed on Thursday November 25th to celebrate the uniquely American tradition of Thanksgiving. Friday we will be on duty, including mailing and receiving mail, but because most distributors and Mint offices will be closed on Friday, we will not be trading precious metals that day.

(November 15, 2010) Gold last week hit another new record price against the quantitatively eased dollar, and then managed to fall more than 4% at week's end. More noteworthy is the new and widespread talk about the nature and function of gold itself, its future as a peg in the monetary puzzle, and its function as a currency today.

(November 12, 2010) We hope you remembered to salute our Veterans, whether of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, or wherever our troops have been deployed around the world. It's been a wild month so far in gold, silver, palladium, and platinum, and now we're back.

(October 27, 2010) Gold reached a record US dollar price in October, continuing a trend of nearly a decade of consistent year-on-year increases. Many now discuss a gold bubble - but no one can say with certainty how close we are to it. As always, there are opinions…

(October 12, 2010) Gold prices, buoyed by the 'currency wars' which pose a virtually insolvable problem for econonies the world over, continue to maintain near-record prices. Demand for physical bullion surges, yet so far supplies are adequate and premiums hold steady.

(September 20, 2010) Over the past few weeks, gold has taken out its previous high price in nominal dollars, trading over the $1280 mark for the first time. World investor demand is the driving force, but US Mint figures show a recently declining US investor bullion demand.

(August 16, 2010) Our annual retreat to cooler climes is now over, and we come back to find gold prices on an upsurge, even in the face of a strong dollar. We'll post up something interesting in the next few days, but in the meantime we'll hit the ground running...

(August 5, 2010) Every year we take a week off in August to give our staff a chance to escape to cooler climes for a few days – after all, it was 110 degrees in Phoenix yesterday, the day before, the day before that, etc . etc. We will return Monday August 16th rested and refreshed. Meanwhile, here’s more on 1099s….

(July 23, 2010) On Christmas Eve 2009 the Senate passed a bill entitled the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” It was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Buried in this 2,400 page bill is an upcoming nightmare for US taxpayers and businesses.

(June 28, 2010) The world seems to be expecting a correction in gold prices, and why not - demand from retail jewelry sales is falling, and supply from gold scrap recycling is at record levels. Yet, the stubborn yellow metal refuses to fall.

(May 24th, 2010) As 2010 began, gold buying in the United States had finally calmed down after two years of record demand, while fiscal mismanagement Greek-style caused gold to flow like wine into European vaults. Now here comes May, and we're off to the races again.

(May Day, 2010) April saw gold up nearly 5%, Greek bonds greased, Goldman Sachs under attacks, Iceland in the news again (that’s never good), an oil slick the size of Vermont spreading in the Gulf of Mexico, and Arizona taking a stab at the immigration situation.

(April 6, 2010) The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s March 25th “Public Meeting to Examine Futures and Options Trading in the Metals Markets” had something to offer everyone - conspiracies, drama, real facts, and spontaneous comedy. 

(April 2, 2010) Commodities and stock markets are closed today, so we will not be confirming any new trades. Our store and offices will be open all day, and we will be answering the phones, and sending and receiving mail.

(March 30, 2010) Gold bullion demand in the US has tapered off in the past few months, and the good news for buyers is that premiums are dropping and the days of product shortages seem long behind us. So, is there a Santa Claus?

(March 15, 2010) Like the swallows of Capistrano, shiny new 2010- model silver Eagles have been sighted, perhaps a harbinger of spring – or at least the end of a dismal February. The Ides of March are upon us, the time of saving daylight has begun, and spring training has sprung.

(March 9, 2010) Everybody loves a good fraud story, and rumors of “gold bars actually filled with tungsten” have spread like a virus over over the past few months. As we've said here before, there's a lot of information on the Internet - and some of it's actually true.

(February 16, 2010) Having swept President's Day aside, we are now back in action in the bullion markets. As the Northeast and Midwest get over last week's snowstorm (one that shut the Mint at West Point for most of the week) gold surges over $1100 again as all the precious metals pick up the pace.

(February 9, 2010) The February 2010 edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine featured an article, “Make a Buck off a Sagging Dollar.” Unfortunately, the accompanying full-page color photo, supposedly of a gold bar, is a fake.

(January 18, 2010) We now have the 2010 gold Pandas in stock in the various sizes, and this week we will be expanding our lineup of various sizes (from the kilogram on down to the twentieth-ounce) in the 2010 gold Tiger coins, the third issue in Lunar Series II from the Perth Mint in Australia. .

(January 4, 2010) The decade just ended saw gold progress from total obscurity ($282.05 on 1/4/00) to fame (four-figure prices every day since October 2009). During that decade, its price almost quadrupled in US dollars, as the US (and much else of the world) went from national surpluses to staggering deficits. Yet gold's 2009 close at $1095 was some 10% off its record high for the year. Does that mean anything?

(January 4, 2010) The decade just ended saw gold progress from total obscurity ($282.05 on 1/4/00) to fame (four-figure prices every day since October 2009). Over the decade, its price almost quadrupled in US dollars, as the US (and much else of the world) went from national surpluses to staggering deficits. Yet gold's 2009 close at $1095 was some 10% off its record high for the year. Now what?

(December 23, 2009) Starting on Christmas Eve, we are taking our annual end of the year break from trading. We wish you and yours the best of the Season, and we will be back on the phones come Monday January 4th, 2010. In the meantime….

(December 10, 2009) Don’t look back, the poet once said. But today, when our US Mint seems unable to cope with demand for gold bullion coins, perhaps it should simply re-acquire the skills it exercised at the turn of the century 1899-1900.

(November 25, 2009) The US Mint let it be known this week that they are temporarily out of stock of gold 1-ounce Eagles and silver Eagles. Meanwhile, gold came within a few dollars of the $1200 level, while silver, platinum, and palladium all approached new highs for 2009.

(November 24, 2009) Gold soared into record price territory again this week, trading above $1100 per ounce for its eighth straight day, and confounding its doubters with a determined refusal to back down, even against a somewhat stronger dollar.

(November 8, 2009) As gold prices cross the $1100 mark, and make new record highs, demand for both gold and silver bullion are strong. However, the US Mint has already struck its last 2009 silver Eagle, and possibly, the last gold Eagle that it will release this year.

(November 2, 2009) Gold prices just completed a full month (October 2009) trading above the $1,000 mark for the first time in history, and on Monday, November 2nd, gold’s PM London fix of $1,062 was an all-time high in dollar terms.

(October 12, 2009) Talk of gold confiscation is the imaginary monster that frightens otherwise rational adults, and refuses to die. Dire predictions abound that the Feddle Gummint will, inevitably, some day, come to seize John and Jane Q Public’s pile of the shiny stuff. Why we think it's baloney.

(October 6, 2009) The US Mint announced today that there will be production of 2009-dated Buffalo 1-ounce .9999 gold bullion coins, as well as fractional gold Eagles for 2009. However, the red-hot demand for gold and silver bullion means that some collector series coins will not be produced this year.

(September 14, 2009) On Tuesday September 8, gold traded above $1,000 for the first time in over a year, while US equities hit new highs for 2009, at the same time that US Treasuries strengthened in price. As they say, go figure.

(August 31, 2009) We present here the Executive Summary of the World Gold Council’s report on gold off-take and supply for the period April-June 2009.

(August 10, 2009) As promised, we have returned to the scene after our week in sundry far-flung locations, experiencing the various joys known as family vacations. It appears that the precious metals performed pretty well without us.

(July 31, 2009) Every year we take off the first week in August, giving our staff a chance to escape the constant 100 degree plus temperatures of summer in Phoenix, Arizona. We will be back on Monday August 10th.

(July 8, 2009) Gold prices are softening, and many buyers are making vacation plans or have already escaped to work-free havens. This might be the perfect time to ramble down the yellow brick road…

(June 26, 2009) It’s been a while since we posted anything new here, but we’ve been busy. And by busy, I mean actual physical labor involving moving this whole enterprise lock stock and barrel, so to speak, down the sidewalk about fifty feet.

(May 25, 2009) Our Recent Economic Unpleasantness cries out for a simple explanation. Unfortunately, its causes are many, and it would take the financial and economic history of the 20th century to explain them. So, let’s get started.

(May 11, 2009) Our promised follow-up on mistruths about gold collector coins. The hobby of coin collecting, a once-leisurely pastime, has been hijacked by opportunistic marketers who use fear and lies to hard-sell numismatic coins to people who only want to buy gold.

