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Metal Market Report December 2019 - Week 2 Edition

December 2019 - Week 2 Edition

World Gold Council Survey Is Revealing

The World Gold Council recently surveyed 18,000 market participants from around the world on their beliefs about gold. They found that more than half of those surveyed in the U.S., India, Germany, and China trust gold more than currencies, and 67% of participants agreed that “gold is a good safeguard against inflation and currency fluctuations.” Researchers also asked what motivated an investor’s decision to buy gold. The leading motivation (44%) was to manage risk via diversification by shifting money away from more volatile investments to gold, which they believed to be more stable. The second most-cited reason (31%) was due to “the recommendation of a financial advisor or a friend,” while the third largest reason was that people bought gold because they believe the price was low or beginning an upward trend.  Also, 64% of those who have previously invested in gold would purchase it again in the future.

Gold is struggling to break out of its narrow trading range, but it is still on track for its best year since 2010 at +14% in U.S. dollars and far more in other currencies, after setting an all-time high in many currencies in August. This is also gold’s best year for central bank buying in 50 years, as Bloomberg Intelligence reports that central banks have absorbed about 20% of new global gold mine supply this year.

A recent survey of 3,400 investors with at least $1 million in investable assets by UBS, a Swiss investment bank, found that more than half of them think that there will be a “significant market sell-off” by the end of 2020.  They have already acted on that belief by moving an average 25% of their portfolio to cash, even though cash accounts pay very little in the U.S. and virtually nothing in Europe.  Two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed believe the market will be driven by the negative headlines of world hot spots.  Uncertainty typically drives some new investors into the precious metals and rare coin markets.

Goldman Sachs says gold could jump to $1,600 by the end of March 2020 and the Dutch bank ABN Amro is also predicting gold will reach $1,600 an ounce next year.  I implore you to add to your gold coin portfolio before prices rise higher!

New American Eagle Coin Design in 2021 Marks An “End of Series”

The United States Mint has announced that new reverse designs will be coming to the popular American Silver Eagle (ASE) and American Gold Eagle (AGE) coins in 2021, marking the end of the popular “family of eagles” reverse design by renowned sculptor Miley Tucker-Frost from the original 1986 gold coin series. This impending change should spur future interest in these coins.

The new reverse designs will also incorporate state-of-the-art security and anti-counterfeiting technology maybe like those already in use in other countries.  I interviewed Miley about her historical design, and here is a partial transcript:

“Having my design on the nation’s gold coinage has been a tremendous honor,” says the artist, whose name was Miley Busiek at the time the American Eagle bullion coins first appeared in late 1986.

The Gold Eagles pair her design with Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ magnificent portrait of Liberty from the obverse of the stunning Saint-Gaudens double eagle (or $20 gold piece) of 1907-1933. Tucker-Frost takes special pride in this serendipitous pairing.

“I am thrilled that they did that,” she exclaims. “I just consider it an incredible honor to be on the other side of a coin that carries such a beautiful design.”

The artist came up with the concept after watching Ronald Reagan’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 1980.

“The theme of his speech that night was ‘Together, a new beginning,’” she remembers. “He was encouraging Americans to be thankful for what we have in this country and to act upon that feeling. He was encouraging private-sector initiatives – a willingness to reach out and care about each other and pull together.

“Our national symbol, the American bald eagle, had only been depicted as a single eagle, and I liked the idea of thinking of America as a caring family. Therefore, I put together a sketch showing not just one eagle, but a whole family.”

She got in touch with Treasury officials and offered her design for use on any such coin.

The big breakthrough came in 1985, when simmering opposition to South Africa’s racial policies reached the boiling point and President Reagan – pressed by Congress – imposed a series of sanctions. One was a ban on further importation of the Krugerrand, South Africa’s popular one-ounce bullion gold coin. The Krugerrand’s fall from favor sparked legislation giving U.S. citizens a bullion coin of their own as a replacement.

The Senate passed the coinage legislation unanimously on Nov. 14, 1985 – just one day after South Africa had suspended production of Krugerrands. The House followed suit, also unanimously, on Dec. 2, and Reagan signed the bill on Dec. 17.

Her dream was fulfilled on Sept. 8, 1986, when the very first one-ounce Gold Eagles were struck in special ceremonies at the U.S. Bullion Depository at West Point, New York.

The future coin designer got her start in art – and enjoyed her first success – while attending Beaumont High School in Beaumont, Texas, which is also my hometown.  I have found her to be as special as a person as she is as an artist.


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