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The Reason Silver Has Been Rising Faster Than Gold
April30 , 2011
Issue 92
Today's Gold/Silver Ratio: 32/1 (same)

Issue 106

Gold: $1513.50/ Silver: $46.86

SGS Notes: The crazy ride continued this week…the week began Monay with a sharp rise from $46.86 to$47.88, then Tuesday spike up into the high $49s… closely pressing the $50 threshhold…then back down by end of day to just over $45. By Wednesday night, the price was back to the mid $48 level, continuing strongly in that range until close of week Friday night. The ratio has remained constant at 32/1… but we've also seen Gold do a huge $58 spike this week. The dollar went to 73.2 in the wake of the S&P downgrading the US credit rating down to C - lower than Mexico… We've had several inquiries this week about whether silver is still a good buy at $50+… This week's newsletter will be addressing that…

Psst! Letting you in on a little 'secret'… if you watch our Facebook page for SGS, (see link at right) you will see a flurry of activity of postings on Fri/Sat … this is because we post a lot of articles and links that we come across while preparing for the Newsletter, but 'reject' for newsletter publication… lots more extra stuff there, folks!

The Reason Silver Has Been Rising Faster Than Gold
Analysis of the different advance which has occurred in the silver price vis-à-vis gold in the past few months where the former has substantially outperformed the latter.
Author: Julian Phillips, MineWeb

Silver is breaking new records at around $40 and gold is touching new highs of close to $1,460. Looking back, over the past few years we have seen gold rise from around $312 to $1,460 a rise of 4.68 times and silver from around $6 to $40 a rise of 6.67 times.

But this does not give a clear picture, so we went back over the last year and what did we see? Since early 2009, gold has moved from $900 to $1,460, a respectable 62%. Over the same period silver has moved from $10 to nearly $40 a remarkable 400%. Why the difference in relative performance?

Both metals have moved as money. Gold and silver Exchange Traded Funds have attracted massive investments in the developed world where trust in the monetary system is far higher than it is in the emerging world. But it was the underlying gold and silver that attracted investors. Waning confidence in the value of paper currencies gave way to demand for precious metals as a store of value retainers for investors.

Gold and silver have substantial differences as value retainers which help us to identify why the two metals have differed so much in performance.

Gold is and has always been the 'senior' monetary metal held by Central Banks as money until 1971 and after that as a valuable reserve asset in the vaults of central banks.
Silver was rejected as money and as a reserve asset by the mid-fifties, despite it being treated as money throughout the ages before that.

Both gold and silver have been attacked as money through 'official' sales from the seventies until last year. But gold was sold to undermine the reality that it is money. Silver was sold out from reserves almost completely by central banks discarding it as money, completely.

Apart from a brief period when Egypt was at its height and supplies of silver less than those of gold, gold has always been in far shorter supply than silver and considered far more valuable than silver.

Silver in the past few decades has been seen as a commodity, mined mainly as a by-product of base metal mining, with only 30% mined in a pure silver mine.

Most silver is consumed whereas gold is not, which will continue to be the case until less expensive substitutes are found. This will only happen at far higher prices still.

GOLD AS AN INVESTMENT

Gold has always been the precious metal of choice for wealthy individuals, institutions and central banks. It has never been abandoned as such. Even when "Official" selling was at its peak, central banks sold only what they thought was sufficient to add credibility to the paper currency they were pushing to the centre of the system, first to add credibility to the dollar then after 1999 to the euro. With those tasks completed, Central Banks are now either holders or buyers of gold.

The amount sold in most cases was around 20%, but in the case of the uninspired then-Chancellor Brown of the U.K.'s case, half of Britain's reserves were sold. The largest holders of gold sold none or only small amounts. So while it was underpriced and we believe still is, did not see its price 'crushed' completely.

The path back to investment acceptance is a slow one and a long one with most of the journey still to come. We believe that we are on the brink of major changes in price levels in 2011 and beyond.