(May 3, 2009) September of 2008 began a genuine gold rush as many private citizens and money managers have chosen the traditional refuge in times of political, economic, and fiscal uncertainty – the purchase and custody of gold in tradable bullion forms.

(April 11, 2009) Traditionally, a national pause occurs in the gold business in the weeks preceding the 15th April. In preparation for this least holy of days, US citizens are busy contemplating his or her personal finances as they prepare to render unto Uncle Sam Caesar his due.

(April 9, 2009) Although banks and the post office will be open on Friday, 4/10/09, the Comex market will not trade, nor will most of the major bullion houses. So we are going to be working away on Friday, but not taking orders to buy or sell.

(March 21, 2009) Gold prices reasserted themselves with a vengeance this week, soaring some $80 in 24 hours with the announcement on Wednesday that yet another trillion or so of our dollars were being created to benefit large suffering corporate entities in a further act of unrequited charity on our behalf.

(March 5, 2009) After a short lull in January, gold bullion coin and bar demand has soared once again on a near-daily onslaught of news reports about our Recent Economic Unpleasantness, proposed and actual multi-trillion dollar solutions, and a general sense of mistrust of every investment haven under the sun. Worldwide, physical gold rules.

(February 14th, 2009 – Valentines Day) By now, I wouldn’t be shocked if you hadn’t yet received a box of chocolates, flowers, or a gift of a night on the town. It is unfortunate, but sometimes, often at the wrong times, you just have to be patient and wait for what you want.

(January 27, 2009, The Year of the Ox) Taking stock of this New Year, we find a global situation of reduced economic circumstances, in which the flow of world trade has slowed, and remedies such as bailouts and rescues are focus of the day. Is this the Gloomer’s time to shine?

(January 5, 2009) 2008 was a terrible year for most every financial asset, but gold’s return of 4.31% beat most of the alternatives. Unfortunately, 2008’s unprecedented surge in bullion demand was not met with adequate supply for the average US investor.

(December 22, 2008) We thank all of you for making 2008 our 8th consecutive year of record sales. Now it’s time for our staff to have a break. We will be taking orders through Noon on Christmas Eve, and we’ll return for new business on Monday January 5th, 2009.

(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.

(November 23, 2008) We wish you and yours a fantastic Thanksgiving as we take a break from trading at We'll be back in the saddle on Monday December 1st.

(November 8, 2008) Now in the sixth week of 2008's Great Gold Rush, gold bullion product remains scarce, demand for physical gold continues to be off the charts, while prices remain moribund. What’s a gold buyer to do?

(October 25, 2008) Last week, seemingly everything went down in price versus the dollar – US stocks, oil, most commodities, and spectacularly, gold, falling some 14% from the $801 London morning fix on 10/17/08 to $692.50 just a week later.

(October 12, 2008) It sure was a terrible week, with trillions of dollars of losses for the stock markets of the world, financial lockups and meltdowns everywhere, bailouts, takeovers, fretting, panic, and a general wailing and gnashing of teeth. Meanwhile, gold doesn't seem to be paying attention. What's up with that?

(October 6, 2008) At this time, worldwide mints and refiners have been overwhelmed with demand for physical gold bullion. Unhappily, we are having to suspend further sales of our standard bullion products until such time as new supplies become available.

(October 3, 2008) Three weeks of unprecedented demand for gold bullion coins and bars have left the shelves of mints, refiners, distributors, and dealers virtually empty. There simply is not enough refining and production capacity to keep up with crisis-level demand.

(September 25, 2008) As bullion dealers, we are disappointed to announce what we hope is a temporary shortage of many of the most popular bullions products at this time. What has been rumor over the past few weeks is, unfortunately, now fact.

(September 21, 2008) A lot happened this week. Gold, for instance, soared from $778 on Wednesday's close to Thursday's after-hours high of $924, its biggest one-day price gain since 1980. Lehman, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and much of what used to be, no longer is. Gold sales are just gangbusters.

(September 13, 2008) The US market for physical gold bullion is going through extraordinary time, with demand surging in the face of a 25% drop in gold spot prices since March. So exactly where are we today?

(August 30, 2008) Talk is everywhere of gold shortages. American dealers, it is said, are running out of gold bullion to sell. Delays in delivery are causing confusion. And of course, misunderstandings are flying at Internet speed.

(August 16, 2008) On Thursday 8/14/08, the Mint notified its bullion distributors that the 1-ounce size gold Eagles were out of stock and temporarily not on offer for a while, with more details to follow early next week. Then the fun began…

(August 11, 2008) While we were away for a week, gold lost 5.6% of its dollar value, continuing a downward trend from its most recent peak on July 15th, a scant 18 trading days ago, when gold was some $135 higher than on Friday 8/8/08.

(August 1, 2008) It’s that time of year again when we flee the heat of the Sonoran desert and find refuge in cooler climes. Friday 8/1/08 will be our last day here until we return for business on Monday August 11th rested, relaxed, and ready to go!

(July 15, 2008) Any time gold prices go up $100 in a month, it’s certain that big money is betting that things in this world aren’t exactly going hunky-dory. Let’s take it from Ben Bernanke himself:

(June 18, 2008) Driving back from a Saturday jaunt down to old Tombstone, the rich pearl of the Arizona Territory during its silver mining boom circa 1879-1886, silver was definitely on my mind.

(May 18, 2008) In the early days of our country, before the expense of the Civil War required the Union to take unto itself the monopoly issuance of legal tender, paper money was a Hydra-headed agglomeration of notes both true and false. Today, our money is standardized and taken for granted, yet who can we believe about its true value?

(May 1, 2008) For centuries, scams have been based on vast quantities of gold. The lure of treasure is strong, and tales of gold hoards lost, found, or available on the cheap have a universal appeal to those who can be convinced that money grows on trees.

(April 7, 2008) While gold corrects some 12% from its March 2008 (and all-time) high, we finally find space to breathe, clear off some old business, and try to throw some words up on the old website after a hectic first quarter.

(March 9, 2008) To quote Jim Anchower, “I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but things got crazy, if you know what I mean.” Gold soaring, paper crumbling, banks shaky, economy in recession – but let’s talk about my weekend.

(February 25, 2008) One of the most frequently asked questions we hear lately is, why are our gold spot prices lower than what is reported in the media, such as CNBC or other business news programs?

(January 28th, 2008) Without a doubt, what we just saw was this century's most memorable week in world financial history. It included official recognition of a US recession, a pre-dawn rate cut by the Fed, a series of massive swings in equities and precious metals markets, and the return of the ‘rogue trader.‘

(January 9rd, 2008) As recently as 2001, gold could be had for $258/ounce. Jill Leyland, the World Gold Council’s chief economist says: “Gold was considered old-fashioned.” On Wednesday, 1/9/08, gold traded at $879.50, a price never seen before.

(January 2, 2008) Gold’s rise of some 32% in 2007, from $638.75 on the first trading day, to the 12/31/07 closing price of $834.9 was its most spectacular year-on-year performance since 1979.

(December 1, 2007) Just as the gold market cools off a bit, and bargain-hunters look to get their toes wet at lower price levels, we find a conspiracy of factors in play that make physical gold bullion products a little harder to find.

(November 19, 2007) Gold traded into the long-forgotten $800 price level over the past week, and given the state of the world, is it really any wonder? And judging from the virtual absence of domestic press coverage of gold, does anyone in the US even care?

(November 2, 2007) The Series II gold Mouses have arrived, along with another .9999 fine gold Perth Mint product, the new 2008 Kangaroo. We have sizes from the 2-ounce down to the diminutive twentieth-ounce in each available for sale.

(October 16, 2007) Now in its sixth week trading above $700, gold averaged over $712 in September, and some $737 so far in October. We find that over the past two years, there has been a $1.46 trillion shift in the relationship between the dollar and the value of the world's gold supply.

(October 5th, 2007) Gold’s fourth straight week of trading for more than seven hundred US dollars is starting to look more like a plateau rather than a price spike. Would a chartist call this phase, ‘base-building?’

(September 28, 2007) Gold prices rose steadily in September, trading above $700 for 16 straight days, and fixing in Friday’s London afternoon market at a new 27-year high of $743, a gain of some 12% for the month.

(September 21, 2007) Gold traded this afternoon in London markets at $737 per ounce, its highest dollar price since February 1980. And as Ben Bernanke makes his first dramatic move at the helm of the Fed, Alan Greenspan released a book explaining his reign there.

