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Thursday, May 4, 2006 - 8:15amSanction this postReply
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Throughout history, theorists who almost understood money posited some mystical ratio in the value of silver to gold.  When the United States of America was created, that ratio was about 16-to-1.  The US dollar was defined as silver, but also issued in gold.  Naturally, this situation became untenable.  Eventually, gold became the sole international standard for money. 

Today, numismatists, financial antiquarians and others still maintain market support for silver as money -- and not without reason.

Although there proved to be more silver in the world than anyone had guessed, the supply has stabilized in the last 100 years.  With silver no longer being used for fractional currency (coins or "small change"), the markets are driven entirely by industrial demands.  Jewelry is another kind of industry. The striking of commemorative coins by national mints in the US, Canada, Mexico and many other nations is likewise an "industrial" -- not a monetary -- use. 

Very little silver is mined these days.  Most silver is a by-product of copper production. 

This impacts the markets for silver. Some users perceive and react to elasticity, but many others ar in inelastic markets: they will buy regardless of the price. A good example of this is the 2% silver solder that holds our electronic world together.  The price of silver is now about $16 per ounce.  If it went to $160, the markets for electronic devices would not be affected.  Silver is used in medicine as an anticeptic and in dentisty as a filling.  These uses are likewise insensitive to the price. 

Silver speculation drives much of the market, with Americans -- and to a lesser extent Indians and Chinese -- buying silver as a hedge against inflation.  People in India and Asia generally have looked to silver as "the poor man's gold."  In modern times, gold ownership was limited legally in India, though, like China, that situation relaxed a few years ago, with a concomitant move to gold by those who could afford it.

That has been the modern historical situation in Mexico.  The Casa de Moneda is the oldest mint in the New World.  The government of Mexico has enjoyed the opportunity to sell silver (and gold) coins to its own people, as well as for export, while inflating the living daylights out of a series of paper pesos, repeatedly devalued and re-established for lack of governmental solvency.

 Americans who buy silver coins for investment are driven by a rightwing romance for frontier history and are rewarded by the realities of the marketplace.  Morgan (and Peace) Dollars are a perfect example.  Greatly overvalued and in no sense rare, they command a 60% margin over their bullion value; they always have; they likely always will; Americans love their 19th century "cartwheels."  You can buy $1000 face bags of common U.S. silver coin for a few points over "spot."  This common commodity is listed on the financial pages of your local big city newspaper, as well as the WSJ and IBD, of course.  The best place to buy is at a local coin store whose owner is a member of the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org -- find dealers under the dropdown for Membership on the left of the homepage.)  You can buy as much or as little as you want, a $1000 bag of 1964 Kennedy Half Dollars or a single Mercury dime.

These and other factors make silver a commodity for short-term speculation as well as a longterm hedge against inflation.

For more information, start here www.silverinstitute.org and follow the links.  As with gold, one of the most popular websites for immediate prices and other links is Kitco www.kitco.com




Post 1

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 - 7:49pmSanction this postReply
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Silver generally trends with gold and today is at $15.14.  Over the years, I have had a preference for silver over gold because the sticker price is lower.  Silver has been called "the poor man's gold."  The preferred form of silver for the average person in the USA is 90% pre-1964 US Coin, dimes, quarters and halves.  Personally, I have tended to the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar because it has the most silver, being generally uncirculated.  By comparison, if you stack up 20 Barber or Standing Liberty Quarters against 20 Washingtons, you will see that the older coins are measurably thinner.  Franklin Halves tend to be on par with the Kennedys, but Walkers can be more worn, especially as higher grades are preferred for their numismatic value, leaving the thinner ones in bags of circulated Walkers

The truth is that the market does not care.  You bring in your coins, the dealer runs them through a counter and you are paid "by tale" not by weight.  At least that has been the case these past 35 or so years.   So, if you can find Washington Quarters or Roosevelt Dimes, then objectively, this is fine.

Another interesting way to buy silver close to bullion or spot is in the form of Silver Art Bars.  I prefer the well-known mints, of which, perhaps the leader remains Silvertowne of Winchester, Indiana.  Their long run of specialty bars celebrate all the pioneer virtues of America that warm an Objectivist's heart.  When you are at that ANA Member Coin Dealer buying 90% US pre-1964 silver, ask about the Art Bars. 

Remember that there is relatively little primary mining for silver.  Most new silver comes as a by-product of copper refining.  However, there is still so much 90% US out there that it is listed on the Chicago exchanges by the $1000 face bag.  There are 715 troy ounces in a $1000 bag.  Because this is only 90% pure, they often sell at a discount below spot.  Of course, they are always worth their face value.  To figure out the approximate price, mulitiply the spot price by 0.715 which today is 15.14 * 0.715 = 10.8 or so times the face value.  So, 40 silver quarters ($10) would cost nominally $108 or so. 

At today's gold prices, for $100 you would get a singe 1/10 ounce US Eagle.  (Mark-up over spot on the smaller coin is measurable.)  It is nice little gem, but there isn't much you can do with it.  On the hand, you can play all night with 40 quarters, sort them by date and mint, grade them, build little houses...