SILVER AS AN INVESTMENT

Silver had not really been an investment metal until 2004 and not a significant one until 2009.

It was a commodity metal in so short a supply that the Hunt brothers of Texas felt they could corner the market. In 1979, they took the silver price from its high of $8 an ounce [it had doubled since it stood at $4 an ounce in the mid- 1970s' already] to $50 an ounce by the early 1980's. It then fell all the way back to $5 an ounce thereafter as the Hunt Brothers found they were unable to sell the silver until prices had fallen back to those levels where they stayed until October 2003. Until 2009, it was relegated to the sidelines as an investment metal.

It started to regain popularity as an investment metal because it began to be considered as "poor man's gold" as the gold price rose out of reach of the poorer investment classes.

For instance, in India until its middle classes began to grow substantially, 70% of all gold bought was bought by the agricultural sector, whose income was directly related to the quality of the monsoon rains. When profits were good, they found their way into property and into gold, As the price rose, the quantity of gold available to such people fell. Then $1,500 bought five ounces of gold, but with gold at $1,460, it only buys just over 1 ounce of gold.

In India, precious metals are used in commercial transactions so the divisibility of silver relative to gold was far greater and more flexible. It also remained affordable in larger quantities. After all, now one ounce of gold buys 36.5 ounces of silver. So, silver remains affordable far lower down the economic ladder than gold does. It therefore can attract a far wider market than gold does currently at retail levels. Bearing in mind that precious metals are attracting a huge and growing market in the emerging parts of the world, the demand, as a wealth protector, at the retail end of the market is expanding rapidly.

CATCH-UP

It would therefore be wrong to still categorize silver as a monetary metal. Its day will come, but not until its price is much higher and not until paper currencies have lost considerably more credibility than at present.

The most difficult part of silver's rise as a wealth protector has been from October 2004 to October 2008, from when its price moved from $5 an ounce to a peak of over $20 an ounce then to fall back to than less $10 an ounce before taking off on its current path. The fall coincided with the onset of the 'credit-crunch.

All the while, demand from the photographic sector has waned. More importantly, the uses of silver have morphed from discretionary demand to a need. Even in a downturn, the demand for silver will remain strong as its uses are considered vital now.

So as a non-monetary, more volatile precious metal, its future then was far cloudier than now. The transition from those days to 'poor man's gold was its re-birth as an investment metal. While we believe it has now returned as such to stay, it still has a lot of catching up to do. By catching up we mean that it still has to return to the concept fully, that it is a lower category investment metal respected from institutions [eventually by central banks] as well as the retail end of the market.

Gold is already at that point. This does not mean that the gold price has reached a ceiling of any kind. It does mean that the gold price will rise relative to the value of currencies from now on with its metallic qualities being far in the background. Silver is still a long way off from that point.

Julian Phillips is a long time specialist analyst for gold and silver and is the principal contributor to the Gold Forecaster - www.goldforecaster.com - and Silver Forecaster- www.silverforecaster.com - websites and newsletters

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The Coming Retirement Trap ~ Ron Holland
April 1 , 2011
Issue 92
Today's Gold/Silver Ratio: 37/1

Issue 102

Gold: $1429.20/ Silver: $37.91

The Coming Retirement Trap...Has Started
Ron Holland

Mandatory IRAs just proposed by Obama Administration on 1/25/10 is the 1st step in stealth nationalization & forced investment of our retirement benefits to support the treasury debt market! Read the veiled report in Business Week.

A Personal Note from the Author

Dear Concerned American:
I begin with a quote from a politician who believed in an all-powerful central government and in using that power to achieve his vision for a nation. "He who has his thumb on the purse has the power." Otto von Bismarck, a statesman who created the modern Germany and known as the iron chancellor.

But however well-intentioned he might have been, he built the regulatory groundwork and government institutions for a centralized federal state that was later taken over by an evil political leader who created a tyranny seldom seen in the world before, or after. The tyranny started in 1933, 35 years after Bismarck's death, was National Socialism and the leader was Adolf Hitler. All of this came after Germany's military defeat in World War One and a national debt crisis, followed by hyperinflation and currency collapse.