(September 9, 2007) Gold took 16 months to reclaim its $700 price level, and this week it did it with a bang, climbing some 4.6% versus the dollar, posting higher prices each day. Amidst new demand from India, China, and the Middle East, it closed Friday right on that big round number.

(August 28, 2007) Today’s afternoon London gold fix was $666, a portentous number to some. But since March the market has been consistently saying that an ounce of gold is worth two-thirds of a thousand American dollars. Deviations from that level have simply been noise.

(August 24, 2007) We will be taking final orders for Lunar gold coins priced with quantity discounts, on Monday, August 27th, and Tuesday August 28th. The Perth Mint is ending the order period for the 12-year series this month, and the availability of coins in quantity after that is doubtful.

(August 9, 2007) Coming back from our week off, we find this month’s headlines dominated by real estate troubles - slow sales, falling prices, fewer building starts, and the largest housing inventory on market since 1992. Introducing the 'poverty effect.'

(August 6, 2007) Now tan, fit, and rested, we return from our annual summer holiday, renewed and refreshed, and ready to take on whatever the precious metals markets deal out for us in the second half of this year.

(July 28, 2007) Today begins our short break from the summer heat of the Sonoran desert, a time when all of our staff heads out to places where 100 degrees Fahrenheit is not a daily occurrence. We will return Monday, August 6th.

(July 16, 2007) We received a very excited phone call the other week from the owner of a local estate service. His company had been hired by a bank to sell an estate, and while opening the seven safes that were in the main house, a fortune in gold and silver coins had been found…

(July 9, 2007) Assessing the first six months of 2007, the action in physical gold bullion markets has lacked the urgency that we saw in May of 2006 when gold reached a $725 peak. For this year so far, ‘directionless’ best describes the price action of the US dollar versus our favorite store of value, gold.

(July 4, 2007) On this, the 231st anniversary of our country’s Declaration of Independence from King George III of England, we are going to celebrate by making a real long weekend of it. We’ll be back at work Monday 7/9/07.

June 20, 2007) After a few months of wrangling back and forth with the Perth Mint, today we received official notice of the ordering deadline for the hugely popular gold and silver Lunar Series bullion coins. Unless or until mintage limits are met, the latest date is…August 31, 2007.

(May 22, 2007) The world of gold bullion buzzed with the release of the 99.999% pure Maple Leaf coins from Canada this week, abetted by the simultaneous release of the world's largest gold coin, the 100-kilogram, million-dollar face value, gold Maple Leaf featuring the same new design.

In 1965, the first blows of U.S. Mint coining dies onto copper-nickel dime and quarter blanks shattered a 170-year tradition of silver coins in everyday American commerce. Days earlier, 1964-dated dimes had been struck on silver blanks not much changed since 1796, but now silver was disappearing…

(April 21, 2007) For the first time in 26 years, it now takes two US dollars to purchase one British pound as the dollar’s weakness continues against most currencies, precious metals, and even a carton of eggs, now up some 30% in dollars terms in a year's time.

(March 30, 2007) Now in its 12th and final year, the Lunar Series gold bullion coins issued by the Perth Mint will cease production as of this summer. This innovative and beautiful set of coins has been a favorite of many, and Series II will launch this autumn in a new format.

(February 27, 2007) A public relations campaign called “No Dirty Gold” is out to help consumers avoid gold that has been party to any of the evils of humankind. Anyone with a sense of history realizes that not much aboveground gold is going to pass such a test...

(February 5, 2007) President Bush presented to Congress today his proposed budget of $2.9 trillion. Democrats, of course, objected to some of the proposed entitlement cuts, while realists pointed out that some of the budget’s assumptions are, well, unrealistic. But we have another take altogether….

(January 15th, 2007) In the worldwide zoo of gold bullion choices for 2007, the Panda is stronger than ever, the Kangaroo finally makes a striking impression, the Buffalo will return, the Pig completes Lunar Series I, and so far the Cat is missing. And the Krugerrand started it all.

(January 1, 2007) Gold closed 2006 at $635, up some 23.19% during 2006, rounding out a five-year performance during which prices have more than doubled since the beginning of 2002. The rich pay hedge fund managers huge fees for such performance, but why should you?

(December 20, 2006) As this old year draws to a close amidst a cloud of evergreens, seasonal baked goods, and the usual gang of old chestnuts, we announce our winter week off commencing at the end of business December 22nd. We shall return on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007!

(November 20, 2006) Gold has recently held its ground at $600+, having convincingly broken a pattern over the past few months of tracking oil prices, which on Friday fell to a 17-month low of $56/barrel. Gold has actually been boring lately, although boring at a plateau we haven’t seen in decades…

(October 13, 2006) Today the long-awaited final Lunar coin, the 2007 Year of the Pig issue from the Perth Mint, is scheduled to arrive on premises here in Arizona. On Monday 10/16/06 we will begin shipping orders for Pigs and 2007 Kangaroos. All Pigs will fly by Wednesday, 10/18.

(September 24, 2006) Chevron announced on September 6th a potential 15 billion barrel oil discovery deep in the Gulf of Mexico. That same day a total rout in prices of oil, metals, and natural gas began. Soon thereafter, a hedge fund died of natural gas causes.

(September 9, 2006) In 48 hours time, gold lost 5% of its value this past Thursday and Friday. What causes such seismic valuation shifts in a metal whose market is perhaps the oldest in existence, a market that essentially defines the value of money itself?

(August 20, 2006) Buried treasure is where you find it, as I found out recently on a buying expedition right in the heart of town. And sometimes, you really never can tell…anything.

(August 7, 2006) In the Gulf Islands around the Vancouver area, just a few miles north of Washington state, I enjoyed wonderful cool weather in a place where Christmas trees grow down to the shore of the Pacific Ocean, and for a week, gold slipped my mind entirely. Almost…

As August approaches, we are thoroughly wilted from the past few weeks of 110+ degree heat here in Arizona, and we all look forward to spending a week in cooler climes. We will be closed starting July 29, and will re-open on Monday, August 7th.

On Valentine's Day in 1912, Arizona became the last of the contiguous 48 states to be admitted to the Union. The Anglo history of this state starts with mining - first gold, then silver, and, even today, massive amounts of copper. And once in a while, we see artifacts from the old days…

(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.

(June 4, 2006) Commenting on gold’s trip beyond $700 last month, analyst Peter Bernstein said, “All the necessary conditions for a mess were there.” Now, with the US intending to ‘talk’ with Iran, gold’s recent war premium may be lessened, but “necessary conditions” prevail that will pick up and carry gold prices for some time forward…

(May 19th, 2006) In six trading days, gold prices finally did something they haven’t done in over a year – they achieved that long-awaited 10% correction. It was so overdue, that some were starting to think that it would never happen, and what a shocking washout it turned out to be!

(May 7, 2006) Another week, another 25-year high for gold versus the dollar. Gold has now gained $425 in 5 years, $150 of that in the past eight weeks. $850 seems in sight, a level last reached in 1980, a time of surging oil prices and, yes, some sort of trouble between the US and Iran.

(April 17, 2006) Gold prices began 2006 around the $513 level, and now threaten to spike into parabolic territory. A new crowd of potential buyers see that gold has a bright future, and are suspicious of their weakening dollars, but they're starting to fear there won't be a good correction.

(April 17th, 2006) This month we are launching a national search for an addition to our staff. How do we find the right bright bulb to help our operation? Someone suggested that it couldn’t hurt to post the opening right here on this website, so here goes…

(April 14, 2006) Precious metals put in a strong showing this week, with gold's active June contract trading over $600 for most of the week, silver climbing towards the $13 level, and palladium and platinum holding their own. We take a much-needed trading break until Monday morning...

(April 2, 2006) We hereby declare the Final Four winners this week to be Gold, Silver, Palladium, and Platinum, which posted, respectively, 25-year, 22-year, 4-year, and All-time price records versus the highly-favored, once-mighty US dollar.

(March 18, 2006) In tabulating our year-end inventory using the year 2005’s final gold trading price of $513, I am reminded that gold began the year 2005 with a spot price of $427. To coin a phrase, a lot of water has gone over the dam since then.

(February 25, 2006) In 1980 the Hunt brothers attempted corner on the silver market imploded, and for years afterward the phrase ‘silver investor’ could hardly be uttered without a snicker. Silver became 'semi-precious,’ and traded around $5 for nearly two decades. Today, however, at $9 and change, something is up...

