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Coin Symbology: What Do Coin Designs Mean?BBB, ICTA, NGC
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Metals Market Report Weekly Archive
 

The Mike Fuljenz Metals Market Report

October 2018 - Week 2 Edition

It’s Time to Start Planning Some Special Gifts for the Holiday Season!

Last year, my wife Karen and I went to hear Wynonna Judd and the Big Noise in her excellent Christmas show. It got me to thinking about a new way of giving gifts as the holidays approach.  One of her songs was “Grandpa, Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days.” That got me thinking about my first interest in rare coins, which was sparked by my grandfather, “Red” Lievens, nicknamed Red for the color of his hair.  When I was growing up in Louisiana, beginning about the time I was 7, “Red” began giving me an uncirculated silver dollar for every “A” on my report card and for birthdays and holidays. In the early 1960s, he got silver dollars at face value from the bank.  I was intrigued by the design on those old “Morgan Silver Dollar” coins and set out to learn more about them.  This started me on the path to a lifetime of pleasure in a hobby and then a career which has been a source of endless satisfaction. As time goes by, I’m more and more impressed by my grandfather’s intuitive understanding that coins made of precious metals carried a certain “heft” that said they could always trump paper money of equal face value.  Dollar bills from the 1960s are still worth $1, but uncirculated Morgan silver dollars are worth a whole lot more.  The Judds’ song, “Grandpa, Tell Me ’Bout the Good Old Days” won a Grammy in 1987 for Best Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.  It was a No. 1 Country and Western hit and gave voice to America’s longing for the kinder, gentler way of life they’d known in days gone by.

Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Grandpa, everything is changing fast

We call it progress, but I just don't know

And grandpa, let's wander back into the past

And paint me the picture of long ago

(On YouTube, see: https://youtu.be/iCxBswokjMo)

The song simply – and fondly – recalled a time of traditional American values – marriages that usually lasted a lifetime, fathers who were steadfast in supporting their children, and families that bonded by bowing their heads in prayer.  The silver dollars I got from my Grandpa were part of that value system – old-fashioned coins whose worth was completely real, not just symbolic.  The same sentiment was also part of a Merle Haggard song, “Are the Good Times Really Over?”

I wish a buck was still silver.

It was back when the country was strong.

...Is the best of the free life behind us now,

And are the good times really over for good?

The dollars Grandpa gave me had the desired effect:  I studied diligently in order to earn more A’s – and more silver dollars.  As a bonus, I discovered a tremendously fulfilling avocation and vocation that has brightened my life ever since. If you have children, grandchildren or other youngsters who are special to you, I urge you to follow my Grandfather’s example by giving them something with intrinsic value next time there’s a reason to celebrate.  You can’t get silver dollars for $1 apiece any more, but they still make great incentives for rewarding “A” grades, and they’ll likely go up in value a lot faster than today’s dollar bills.  Come to think of it, Grandpa Red also deserves a great big “A” on the report card of his life!

Other Options for Holiday Gift Giving

Thinking back to the 1960s and 1970s, the Franklin Mint sold many kinds of holiday-themed silver bars and greeting cards that were very popular.  One example was a Christmas card that encapsulated a themed copper or silver round.  Since that time, many popular copper and silver rounds have been minted by private mints with holiday themes for gift giving.  The U. S. Mint has also created proof sets and mint which sets are very popular for gift giving or for celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.  My grandmother especially liked to order them for this purpose.  Many of my friends like to give silver American Eagles for birthday or Christmas presents, or even to tip waiters by way of explaining what “real money” is, vs. paper money.  One bizarre but effective way to wrap a gift is to buy uncut $1 or $2 bills (in sheets of 32 or 64 bills) from the U.S. Mint and wrap your most precious small gift (like jewelry or a coin set) in uncut paper money.  Nothing says “open me first” better than a gift wrapped in real greenbacks.  Another gift-giving idea is coin supplies we stock, like quality Bausch and Lomb magnifying loupes, and coin books, like my award-winning books on $20 Liberty coins and Indian Gold coins. Call our representatives any time through October 31 to request a free copy of one of these books. Also check out our on-line store for holiday gifts for as little as $10. Happy Holidays!

Is Silver Set for Another Surge Over $50?

The last century has seen three dramatic surges and retreats in the price of silver:

(1) First came a rise from $0.50 to $1.336 during and just after World War I, followed by a collapse to $0.25 in 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression.

(2) Then came a long 200-fold price increase from $0.25 to $50 in the next 48 years, from 1932 to 1980, followed by a 21-year 92% price decrease.

(3) Finally, we saw a 12-fold increase from $4.06 to $48.70 in the 10 years from 2001 to 2011, followed by a 72% price drop from 2011 to 2015.

Now that silver’s low price is set in place under $14, is it possible we will see another assault on $50 or higher?  For that to happen, the low of $13.82 must hold. Provided that holds, and I believe it will, we could see dramatic new highs in silver in the next few years, making now a great buying opportunity.  Call us today for great pricing on silver bullion products!

Heroic Tales in the Wake of Hurricane Florence

I have written recently about heroic relief efforts here in Beaumont in the wake of last year’s devastating Hurricane Harvey and the heroic first responders after 9/11, but we have seen similar examples recently. Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas hard. Steve Hartman of CBS News reported last Friday that many people flooded out of their homes in and around Myrtle Beach (SC) have been “welcomed home” by a stranger who said “Come stay at my house until you can go back to yours.” His “home” was Midtown Inn and Cottages, and his name is Jaret Hucks.

Jaret has taken in every member of extended families, including pets – despite a “no pet” policy. Midtown now welcomes dogs, a tortoise and even a rescued baby squirrel named Mr. Squeakers. “Love thy neighbor, right? That’s what you’re supposed to do,” Jaret said. “My mama taught me that a long time ago. To date, Jaret has given away 1,000 free nights to the area’s poorest and most vulnerable evacuees, plus meals. That’s about $50,000 worth of services.

In return, some of the new tenants have been pitching in with housekeeping and other chores. Jaret says the best repayments have been the crayon drawings on paper thank you notes – as well as knowing with absolute certainty that he has made his mama proud.  This is the kind of story we need to hear – but we don’t hear often enough. That’s why I’d like to bring more of these uplifting stories to you here periodically.  To view this story, just click this link or use this url: https://www.cbsnews.com/video/myrtle-beach-innkeeper-opens-his-doors-to-families-hit-by-flooding/.

 

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