I fear that today the control, nationalization and ultimate confiscation of trillions in private US retirement plan assets is on the horizon. Rick Santelli alluded to the possible nationalization and forced investment into treasuries on CNBC as recently as January 8, 2010. There was also similar coverage on Bloomberg and Business Week.

Reports out of Washington indicate that new retirement annuities may be promoted by Obama aides. This is just the beginning! The question every successful American with substantial retirement assets must ask is "what will you do if our retirement funds are forced to become the buyer of last resort for US treasury obligations?" Unless you believe Congress and Washington bureaucrats will do a fair job of allocating and distributing your personal retirement assets between yourself and others, you must begin now to protect your assets.

As the United States moves into a new decade of military overreach abroad and national bankruptcy at home, Washington is on a desperate search for more revenue and a solution to the future financing of the trillions in national debt obligations currently held by foreign central banks and investors. Economists, politicians and smart investors know the dollar's days as the world reserve currency are numbered, as is our ability to finance the national debt.

Although the historical government solution to unsustainable government debt loads has always been the destruction of the debts by currency depreciation and eventual hyperinflation, there is always an intermediate step used to buy more time for the politicians in power. This action, usually side-stepped and downplayed by the establishment historians paid to hide the real facts of history, is wealth confiscation. Napoleon had it right when he stated, "History is a state of lies agreed upon."

The largest source of liquid private wealth remaining in the United States is the $15 trillion in private retirement funds. The ultimate ownership, control and future of these funds has already been compromised and exchanged for the favorable tax treatment of private retirement plans. Congress writes the laws, so they can tax, penalize, hold your funds hostage and, although they'd never use the word "confiscate," use your assets at their discretion.

The retirement trap I'm writing about is only a proposal at the present time and since it may well begin in the latter years of the Obama Administration, assuming the Democrats can somehow maintain their majorities in Congress, I'm calling it the "Obama Retirement Trap." But make no mistake, the government need for current revenue and their frenzied search for liquidity to monetize their debt obligations is an unspoken quest of both political parties. The establishments of both political parties will do whatever it takes to stay in power, including the raiding and pillaging of your retirement funds.

Read rest of article here:

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Watch the Gold/Silver Ratio ~ James Turk
March 25 , 2011
Issue 92
Today's Gold/Silver Ratio: 38/1

Issue 101

Gold: $1430.90/ Silver: $37.42

SGS Notes: There's a lot that's happening this week in the silver market and in the coming 2 weeks for SGS… once again, it's been a difficult task to select only a few articles to share from the many excellent ones published this week. Those we can't fit in the newsletter are posted to our Facebook page… another good reason to 'Like' the SGS Facebook page!

We've recently re-designed the format of the SGS Newsletter and are now posting the gold/silver ration and closing spot prices. This is because as a silver or gold investor it is important to watch these two numbers. When we began SGS in 2008, the gold/silver ratio was 65:1. As of today, it has narrowed to 38:1. This week's article explains why this ratio is important.

Watch The Gold/Silver Ratio
James Turk (February 12, 2011)

In precious metal bull markets, silver outperforms. Its price climbs at a faster rate than gold's price. The reverse happens in bear markets. Silver's price drops at a faster rate than gold's price. The following chart of the gold/silver ratio illustrates this phenomenon.

At the peak of the last precious metal bull market in January 1980, it took 17.4 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold. Thereafter, the ratio turned and started climbing higher. By February 1991, 101.8 ounces of silver were needed to exchange for one ounce of gold. Silver was trading at only $3.50 per ounce, down 93% from its previous bull market peak.

Silver back then was "dirt cheap", but it would not get any cheaper. Silver turned the corner as value oriented buyers recognized a bargain. Since then the price of silver has been generally rising, and has been doing so faster than the spectacular rise in the price of gold. The result is a long-term downtrend in gold/silver ratio. In other words, since 1991, silver has outperformed gold.