(February 15, 2006) Have you ever been contacted, perhaps through an email or fax, about a veritable fortune in gold in the possession of someone in Africa, someone who desperately needs your help to bring it to America? This week, we bring you a story of gold fraud.

(January 29, 2006) Yesterday was the official start of the Year of the Dog, tomorrow is the last day of the reign of Alan Greenspan as head of the Fed, North Korea is turning out superb counterfeit US $100 bills, and I have a gold bar story for you…

(January 13, 2006) On this date, gold prices closed at $556.10, a 25-year record high price in dollar terms. Those who have owned gold for a while are not surprised at the higher levels, but new buyers hesitate to pay record prices. Who is right? B.B. King, of course.

(January 2, 2006) In gold’s Dark Decades from 1981 to 2001, any public mention of the ageless yellow metal was more likely to be punitive than positive. But things change, witness a recent Barron’s article entitled, “Golden Opportunity?” - a question which is answered entirely in the affirmative.

(December 24, 2005) At this time we say goodbye to another year, this one having been one of gold’s most exciting in a couple of decades. Gold prices pushed $540 in December, which was the most fun that the hard yellow metal has had since 1982.

(December 16, 2005) All good parabolic rises in prices must come to a peak, and gold prices reached that level last Friday. This week, a market that could only go up, reversed itself and could only go down. Technically, the bloom is, at least for now, off the rose.

(December 2, 2005) Gold prices reached the long-awaited $500 level this week, closing in New York trading at $502.50 on December 1st. The next day’s 2nd London fix was exactly the same, while Friday afternoon saw New York markets close at $503.30, with aftermarket trading at the $505.00 level.

Gold prices in US dollars surged $30 in nine trading days, catapulting from $456 on Monday November 7th to close at $486 on Thursday November 17th. A ‘buzz’ is growing about gold, now trading within chump change of the once unimaginable $500 level.

(October 31, 2005) The old saying is that there are two things that you never want to see being made: sausage and legislation. A series of articles this past week in the New York Times may have you adding the mining of gold to that list, and just at a time when you may need gold the most.

(October 20, 2005) “The fox knows many things, the hedgehog only one. But it's a big one.” Roughly translated, so said the Greek poet Achilochus. This week, we will amble amiably from hedge to hedge, touching gold everywhere.

(October 1, 2005) In the midst of our current gold rally, and concurrent with the introduction of the 2006 Australian Lunar Series Dog coins, the year 2000 1-ounce gold Dragon has taken off on a trajectory all it own. What is the Lunar Series with the Dragon out of sight?

(September 24, 2005) Record gold prices this week brought out record amounts of trading in physical gold holdings. Many long-time gold-holders sold at the highest prices seen in 17 years, thereby filling the demands of buyers who feel that we’re on the brink of the biggest gold bull market since the Carter years.

(September 16, 2005) Gold climbed over the past two months towards the US$450 level, this week finally breaking through in spectacular fashion to trade above US$460. It now takes more dollars to buy an ounce of gold than at any time since June of 1988. Where’s the confidence?

(September 4, 2005) We just finished ‘freshening up’ our showroom and offices, including paint, tile, carpet, and rejuvenated fixtures. History was uncovered, numismatic debris boxed and hauled out, and like a lot of painful experiences, it feels so good to stop.

(WASHINGTON, August 11, 2005) The United States Mint has recovered ten more of the fabled 1933 Double Eagle gold pieces. These numismatic artifacts were illegally removed from the United States Mint at Philadelphia more than 70 years ago.

(August 8, 2005) August begins the 10th month of gold trading between $418 and $458, as gold climbs 2% in a week to $438. In a word, the gold market has been flat, not unlike the past 26 years during which gold has traded, in unadjusted dollar terms, at between $250 and $850. So when does gold inflate?

(July18, 2005) Greg Manning Auctions, Inc., announced today its purchase of A-Mark Precious Metals for $20 million in cash. A-Mark, the largest precious metals company in the US, had projected 2005 sales of some $2.5 billion. $20 million may seem like a bargain, but it's about 10 times A-Mark’s annual earnings.

(July 5, 2005) What exactly was there to report in June: Inflation? The real estate "bubble" was on every magazine cover on the planet. The dollar? China would like to recycle some by buying Unocal, but Uncle Sam says that won’t fly. Gold? For the first time ever, it takes over 350 euro notes to buy an ounce of gold. Now that's news!

(May 8, 2005) Do you like big numbers with lots of zeroes? Do you know how much gold there is in the world? Do you know what the current and, worse still, projected US federal deficit is? Which do you think is bigger, the Microsoft Corporation, or all the gold in Fort Knox?

(May 28, 2005) Last month the US Mint announced that in 2006 it will launch a new gold bullion coin of .9999 purity. This has made some holders of the current US gold Eagle nervous. Although the success of the new program is far from certain, the question is: What should gold Eagle owners do now?

(Friday the 13th, May 2005) Most of us practice "business as usual" - accepting our financial fate in our home country’s currency. Our failure to protect ourselves against a shrinking dollar is simple human (or amphibian) nature. Call it inertia as US citizens take a bath, tepid at first…

(April 19, 2005) The US Mint this morning announced the coming of a new gold sales program featuring 99.99% pure gold bullion coins. The Mint's current gold Eagle bullion coin, which in its 20-year history has come to dominate the domestic bullion market, is struck in 22-karat (91.67% pure) gold.

(April 7, 2005) The value relationships amongst the dollar, euro, yen, and, most importantly these days, the Chinese renminbi effect the direction, size and trends of our global economy. Trading the sinking dollar for another currency merely shifts your risk across the ocean – and what would your possible winnings look like?

(March 23, 2005) On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve Bank, as expected, raised the federal funds rate by a quarter-point, its seventh such move since mid-2004. But a subtle change in verbiage threw the stock, bond, foreign exchange and precious metals markets into a tizzy.

(February 24, 2005) Gold is now in the 3rd week of the current rally, having come off a low of $411 last seen on Feb 9th. The surge in oil prices to back over $50 a barrel yesterday, coupled with the prospects for continuing deficits, have helped to propel gold prices versus the dollar.

(January 20, 2005) Franklin D. Roosevelt, through various 'banking acts' in early 1933, instantly devalued the dollar some 69%, while at the same time denying American citizens the right to own gold. FDR was called by some "a traitor to his class." President Bush's first term only saw the dollar lose some 60.7% against gold.

(November 17, 2004) Today’s gold close of $445 is the highest since 1988. Yet despite gold's fairly steady climb for nearly four years, the bull market excitement just isn't there. This is not a classic bull market in gold, but quite decidedly a stampeding bear market in the US dollar.

(January 15, 2005) Gold's performance against the dollar recently must have occurred in vain, or so we read last week: “Gold is not money. It is a metal. Today’s monetary world is one of paper currency and its electronic blip equivalent. The world does not have a metal standard. It is not about to get one.”

(January 3, 2005) In the thin gold markets that transpired between the holidays, gold prices fell back into the 430's range for the first time since early November. Those looking to "Be Prepared" now find a chance to buy into a gold market which is 5% more affordable than on December 6th.

(December 18, 2004) As gold settles in for a short Winter’s nap, so will we - shutting down our database on Christmas Eve. This year we are taking a week off to rest up, re-acquaint ourselves with our families, take a few deep breaths, and maybe head north and go play in the snow...

(December 3, 2004) Gold has finally and decisively broken out of a 12-month trading range of $388 to $428, today closing at another (ho-hum) new 16-year high of $456. Coincidentally, November saw the introduction of a point-and-click gold product, an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) known as GLD.

(November 17, 2004) Today’s gold close of $445 is the highest since 1988. Yet despite gold's 4-year price climb, we're not yet seeing the raging excitement of a true bull market in gold. In fact, we're seeing the more sobering reality of a stampeding bear market in the US dollar.

(November 5, 2004) On Thursday, November 4th, both the 2nd London fix and the New York Comex settlement came in at over $430 for the first time since 1989, while the dollar closed at new lows against the Euro. That’s not good news for our faith-based dollar…

(November 5, 2004) On Thursday, November 4th, both the 2nd London fix and the New York Comex settlement came in at over $430 for the first time since 1989, while the dollar closed at new lows against the Euro. That’s not good news for our faith-based dollar…

(October 15, 2004) When I buy gold do I get reported to the IRS? Is my gold purchase registered with the government? Isn’t every transaction over $10,000 reported? What does my gold dealer or broker report? Which gold is ‘reportable’ and which is ‘non-reportable?’