Post 2

Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 8:35amSanction this postReply
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Silver prices are available at Kitco (www.kitco.com).  Scroll down about halfway and find it on the left.  If you click the hyperlink, you go to the Silver News Page.

Monex (www.monex.com) runs a ticker along the top of the homepage.  The live bullion prices are on the left, down a bit.  Click on the link for Silver and you will be taken to charts for 90-days, etc., to 10-year closes.

 At the 2009 Spring convention of the Michigan State Numismatic Society, (April 23-25), with Silver at $12.89, better ounces (US Eagles, etc.) were at $15. I went for World Crowns at $10 each or 10 for $90 and picked up a nice array: Egypt, Yemen, Liberia and a couple of 19th century -- Hungary and France -- with original surfaces in VG/Fine.  You pay more for the numismatic stuff, of course, but the margins were small and the coins were nice.  I got two from Egypt celebrating the Aswan Dam and the Diversion of the Nile, admirable engineering projects that covered over ancient monuments, much to the chagrin of antiquarians and to the relief of people who live here and now.

Silver is element 47; atomic weight 107.8682. (That's a tag so that I can find this thread again.)




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Post 3

Friday, June 11, 2010 - 4:38pmSanction this postReply
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Bearish on silver?

Silver opened lower at 18.00/18.03 as investors moved into riskier asset
classes. Silver continued to trade lower on the strength in equities and
reached a low of 17.96/17.99 in early trading. Despite following Gold’s
lead in early morning trading, Silver was able to move higher on
renewed strength in commodities to trade at a high of 18.42/18.45.
Silver prices held for most of the day, but faded towards the close to
end the day at 18.34/18.37.
Silver is marginally higher at 18.34 compared to yesterday's close of
18.15. This metal is forming a 'hold' pattern by moving sideways. We
are bearish Silver looking for another drop to 17.25.
http://www.kitco.com/reports/sm_jun102010.pdf





Post 4

Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 4:13pmSanction this postReply
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Silver mine production rose by 2.5 percent to 735.9 Moz in 2010 aided by new projects in Mexico and Argentina. Gains came from primary silver mines and as a by-product of lead/zinc mining activity, whereas silver volumes produced as a by-product of gold fell 4 percent last year. Mexico eclipsed Peru as the world’s largest silver producing country in 2010, and Peru is followed by China, Australia and Chile. Global primary silver supply recorded a 5 percent increase to account for 30 percent of total mine production in 2010.
Emphasis added
http://www.silverinstitute.org/supply_demand.php




Post 5

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 8:54amSanction this postReply
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It is funny but now I am here hoping silver holds at $33 - but man I look at your last few posts where silver was in the teens - just a short while ago - and what a BUY that was.

I do have physical silver in that area, in fact bought most of mine at the lower prices, but trying to leverage some futures profit now. Not as easy as it seemed at first :)



Post 6

Sunday, April 28 - 9:08amSanction this postReply
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Checking around the internet for reputable sellers, the Northwest Territorial Mint is a name I know.  They sell 1/10 bags ($100 face) of US silver coins.  Right now for $1707.84 as quarters or dimes, and $1729.44 as half dollars.  Oh... wait... "Delivery: Please allow 8 to 10 weeks for delivery."

Tulving another name I know claims to have $1000 face bags available. They ship in $500 lots because of the weight.  And they claim immediate delivery. The only way to know is to actually place an order, of course, which I cannot.

In their April 10, 2013 newsletter, Liberty Coin reported:

The premium on 90% Coin is now the highest it has been since late 2008 and early 2009. I anticipate that it will still go higher, as several vendors are forced to either turn away potential customers or can only offer very long delivery times (note: LCS has 90% Coin for immediate delivery).

 

However, their Daily Quote for April 25, said:

U.S. 90% Silver Coin Not available
U.S. 40% Silver Coin Not available

 




Post 7

Wednesday, June 26 - 8:29amSanction this postReply
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Extracting just the news about silver from today's Kitco report.
[personally, I am not much for technical trading, looking at the fundamentals, but that other people pay attention then defines some market activities which must be accepted as real]

http://www.kitco.com/news/2013-06-26/KitcoNews20130626JW_am.html
A.M. Kitco Metals Roundup: Gold, Silver Pounded to Near 3-Year Lows on Weak Long Liquidation, Technical Selling
Wednesday June 26, 2013 8:15 AM
(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices sank to nearly three-year lows in overnight trading. ... July Comex silver last traded down $0.866 at $18.66 an ounce.
There’s an old trading adage that says a market is the most bearish at the very bottom in price--just before the market starts to turn up. ... There’s also an old trading adage that rings very true: The majority of traders are wrong most of the time. ...
Silver bears have the strong overall near-term technical advantage. Major chart damage has been inflicted, including more Wednesdsay. Prices are in an overall eight-month-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above major psychological resistance at $20.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $17.50. First resistance is seen at $19.00 and then at Wednesday’s high of $19.58. Next support is seen at the overnight low of $18.36 and then at $18.00.




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