Last week, the ratio touched 45.0 and ended Friday at 45.3. It was the lowest weekly close for the ratio since February 1998, which is a significant date. That is the month Warren Buffett announced that he had acquired 130 million ounces of silver. His footprint is visible on the above chart.

We know from his disclosures that he began buying silver around $4 in July 1997. The ratio then was in the mid-70s. But note what happened to the ratio as Buffett accumulated his hoard over the next several months, culminating with the announcement of his purchase. The gold/silver ratio fell by nearly 50%, so that only 41.3 ounces of silver were needed to buy one ounce of gold. Silver was clearly outperforming gold, just like it has been doing over the last several months - as shown in the above chart by the remarkable drop in the ratio.

The ratio has now reached an important point. It is breaking through support, which is illustrated by the lower red line on the above chart.

Several previous attempts to break through support have failed, with the result that for many years the ratio has continued marking time within a trading range bounded by the parallel red lines. That trading range now looks mature and 'ripe for picking'.

One never knows of course how the markets will unfold in the future. But I expect that the ratio will finally break through support, which is an event that I have been looking and waiting for patiently over many years.

If I am right and the ratio knifes through the low 40s and below the Buffett point, there is no clear short-term target. Given the momentum evident in the above chart and the bullish fundamental factors impacting silver at present - like its unprecedented backwardation - a drop to at least the low 30s seems highly likely, but I don't rule out the possibility of the ratio falling even lower.

My long-term target for the ratio is 17. It is approximately the average level at which the two precious metals were exchanged for hundreds of years prior to the arrival of fiat currencies in 1971. It has been my view that a 17-to-1 ratio is attainable by 2013-2015, but given what seems to be shaping up, we probably won't need to wait that long.

The unprecedented backwardation in silver has one clear signal. The potential for a massive short squeeze is building. If one occurs - as I believe is becoming increasingly likely - there is no telling how quickly a 17-to-1 ratio could be achieved.

Transitions at Silver & Gold Shop                   

Beginning this week, please join me in welcoming David & Jodie Bowen to a new role with the SGS family. David and Jodie have been in a behind-the-scenes role with our order fulfillment department for the last year; but going forward, will be taking on a more active customer-facing role in sales, service, and handling special orders.

Mary Beth, who many of you are familiar with, will be changing her role to give attention to more of the behind-the-scenes administration and development of S&GS. Mary Beth, Jodie and David will be working together to provide a smooth transition in the coming weeks ahead. We believe these changes will only bring positive improvements to your ongoing experience at SGS.

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Disinformation and Silver Confiscation: Opinion ~ Jeff Nielson
March 18 , 2011
Issue 92
Today's Gold/Silver Ratio: 40/1

Issue 100

Gold: $1419.70/ Silver: $35.28

SGS Notes: Be sure to read the entire article in this week's main editorial…
The title is misleading and you may be surprised at what they author is actually saying… Nevertheless, we took the 'risk' of presenting it because we want you to be well informed.

Disinformation and Silver Confiscation: Opinion
Jeff Nielson, BullionBulls , Canada

VANCOUVER (Bullion Bulls Canada) -- There have been two trends in precious metals markets in recent weeks that I find very alarming. On the one hand, we see the large "shorts" (JPMorgan and HSBC) in the bullion market ratcheting up their short positions again.

Understand that these short positions are tremendously underwater, and once the 100:1 paper-leverage of these financial terrorists is factored in, their short positions already represent large enough losses to ensure the bankruptcy of both of these vampires. Thus the fact that these "life-threatening" short positions are increasing (and being allowed to increase) tells us two things.

First, it is confirmation that the hopelessly corrupt U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is simply going to defy the law, which requires these banker-slaves to institute "position limits" against the very Oligarchs they have dedicated their careers to serving. It is also apparent that JPMorgan and HSBC are now openly charging toward their own bullion-Armageddon: default events in the silver market (and possibly the gold market as well) which would lead to their financial annihilation -- in the absence of any government intervention.