(October 15, 2004) When I buy gold do I get reported to the IRS? Is my gold purchase registered with the government? Isn’t every transaction over $10,000 reported? What does my gold dealer or broker report? Which gold is ‘reportable’ and which is ‘non-reportable?’

(August 23, 2004) There's always a new angle in the art of separating numismatic investors from their money. The latest scam - "certified bullion coins" - seems to have started with the coin hucksters seen on TV shopping channels, but has spread to numismatic telemarketers that tout this stuff as an investment.

(August 23, 2004) There's always a new angle in the art of separating numismatic investors from their money. The latest scam - "certified bullion coins" - seems to have started with the coin hucksters seen on TV shopping channels, but has spread to numismatic telemarketers that tout this stuff as an investment.

(July 26, 2004) We have returned from our yearly hiatus, tanned, rested, and ready to go. Gold seems to have slipped $18 or so in our absence, so Alan Greenspan must have said something significant while we were away. We'll try not to let it happen again.

(June 3, 2004) Much as we’d like to market the cheery yellow metal just by repeating over and over that it’s fun and satisfying to have your own shiny stacks of gold, we feel that some gravitas is lacking in the Scrooge McDuck approach to hawking gold portfolios. So let’s talk insurance…

(June 3, 2004) Much as we’d like to market the cheery yellow metal just by repeating over and over that it’s fun and satisfying to have your own shiny stacks of gold, we feel that some gravitas is lacking in the Scrooge McDuck approach to hawking gold portfolios. So let’s talk insurance…

(May 21, 2004) Now that the gold price is meandering around at the sub-$400 level, it’s becoming even more attractive to take a position in the world’s favorite precious metal. The question often is, what form of gold should I buy? We have one good answer for you, but time is running out….

(May 21, 2004) Now that the gold price is meandering around at the sub-$400 level, it’s becoming even more attractive to take a position in the world’s favorite precious metal. The question often is, what form of gold should I buy? We have one good answer for you, but time is running out….

(April 30, 2004) Looking back to April Fool’s day 2004, we see gold at near the top of its 15-year price range at $427.80, silver at the lofty heights of $8.14, platinum hanging at $919, and palladium over the $330 mark. But what a difference a month makes.

(April 30, 2004) Looking back to April Fool’s day 2004, we see gold at near the top of its 15-year price range at $427.80, silver at the lofty heights of $8.14, platinum hanging at $919, and palladium over the $330 mark. But what a difference a month makes.

(April 20, 2004) The gold markets last week showed us some excitement – a drop of about $20 in 48 hours’ time. The sudden move was invigorating, and brought out lots of bargain hunters - once they got over the shock. With inflation picking up, gold-buyers are looking for some protection.

(April 20, 2004) The gold markets last week showed us some excitement – a drop of about $20 in 48 hours’ time. The sudden move was invigorating, and brought out lots of bargain hunters - once they got over the shock. With inflation picking up, gold-buyers are looking for some protection.

(March 27, 2004) Gold, silver, and palladium have been on a tear this month. After gold hit a 15-year high in January of $430, it sank to a low of $390 on March 3rd, and climbed to close at $422.10 on Friday the 26th. Our busiest shipping month ever reflects the fact that this rally is attracting a new wave of US bullion demand.

(March 27, 2004) Gold, silver, and palladium have been on a tear this month. After gold hit a 15-year high in January of $430, it sank to a low of $390 on March 3rd, and climbed to close at $422.10 on Friday the 26th. Our busiest shipping month ever reflects the fact that this rally is attracting a new wave of US bullion demand.

(March 1, 2004) Precious metals roared March in like a lion, with platinum soaring over $900 for the first time in decades, silver trading above a 21st century-high $7, gold back over the $400 mark, and I paid $2.07 for unleaded this morning. A year-long commodities run continues, and we hear from an old voice in the gold market..

(January 21, 2004) While the bull market in gold pauses to take a breather, let’s take a moment to consider whether gold is a commodity, a currency, or a canary caged in a mineshaft, ready to let us know ahead of time when inflation is on its way.

(January 5, 2004) Gold prices surged dramatically on the first full trading day of the new year, breaking through the $420 level for the first time since February 1990. Gold was the best performing asset class of 2003, and early indications point to another year in which it takes increasing numbers of dollars to buy the same amount of gold….

(December 21, 2003) May you and yours have a merry and satisfying seasonal break, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Of course, frankincense and myrrh are not our specialties, but we hope you've enjoyed gold's stellar performance over the past 12 months. Our year-end hours follow…

(December 7, 2003) On Monday, December 1st, gold in New York closed at $402.70 - the first close over $400 in seven years, and just 3% away from a 12-year high. The dollar made new lows against the euro, and recent lows against the yen, the pound, and pretty much anything else of value you can think of.

(November 27, 2003) We give thanks today for John Hathaway’s always enlightening thoughts on gold and money. “There was a time when the prevailing opinion of policy makers and individuals alike was that gold and money were synonymous,” he writes, and today “Gold stands alone in the bargain dustbin of luxury goods.”

(November 7th, 2003) In a November 5th article entitled “Putting Pork Bellies in Your Portfolio,” WSJ staffer Peter A. McKay repeats a few misconceptions about gold investing. No deliberate conspiracy here, just a lazy writer doing his job of filling up the space between the ads.

(October 25, 2003) Gold, that irascible and enduring monetary metal, continues to defy both its doubters and gravity. This past Friday’s $388.90 closing price was an $18 gain over the previous Friday’s fix of $370.50, bringing gold prices to within a whisker of a seven-year high.

(October 13, 2003) Today’s Barron’s features an interview with James Turk of the Freemarket Gold and Money Report in which he makes the case for $8,000 gold during the current cycle. Meanwhile, the financial press wakes up to commodities’ potential in the face of a dollar widely anticipated to grow weaker. A brief weekend survey…

(October 3, 2003) The day started on an even keel, with Friday’s 2nd London fix of $384.25 being the 9th consecutive day of prices over $380.00. Trading in New York was steady until about noon, when the bottom seemed to fall out of gold, pushing it down to close at the $369.40 mark. What could this mean for the gold market?

(September 28, 2003) Another strong week in gold prices reinforces a trend that has been gathering steam over the past couple of years: the return of commodities as a respectable investment. After two decades of a booming US market in equities, bonds, and a host of other financial abstractions, there’s a growing worldwide interest in buying something real with our fading dollar.

(September 9, 2003) Gold continues its winning streak, rocketing up about 10% in the last three weeks to close at $381.70 today in New York, which is up 50% over the past 30 months. We believe that macro-trends are in place to carry this metal much higher, but what does the short-term look like? Let’s get one trader’s opinion…

(August 22, 2003) The gold market has come a long way, in both stature and price, from its darkest days during the 1990s when equities and financial instruments roamed the earth like Goliaths and gold stayed buried underground, sinking in price, ignored, and forgotten by all except the faithful goldbugs. A look at what has changed…

(August 4, 2003) Tanned, rested, and ready! And while we were gone, gold corrected in price while silver started to break out. Our prediction: the next fifty-one weeks until our next vacation should be interesting! But on to other subjects…

(July 4, 2003) The words “inflation” and “paper bubble” were first used to describe rising consumer prices and a shaky dollar back in the '60s. The US was fighting a war that was widely protested, seemingly unwinnable, and escalating in cost. Inflation was rampant, and before the decade was over, US paper money, with no gold backing it, was starting to wobble...

(June 10, 2003) Just to keep everyone on their toes, gold trading in New York today saw its biggest decline in nearly three months. After rallying from early April lows in the $320-325 area, gold last week started to look ‘toppy’ and overbought in the $360-370 area. When the upward push leaves any market, especially during the summer doldrums, then Mean Mr. Gravity will do his stuff…

(May 23, 2003) Gold closes the week at $368.80, jumping nearly $10 on Monday as the dollar plummeted following assertions by the Secretary of the Treasury Paul Snow that, yes, in fact the dollar IS worth the paper it’s printed on. He also mentioned that the new $20 bill with multicolor ink will be more difficult to counterfeit – but if trends continue, who would bother?

(May 6, 2003) On the fringes of Arizona cities such as Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson, a growing number of people live in close contact with the Sonoran Desert wilderness. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the desert and encounter the many wonders of nature, including a poisonous reptile known as the diamondback rattlesnake.