Obviously the key phrase in that paragraph is "in the absence of government intervention." I will return to that point later.
The other recent trend which I find equally disturbing is the sudden explosion of rhetorical rants on the internet, which specifically revolve around the battle-cry of "taking down JPMorgan" or even the entire U.S. financial system. As a silver bull, there are many reasons for me to be dismayed by this rabid and incessant rhetoric.

For one thing, it adds nothing to the "debate" about silver manipulation, nor does it do anything to inform investors -- most especially the new investors streaming into this sector. Indeed, the emotional excesses of these writers are likely only to frighten new arrivals to this sector, who were looking for an "investment" not a "war."

In addition, this totally misrepresents how and why the original investors came to this sector: it was not to "attack" the rapacious U.S. Banker Oligarchs, it was to protect ourselves from them. Silver isn't (to use the term coined by Warren Buffett) a "financial weapon of mass destruction," like the $1.5 quadrillion paper time-bomb which these Oligarchs have created in their derivatives market. It is a "suit of armor" -- to make us invulnerable to banker blood-sucking.

Thus the rabid-ranters are in no way representative of the vast majority of silver investors. The bankers are doing a perfectly fine job of destroying themselves -- and they need no "assistance" from us to finish their greed-induced suicide. In fact, I am convinced that most of these "mouths that roar" are in fact paid tools of the bankers, performing an invaluable service for them: demonizing silver investors in the eyes of the (ignorant) general public.

Readers must realize that among any even semi-informed individuals, "precious metals manipulation" no longer represents a "question mark." It is an obvious reality, which has been documented by many (including myself). It includes not only obvious statistical evidence of manipulation, but a plethora of confessions from various "insiders" and (somewhat more recently) a bona fide "whistleblower" (Andrew Maguire ) with decades of experience in bullion-trading. However, with respect to the general public (i.e. the sheep) "manipulation" represents just another "conspiracy theory" -- which the sheep have been carefully programmed to automatically ignore.

Continue Reading...

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Why I'm Buying Silver at $30 ~ Jeff Clark
February 24, 2011
Issue 92
Today's Gold/Silver Ratio: 42/1

Issue 97

Gold: $1409.60 / Silver: $33.38

Why  I'm Buying Silver at $30
Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD

The silver price has bounced 27% since January 28, a huge advance for a measly 16 trading days. It's already soared past its 2010 high and was selling for less than $16 this time last year, a double in 12 months. So, is it pricy? Or should we ignore the run-up and keep buying?

I've read a few articles that say we should expect silver to drop to the $25 level, and one pinpointed $22. Others, of course, see bullish tea leaves for the near term and believe it's headed higher. Of those that assert silver will decline, most believe it will be temporary, though one writer claims the bull market in precious metals is over (I think he's a holdout from the gold-is-a-bubble camp).

These authors could be right about a near-term decline, but I'm less concerned with what the price does this month or even the next few months, and more focused on where it's likely headed over the next few years. Caution: the chart ahead may cause excitement.
While there are lots of reasons to be bullish on silver, what everyone really wants to know is how high the price can go. Here's one hint, based strictly on historical price performance.

Silver rose an incredible 3,646% from the November 1971 low of $1.32 to its January 21, 1980 high of $49.45 (London PM fix prices). Our current advance, through February 4, is 596%. At $30, silver would have to climb over five times to match the last great bull market. If it did, the price would hit $160.89 per ounce (from its bottom of $4.295 on March 30, 2001).

You'll also notice silver has a record of outperforming gold in these two bull markets. In spite of the price dropping 26.9% in 2008 (while gold gained 5%), the metal has outrun its yellow cousin by 38.6% since their respective lows in 2001.

Gold advanced 2,333% in the 1970s; it's currently up 430%. If it matched the last run, the price would hit $6,227.26 per ounce, a return of four-and-a-half times the gold you buy today.

From solely a historical price perspective, the chart certainly suggests we've got a long way to go with both metals. The question is if the fundamentals support such price advances (show me a healthy dollar and no threat of inflation, and we'll talk), but my point for the moment is that there is an established precedence for the price of these metals to climb much higher. And just as important, to keep one's eye on the big picture.

So, yes, I'm buying silver at $30, in part because I think the potential for enormous gains is high.

However, I'll add that I'm not draining my cash account to do so. I think it's important for the precious metals investor to always be in the game, but given silver's volatility and the precarious nature of most markets right now, prudence suggests we keep some powder dry as well.
Let's say one of the soothsayers noted above is correct and silver temporarily falls to $25. If you snag it at that level, your endgame return would be 543%, vs. the 436% gain from $30 (excluding premiums and storage costs). That's more than another 100% gain on your original investment.

But how does one buy silver not knowing if the price will plummet or soar? For example, silver could take off from these levels, never to see $30 again, leaving those of you waiting for a sell-off out of the market. Or it could sink to $25, making investors who went all in now regret they didn't wait for a better price. Or it could trade sideways until, say, next fall, leaving both parties uncertain and on the sidelines.

In my opinion, there's a one-word answer to the question. It solves all dilemmas - it keeps you in the market, while simultaneously letting you buy at lower prices if that occurs. It lets you build your position bigger and bigger without the worry of whether you're getting a good price.
That one-word verb is, accumulate. Or in the vernacular made popular in the '80s by the financial planning community, dollar cost average. In other words, buy a little now, buy a little next month, etc., until you have a position sufficient in size to fight off inflation and any other economic woe we're likely to encounter over the next few years.

So my advice is, buy, hold, repeat. Because if our silver market ends up looking anything like that left bar in the chart, you may regret not having bought at $30, too.

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"The expense of our civil government we have always borne, and can easily bear, because it is small. A virtuous and laborious people may be cheaply governed. Determining, as we do, to have no offices of profit, nor any sinecures or useless appointments, so common in ancient or corrupted states, we can govern ourselves a year for the sum you [Englishmen] pay in a single department, or for what one jobbing contractor, by the favor of a minister, can cheat you out of in a single article."

Benjamin Franklin, 1778 

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Why Increased Demand for Silver Will Have a Leveraged Effect on Its Price ~ Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD
February 18, 2011
Issue 92
Today's Gold/Silver Ratio: 42.5/1

Issue 96

Gold: 1389.10 / Silver: $32.66

Why Increased Demand for Silver Will Have a Leveraged Effect on Its Price
Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD

How Much More Demand Can Silver Handle?

The numbers for silver demand are starting to make some market-watchers nervous. The U.S. Mint sold over 6.4 million silver Eagles in January, more than any other month since the coin's introduction in 1986. China's net imports of silver quadrupled in 2010, to 122.6 million ounces, roughly 13.7% of global production. Meanwhile, mine production can't meet worldwide demand; the only way demand gets fulfilled is from scrap supply.

That is some very hungry demand. Which raises the question, how long can this pace continue?

This is important for various reasons, starting with how demand contributes to price. If demand falls off, our investments could, too.

While I've discussed the concern regarding the lack of supply before, which has its own implications for the silver market, let's focus on investment demand. Frankly, is there room for it to continue to grow? After all, how long can investors continue to set records?

There are a number of ways to measure this - the amount of money available to invest, its percent of total financial assets, its contrast to demand in the last bull market, etc. - but I think the bottom line to answering the question is to compare the biggest silver investments to some popular equities. If they rival that of the stocks we always see on the news and analysts constantly talk about and every fund manager wants to own, then it might be reasonable to assume demand could be nearing its pinnacle.

So how do the world's largest silver ETF and one of the biggest silver producers compare to the more fashionable equities?