(4/8/3) Gold’s universal appeal goes back thousands of years, and people have enjoyed gold jewelry since the time of the Pharoahs. And those who actually owned more gold than they wore were called wealthy. Today, the popular perception of gold is more ambivalent, and the stereotype of a gold owner is not always favorable. So here's our of list the types of people who own gold today...

(March 22, 2003) Gold prices for this year so far peaked a month ago, about the same time that US chances to build any sort of coalition for our adventure in Iraq also peaked. In retrospect, it’s easy to say that the run-up in gold ahead of Gulf War II was a natural reaction, but gold slipping $50 as war became more and more certain is bound to frustrate those who bought gold expecting otherwise.

(March 1, 2003) Today, in the third year of a bull market in gold, the commonly accepted wisdom is that this is just one of those unstable times in which that old barbarous relic, gold, pops up, this time aided by rumors of war in Iraq. It is expected that gold will eventually slink back into the swamp where it belongs, a boring, growth-less commodity that brings no benefits whatsoever. We disagree:

(February 7, 2003) Gold finally takes a break in its most recent two-month rally, having run up some $73 since the first week in December, to a peak of $390 a few minutes before Colin Powell spoke to the UN on Wednesday, February 5th. Some call it an Iraq War rally, others a short squeeze, or just a flash in the gold pan, but more likely gold’s rally signal a long-term flight from the US dollar.

(January 25, 2003) “You have to choose (as a voter) between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.” – Bernard Shaw, 1928

January, 17, 2003) Gold closed today at $356.60, within a dollar of its highest price since early 1997. After a 20-year period of dormancy in which gold was ignored by all but its most diehard fans, gold is now almost exactly $100 higher than its April 2001 low of $258.00. This rally started before Saddam Hussein became the focus of US attention, and will continue long after he has passed from the scene.

(January 10, 2003) Gold finished this week at its highest close since April of 1997, as spot prices fluctuated in the $347-356 area. Although gold's most recent rally from $317 (a price last seen on December 2, 2002) continues, the momentum has slowed somewhat and a correction is starting to seem overdue. But in a market this strong, who has the patience to wait?

(January 2, 2003) Gold prices finished year 2002 at $342.75 in shortened trading on Tuesday, up from prices of $276.50 that prevailed at the end of 2001. Gold has come a long way since then, both in price and in its increasing visibility to investors. Now we’re taking orders for the new 2003 gold Eagles, Maples, Pandas, and we expect to be busier than ever this year.

(December 21, 2001) The winter solstice finds gold making a 5-year high this week, punching through $330, $340, even $350, in a panic buying surge that peaked at $355 in the early morning hours on Thursday, finally settling at $340.50 on Friday’s New York close. War prospects are a factor, but this gold rally has much deeper roots…

(December 13, 2002) Gold closed Friday at $333.20, up another 2% in a week's time. Bush names a new Treasury Secretary, Scuds are intercepted, the dollar swan-dives, stocks are lower, stores are empty, North Korea steps up its nuclear program, Kissinger steps down, Cardinal Law steps down, and Trent Lott steps into it big-time. We explore gold's ‘tipping point' with some large numbers.

(November 18, 2002) Exactly how deep is the gold market? Should anyone be concerned with the disparity between the huge volume of gold traded in the “paper” market versus the short supply of actual gold available? Are shrewd buyers absorbing all the gold bullion available, knowing how hard it is to obtain physical gold in any significant quantity? Goldcorp tries to buy some gold…

(October 26, 2002) We are often asked to share the ‘inside scoop’ about the future price directions for gold. We’ve even caught flak for publishing a newsletter that doesn’t predict future gold prices. In fact, we think gold is woefully undervalued today, but the gold market is a lot smarter than we are. Here are a few (unedited) ramblings about the nature of markets, and our obvious advice to…just do it.

(October 1, 2002) A whole new generation of gold buyers is attracted to the fresh, bright promise of gold, despite gold’s 20th Century association with the gloomy and pessimistic crowd known as gold-bugs. Today, the world's most beautiful and brilliant metal is rapidly overcoming a negative public image in the U.S. that had been 70 years in the making.

(September 14, 2002) Reading the popular business press this month, we witness an attack on the idea of the U.S. cash dollar. Forbes and Business Week both ran articles that demonize the simple idea of cash currency in your wallet. They describe a brave new world wherein VISA handles all of our transactions through their computers, takes their cut, and cash is further marginalized in our society. Can we ask why?

(August 24, 2002) Conspiracy buffs, paranoics, nervous nellies, political fringe-dwellers, and commission salesmen hawking numismatic coins tell us that some day Federal agents, probably armed, jackbooted, and flying black helicopters, are going to come to your house and confiscate all your gold bullion and coins, unless, of course, those coins were made before FDR was President. Can they be right?

(August 6, 2002) In March of this year, Royal Bank of Canada Investment Management Ltd. issued a bullish report on gold. Or perhaps it didn't. Or maybe it did, but only for the firm's biggest and best clients. Or possibly it was an internal report for top managers. Or a document dashed off by a rogue analyst. At any rate, they disavow it entirely. We bring it to you here:

(July 8, 2002) Our staff is now back in the saddle and ready for a busy second half of 2002. The general investing populace is slowly coming to realize that the 18-year bull run in stocks (the Reagan-Clinton Bull Years, 1982-2000, R.I.P) is over, done, finished, and buried. Gold draws a larger crowd each day - it offers safety, solace, security, and, yes, a bull market still in its infancy...

(June 22, 2002) Gold now seems solidly locked in bull market territory, and doesn’t show much sign of tiring. After gold prices were held virtually comatose for nearly five years, prices are now up by 25% in a little over a year’s time. With equities and the dollar under pressure, gold’s “safe haven” appeal seems stronger than it has since the 1970s. How safe is gold, and where is it going?

(June 6, 2002) This morning’s Wall Street Journal trumpeted “Was That the End of the Gold-Price Rally?” after yesterday’s 2% correction in gold’s price. “Gold Investors Start to Worry” was the sub-headline. The opening sentence reads: “Gold bars don’t tarnish, but some investors worry that the recent gold rally might soon.” One question for the WSJ: Where did they find all these supposedly worried gold investors?

(May 23, 2002) Gold in New York today gained almost $5, closing at a 2-year high of $322.50. Gold prices have enjoyed a nearly uninterrupted upward run of eight weeks since the $300 level was first breeched. In the U.S., demand for physical bullion is increasing as gold's "perfect storm" continues to gather momentum, attention, and respect.

(May 10, 2002) Gold prices continue to hold higher ground, closing today at $311, capping gold’s sixth week of trading above the $300 level. New price levels and the fact that gold stocks having out-performed all other equities sectors since the start of the year has made the financial press take notice. Gold hasn’t made the cover of Time magazine yet, but the attitude towards it is definitely improving.

(April 24, 2002) Microchip technology is advancing so quickly that it may soon be practicable to actually insert a tiny identifying chip with an antenna into the paper on which currency is printed. This would make “cash” totally scannable, trackable, and identifiable, rather than the anonymous medium of exchange that it is now. Is 'smart' money a stupid idea whose time has come?

(April 2, 2002) Gold’s “perfect storm” continues, newly fueled by Japanese buying and the elevated state of war in the Middle East. Gold stocks roared as gold overcame a mini-correction and broke through the $300 barrier to the upside for the second time this year. Meanwhile last week, GATA’s lawsuit was dismissed in court, but what an interesting tale it’s uncovered…

(March 15, 2002) A lot of people are drawn to the idea of converting some of their representational wealth into physical, tangible money - that is, gold. Gold is compact, portable, and pretty, and having gold in your hand is a powerful thing. Most people store gold in a bank safe deposit box, but what are the other choices?

(February 26, 2002) Since WWII, it has been illegal to own a 1933 double eagle. But on July 30th, 2002 an example once owned by the King of Egypt will be sold to the highest bidder in a single-item public auction widely expected to fetch $3 million to $8 million. The Treasury Dept. struck 445,500 double eagles in 1933, and has been busy confiscating them since 1944. But this one, they promise, comes with a clear title.

(February 9, 2002) Gold prices blew through $300 on February 8th, capping a two-week, 10% upmove. Gold's gains in price this time stem from a wide variety of different factors which, taken together, seem to signal a long-term secular change in the gold market, unlike the spike-and-pullback we saw September 11th. Are we looking at the beginning of gold’s “Perfect Storm?”

(January 26, 2002) This morning’s headlines of the suicide of an ex-Enron vice chairman add to the unceasing twists and turns of Enron’s unraveling. Meanwhile, ten Congressional committees hold hearings on the Enron situation, the Fifth Amendment is being invoked, and some people smell a political scandal. In fact, it's potentially much worse than that.

(January 16, 2002) This morning’s next-to-last auction of 20 tons of gold by the Bank of England yielded a meager $283.50 per troy ounce. After gold traded overnight in Asia near $290, and fixed in the morning at $287.95, the Brits took home $4.45 below the current spot price. A clinic on how not to flog your redundant material….

(January 5, 2002) This week we unwrapped the first shipment of 2002-dated gold Pandas, and saw the familiar design of 2001 staring back up at us. So the ugly rumor is true, the annual Panda design change is no more, and an era that began in 1982 comes to an end. Of course, we’ll never hear from the secretive People’s Bank of China bureaucracy why they decided to halt the yearly fun that made the Panda so popular in the first place.

(January 2, 2002) Gold finishes the year 2001 at $279 spot price, and begins its fifth year as the most user-friendly gold distribution channel in the United States. We appreciate and thank all of you that have bought and sold gold with us – we're looking forward to big things in 2002.

(December 15, 2001) The precious metals were once money itself, yet today many think of gold and silver as mere commodities. In their place, the unbacked “dollar” is considered a foundation sufficiently stable to support the world's economy, never mind that it is created out of thin air by the Fed, as free-floating and ephemeral as a ghost. A former twelve-year-old non-believer, now pushing 50, still doesn’t buy it.

Dec 1, 2001) President Bush on Wednesday signed into law a 2-year moratorium blocking any new taxes on e-commerce, but revenue-hungry states are working hard to come up with a scheme to impose a simplified national sales tax on interstate commerce. For the immediate future, we’re off the hook, but Internet taxation is a bad idea on principle, and would cost you dearly if ever passed.

(November 20, 2001) Knee-jerk analysis of gold declares the metal dead to the world. Tim Wood of The begs to differ, and we present his graphic evidence. Here is all the proof you need that gold's safe-haven status is not only intact, but firmly entrenched.

(November 10, 2001) This week we celebrate the first full year of’s presence on the Internet’s search engines. Here we explain how we first came to believe that people would send substantial sums of real money to some address on an Internet site. It didn't hurt that our debut coincided with a shaky stock market, sinking interest rates, and some of the cheapest inflation-adjusted gold prices that have been seen in decades.

(October 27, 2001) The Denver Mining Investment Forum, a high-level annual confab of gold mining companies, analysts, investors, and camp followers, was held with the usual fanfare within the rather insular gold community. The forum convened in early October, when gold prices spiked after the terror attacks, but the big news was an industry initiative to sell jewelry. What is gold for, anyway? Accountants and poets disagree.

(October 13, 2001) Gold provides stability and cuts risk in an investment portfolio. Gold is useful as an inflation hedge and store of value. Gold insures against various disasters. Gold is the world's simplest estate-planning tool. Yet gold’s role over the past two decades has faded during an unprecedented economic boom. How much gold should you own in today's world?

(September 29, 2001) Gold, the ultimate hedge against uncertainty, is gaining new respect today as a natural asset choice for the times we live in. For thousands of years, the commodity gold was money itself. Yet late in the 20th century, it was decided that "this time it's different," and gold was no longer needed. Today, with the world turned upside down, stocks swooning, and interest rates tumbling to 30-year lows, gold very much looks like a prudent bet.

(September 22, 2001) As bombers and warships head to the Middle East, President Bush talked war before Congress, America, and the world. This week, U. S. stocks lost 13% of their value as markets suffered through five of the heaviest trading days in history. And the question is no longer ‘are we in a recession?’ but rather ‘how long will this recession last?’ A sigh of relief as this week finally ends…

(September 18, 2001) Some semblance of normality returned to the U.S. commodities markets as trading resumed in shortened sessions this week on the Comex exchange. Gold prices remain firm, and demand for physical gold strong, at slightly higher prices than before the mass murder in New York. Many things we can now assume have changed forever, the gold market included.

(September 1, 2001) The U.S. gold manipulation issue now has the look of a full-blown scandal. When the debate was simply how much did the Fed and Treasury influence gold prices over the past few years, the answer was always: "plenty – and so what?" Today, the real question is: Who owns the U.S. gold reserves? John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management brings us his essay, "Gold As Theatre."

(August 25, 2001) More evidence emerges about federal manipulation in the gold markets over the past few years. The Treasury publishes a denial on their website that the ESF deals in gold, but fails to mention their dwindling stock of SDRs, each representing 1/35th of an ounce of Treasury gold. Although for 30 years it’s been the avowed policy goal of the U.S. to render gold obsolete, the durable yellow stuff refuses to go away…

(August 8, 2001) U.S. citizens have always enjoyed the security of knowing that thousands of tons of gold, stored in Fort Knox and elsewhere, are ready and available to defend the dollar or our nation. Gold reserves have for centuries provided the internationally accepted currency when all else fails. But what if we found reason to doubt that U.S. gold reserves are safe and sound? We start a long story here…

Strictly for the entertainment value, we wanted to share with you some of the more imaginative proposals that we have received in the course of publishing a gold bullion site on the World Wide Web. Once you read them, you'll understand why we never got around to answering these particular e-mails.

(July 11, 2001) Today’s bi-monthly gold auction found bids for 4.1 times the 20 tonnes being offered, and at a price higher than the London AM gold fix. These controversial sales soon will have cut British gold reserves in half, and have done much to keep gold prices low. As this 2-year fire sale winds down, we wonder: Does a gold bear eat in the woods?

(June 29, 2001) The big news in gold this week was Barrick Gold Corp’s (NYSE symbol ABX) bid to acquire via stock swap the assets of Homestake (HM), the 125 year old U.S. gold mining firm. If the deal goes through, the Canadian firm Barrick will be second in size only to South African producer AngloGold. The reactions to this merger show us that gold is a funny business…

(June 21, 2001) The latest incarnations of the world's oldest money are virtual payment systems denominated, not in dollars, yen, euros, etc., but in gold by weight. Quite a few websites now compete, allowing you to buy (and sell) stuff over the Internet, with payment in the form of electronic dollops of gold. Chewing through Bananas, Coconuts, and Estonian Popsicles, we find the germ of a real idea here.

Holly Skinner, survival instructor, wrangler, forest fire fighter, rough rider, and gold prospector, writes about gold and the lives of the prospectors whose lust for gold opened Anglo settlement of California and the Rockies. Skinner combines history, geology, biography, and personal experience to come up with a unique book - a poem to gold and those who seek it.

(May 25, 2001) Spot prices ran as high as $294 Monday May 21st, after Friday’s $14 rally. The rest of this week was spent in retrenchment, but overall the price action is convincingly positive. With demand for gold up again in first quarter 2001, and rising energy prices pushing up mining costs, how much longer can gold prices remain immune to inflation?

(May 15, 2001) Today’s Bank of England gold auction was 3.7 times oversubscribed, and priced within a few cents of the active trading markets. Gold has now closed at higher prices for six weeks running, as increasing numbers of investors are starting to see the wisdom of owning this traditional value holding. Our noted friend Leonard Kaplan checks in with his (mildly) bullish gold outlook.

(April 24, 2001) Remember coin collecting? We look at the 20-year and 10-year track records for U.S. rare coins, remind ourselves of the miracle of compound interest, and learn how your $410,000 investment in rare coins could prevent you from becoming a millionaire twenty years later.

(April 13, 2001) Only recently have scientists gotten a handle on the actual cosmological origin of gold. And since its formation billions of years ago, gold has been gathered and extracted by humans for thousands of years. Gold is the original recyclable, and your jewelry may have quite a history...

(April 5, 2001) People seeking the safety of gold are often waylaid by promoters who tout investing in rare coins as a 'prudent' alternative to gold bullion. This week we explore why numismatic coins are a favorite of commissioned salespeople, and some of the awful truths that they won’t tell you about the rare coin market. - Promoting a $20,000 coin as 'disaster insurance.'

(April 1, 2001) The element gold, once-revered for its beauty and monetary function, has lately lost its lustre, its value, and its self-respect. If the current trend of falling prices continues, gold should trade for $0.00 by October, 2002. Gold is, after all, only gold. We sadly report its demise.