The largest silver ETF, iShares Silver Trust, has net assets of $9.6 billion (as of February 4). This pales in comparison to the more popular stocks trading in the U.S. In fact, SLV has roughly 3% the market cap of Apple. It would have to grow over 43 times to match Exxon Mobil.

Pan American Silver, the largest pure silver producer trading on a major U.S. exchange, has a market cap of $3.72 billion. This is 4.7% the size of McDonald's. The market cap would have to increase more than 53 times to match Walmart. It is over 62 times smaller than Microsoft.

This isn't to suggest SLV and PAAS will match the market cap of these other companies, but clearly the masses are still demanding much more of them than the biggest of silver's investment vehicles.

So how much more demand can silver handle? As much as it takes to make it the household name I'm convinced it will be before this is all over. When SLV is a favorite of fund managers. When Silver Wheaton is a market darling of the masses. When Pan American is Wall Street's top pick for the year.

Imagine what those bars on the right will look like when most everyone you know is talking about poor man's gold. The rise could be breathtaking.

Remember that silver rose over 3,646% from trough to peak in the last precious metals bull market; it's up about 630% in our current run. A return matching the 1970s advance would push the price to $152. This price level is further supported by the fact that this is about where it would be when inflation-adjusted for its 1980 peak.

When you look at the potential growth in market cap of the world's biggest silver investments, it becomes easy to view any downdraft in price as nothing but a buying opportunity. I know I do.

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Quote of the Week                               

"If workers struggle for higher wages, this is hailed as 'social gains,' if businessmen struggle for higher profits, this is damned as 'selfish greed.'"

-Ayn Rand  

Other Articles      

Gold Climbs, Silver Touches 30-Year High Amid Inflation Concern
Bloomberg

Silver Prices Hit 31-year High As Coin Sales Rocket
Los Angeles Times

The Rally in Gold and Silver is Not Over Yet
SafeHaven

Egypt: Placebos, Protests and Precious Metal Breakouts
SafeHaven

Silver Still Looking Good!
MarketWatch

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Other Tests for Silver

1. Weight - 1 oz of pure .999 silver should weigh 31.1 grams

2. Sound - Pure silver has a 'ring' to it when you strike it with another metal object, or drop a handful of coins together

3. Dimensions: a Silver American Eagle should be 40.6 mm in diameter and be 2.9mm thick.

4. Magnet: If there's iron in the item, a magnet will be drawn to it. A magnet will not be drawn to silver.

5. Tarnish: Pure silver will tarnish over time, especially if you handle it. Sometimes it will get 'milky' spots on it.

6. Use an acid test kit - 'Google'
'precious metals test kit' to find a vendor.

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The Rarest Earth ~ Ted Butler
February 11, 2011
Issue 92
Today's Gold/Silver Ratio: 45/1
Issue 95

The Rarest Earth
Ted Butler

Those who keep up with business news will have no doubt read about the recent developments in the category of minerals known as rare earth elements (REE's). These are minerals that are vital to modern industrial applications, ranging from lasers, batteries, alternative energy, and superconductors to all sorts of important high-tech applications. There are 17 minerals classified as REE's with exotic names like scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, cerium, and praseodymium. Don't worry, this is not a technical discussion and this will probably be the only time I write about rare earth elements.

Actually, these minerals are not all that rare, in the strictest sense of the word. Many are quite abundant in the earth's crust. What makes them rare is that they are generally not concentrated in ore bodies offering economically feasible extraction. The first rare earth mineral was discovered around 1800, in a village in Sweden named Ytterby, and several REE's are named after that village. Up until about 1950, most rare earth production came from India and Brazil. In the 50's, South Africa was a big producer, then California took the lead from 1960 through the 1980's. Then, China came to be the dominant producer by far, and currently produces 97% of world production.

Due to booming world demand, production has strained to keep pace. This was recently exacerbated by China's new export restrictions, due to falling ore reserves and environmental concerns. This sent the price of rare earth elements soaring by hundreds of percent, prompting a world-wide effort to ramp up production. However, you just don't flip a light switch and begin new mine production. It can take years to develop a mine and begin production. In the meantime, industrial consumers must compete for available supplies by bidding up the price. This is the essence of the law of supply and demand.