(March 15, 2001) The Supreme Court threw 300 year old maritime law to the wind when it upheld a lower court ruling that essentially scuttles the concept of "Finders Keepers" in the recovery of abandoned sunken ships. This and an upcoming UNESCO treaty threaten to end treasure hunting as we know it. Will Cuba become the last stronghold of free-market salvage?

(March 10, 2001) Things were hopping in gold this week as gold lease rates went from 1% to over 6%, and gold spot prices turned up sharply. Backwardation came to the gold market, short-traders began to feel a squeeze, and all the gloom of last month blew away like a morning fog.

(February 28, 2001) Gold has bounced back sharply in price since February 14th, when gold prices went below the $260 level for the first time in 16 months. Gold found out that "nobody loves you when you're down and out," as the old song goes - the financial press had a field day kicking gold when it was down. The question is: Is this latest move the long-awaited 'double bottom' on the gold price charts that finally signals that the worst is over?

(Feb 6, 2001) While gold markets flounder, fidget, and fizzle, we find: Keynes' true definition of a 'barbarous relic;' a document from the upcoming war of gold miners vs.environmentalists; and a reason to sell London and buy New York.

(Jan. 23, 2001) The year 2000 saw trillions of dollars of market value disappear in stocks such as Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Amazon, Dell, Home Depot, Qualcomm, IBM, AT&T, etc., and in most tech and growth mutual funds. Not to mention the dot-com stocks that simply fell off the edge of the earth. It seems that everyone's favorite 'great story' stocks have been cut to ribbons. Now what?

(Jan 11, 2001) Gold began this Millennium at $271.10, the lowest opening price seen since 1979, a year in which it went from $226.80 January 2nd to $512 by December’s end. With equities markets uncertain, and the “R” word in the air, what’s the lowdown on gold?

(12/29/00) Our stock was up this year - our stock of friends, readers, e-mailers, and customers, that is. Year 2000 was a wonder in many ways: the stock market, the election, and the economy itself - this year was truly "the curse of interesting times."

(12/21/00) Last week we reported the GATA/Reg Howe lawsuit aimed at a host of economic players of the Western World. Mr. Howe is suing because the price of gold is too low, and has named conspirators. Although this lawsuit has been the talk of the gold-bug chat-rooms, that's probably the last we’ll ever hear of it.

(12/11/00) GATA's Reg Howe, resident of Belmont, Massachusetts, and author of the Golden Sextant website, is the complainant in a lawsuit December 7, 2000, naming Alan Greenspan, Chase Manhattan, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, and a host of others alleged to be in conspiracy to keep gold prices down. There's no arguing that gold prices are suspiciously low, and whatever the complaint's legal merits may be, it certainly names some big names and tells quite a story....

(12/1/00) Despite all that's going on in the world, gold prices stayed in a trading range of complete boredom. November’s daily prices show a high of $269.95 and a low of $264.10. But U.S. gold Eagles are flying off the shelf. If gold is becoming obsolete, why are so many buying it?

November 7, 2000 – The Bank of England holds its 9th gold auction since July 1999, and 806,300 ounces are sold at $264.30. The first of these sales in 1999 shocked the gold market, but now they’re taken in stride. This sale saw a lot of poor trampled euros converted into gold.

(11/3/00) Gold markets are snoozing through a tight presidential race between front-runners Bush and Gore – gold traders just don’t seem to care. The race will hinge on this: are more voters disgusted, or complacent? No wonder our elections are the first Tuesday after Halloween.

(10/17/00) Subtitled The History of an Obsession, this book covers our species' fascination with gold, from Biblical times right up to the present. Greed, warfare, domination, cruelty, and national pride are the major themes. It's a horror story all right, well told, and you'll never think about gold in the same way again.

(October 2, 2000) John Hathaway of Tocqueville Asset Management manages institutional client portfolios, and in July of 1998, John was named portfolio manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund, the first new gold fund startup in the last four years. John feels that gold, like Rodney Dangerfield, "gets no respect." With his kind permission we bring you his gold vs. the dollar 'brainstorm.'

(September 19, 2000) Beginning in the Summer of 1999, Britain has every two months auctioned off 25 tonnes (804,400 troy ounces) of its long-held gold reserve to the highest bidders. Its stated goal is to gradually replace 415 tonnes of gold with more fashionable monetary reserves, such as euros, yen, and dollars. Call it the Estate Sale of the British Empire.

(September 11, 2000) In a complicated universe of financial choices, simplicity stands out. Surprisingly, gold has lately become as simple and predictable as bonds were during the Eisenhower administration. Once thought of as volatility incarnate, gold prices have virtually flat-lined over the past few years. Does that make the most coveted element in the world a failed investment, or something else entirely?

(August 30,2000) Last year, U.S. gold demand soared, spurred by a 20-year low price and Y2K fears. The world did not end January 1st, but gold sales did. Now, spot prices are sinking again, and gold bullion Eagles dated 2000 are going begging. An opportunity here?

(September 27,1999) 15 European central banks issue a joint statement limiting their gold sales and leasing over the next 5 years. Gold prices leap by 21.5% in five trading days, and hit $328 during the day Tuesday. Waving goodbye to a 20-year bear market

(December 9,1999) Potential bidders in New York were shocked on the afternoon of December 7th when the injunction against the auction was announced. Gold treasures in the sale had toured the country, catalogs had been distributed, bidders were gathered

(March 24,1999) The upcoming event of January 1, 2000 reminds us of the Superbowl: the hype constantly tells us it's coming up, but once you get past all the commercials, are we really sure the Millennium will be all that exciting?

(April 2,1999) Low gold prices, financial asset inflation, Y2K fears, spark demand for physical gold holdings in U.S. The Mint announces record sales for the 1st quarter, number of coins sold each month in 1999 exceeds 1994 totals for the whole year.

(September 8,1857) The amazing tale of the S. S. Central America, laden with California gold, Sunk in a hurricane, found and successfully salvaged, while today investors and numismatic scholars have only a coffee-table book to show for it.

(April 20,1999) Long-awaited vote may lead to gold sales in 2000. IMF may sell 1.2 million ounces to shore up debtor nations. Gold prices remain firm as 'value' demand rises in U.S. stock markets.

(May 1,1999) This week's best performing mutual fund was, of all things, a gold fund, Rydex: Precious Metals, up 8.2% for the week. Gold has been neglected by the public since the Disco era, but can it become the next value sector in 1999?

(May 7,1999) Britain announces plans to sell 125 tonnes of gold in the next year, sending gold down over $7 just as the shorts were starting to weaken and new buyers were entering the market. Goldbugs see forces conspiring against them -- and they're right!

(May 19,1999) Gold prices fall to a 20-year low, so let's sue somebody! GATA spots a conspiracy, raises war-chest, and hires lawyers. Could a jury side with gold-holders who feel victimized by today's low gold prices, or is GATA tilting at windmills?

(May 28,1999) Gold touches $267.80 during the day on Wednesday, closes at $269.50 for the day. A twenty-year low price for gold raises the question: What else can you buy today for 1979 prices? Checking the Volkswagen Price Index.

(November 4,1996)Two men are grading a driveway for "Rolling Stone" publisher Jann Wenner in Sun Valley, Idaho, and find a long-buried Mason jar full of old U.S. gold coins. It's their little secret and finders keepers, right? Wrong. Buried treasure is never that simple.

(June 15,1999) The NY Times this morning headlines "An Icon's Faded Glory; Now the Gold Rush is to the Exits" Reading the popular news sources today, you may wonder why this bright shiny metal is now considered financial toxic waste.

(June 29,1999) Who's trying to sell gold now? The IMF wants to sell 300 tonnes of gold to bail out banks that lent money to the Third World. That's good for the banks, but it would only mean more poverty for these poorest countries.

(July 6,1999) The long-awaited auction has finally come and gone, and not a moment too soon. No other event in the gold market in the last 25 years has been as anticipated as this gold sale. This series of announced British gold auctions will transform the once-mighty reserve of gold which was the Treasury of the British Empire, into the more modern concept of wealth, i.e., a balanced mixture of the world's fiat currencies.

(August 10,1999) Gold coins, bars, and nuggets from the S S Central America make their first public appearance this week, and will be auctioned Dec. 8-9th. Could this be the end of the most controversial treasure story ever? No, and not by a long shot.

(August 19,1999) For thousands of years, money has been gold. Yet today, vast sums of money are credited electronically to large numbers of people whose only gold is a few grams of decorative jewelry. So what is money, anyway?


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