Since I'm not a REE expert why am I writing about them? The answer has to do with silver. Silver shares many characteristics with the rare earth elements and there is a lot to learn from them in our analysis of silver. In fact, the purpose of this article is to make the case that silver is the rarest of all the rare earth elements.

One of the common characteristics between silver and the rare earth elements is that many REE's are mined in conjunction with other minerals, the same as silver with its by-product mining profile. Mining for both tends to concentrate on the easiest to exploit properties first. Consequently, the remaining properties tend to be lower-grade and more expensive and difficult to develop. Both silver and REE's have seen the emergence of China as the chief producer of each. (In the case of silver, the production reliance includes the processing of scrap material not mined in that country.) Silver production from China is nowhere near 97% of world production, as it is in the rare earth elements, but it still is significant. Environmental issues and restrictions inhibit the production of both silver and the REE's. And with both, higher prices don't automatically guarantee immediate new production. For instance, last year on an 80% increase in silver price, the mine production of Peru (the world's largest miner) declined 7% or 12 million ounces. That's a million silver ounces less per month than from a year earlier. Recently, the price of REE's skyrocketed, due to China's sharply curtailed exports. Should any major silver producing country sharply restrict the export of silver, the price would soar.

Read The Rest of the Article ...

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Quote of the Week                               

"The scarce and valuable commodities such as copper, lead, zinc, uranium, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium just to name a few are limited. These are the basic building blocks for all the goods and services we desire in modern society. You can't have a car, a house,
a cell phone, a refrigerator, a simple bar of soap, etc. etc., without them.
"

-Greg McCoach    

Other Articles      

Why Every Hard-Working
American Should Be Loading Up On Silver

Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD

7 Reasons Why Silver Will Make You Rich
J. Edwards

Are Precious Metals Still a Good Buy?
Lakshimi Capital

1-oz Silver Coin Sales Shatter U.S. Mint Records
Mineweb

Why Governments Will Buy Silver
SilverStrategies

About Coin Cleaning

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Silver Shortage This Decade, Silver Will Be Worth More Than Gold
Future Money Trends

 

 

 
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Sound Money ~ Pending Legislation - 6 States to date
February 4, 2011
Issue 92
 
Issue 94

SGS Notes: We've been seeing a lot more on this issue lately across the news articles…and we get asked about this a lot… so this week we're focusing in on the various pieces about Sound Money.

Sound Money Pending Legislation - 6 States to date

Here is a list of 6 states (4 in the last month) and (2 states today) that have pending legislation to authorize the use of gold and silver to settle debts with its citizens and to provide them the legal means to avoid the devaluing of the dollar by having a parallel currency in light of massive bailouts and to protect them in the event of the dollars failure.
New Hampshire (they started this in 2003)

Bill currently mired in their State Legislator's Commerce Committee:

http://www.goldmoneybill.org/goldbill.pdf

Indiana Senate Bill 0453 Authors: Walker, Kruse
Date Chamber Action
01/14/2009 S Authored by Senator Walker
01/14/2009 S First reading: referred to Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy
01/27/2009 S Senator Kruse added as coauthor

Current version: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2009/PDF/IN/IN0453.1.pdf

Read The Rest of the Article ...

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On checkout, simply 1) select the Offline Payment option, and 2) tell us your preference in the Comments box, 3)complete authorization form, and 4) fax to us at 480-275-3284 (or if you can scan it at email it that works too). If you have set up an automatic monthly order, please just call/email us to change your payment option to ACH.

Special Orders____                              

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Custom Special Orders require payment via wire or ACH transfer, and are priced at discount. We suggest that you collaborate with friends and relatives to do a group order so you can take advantage of the special pricing and custom minting. Please call or email us if you want to take advantage of this opportunity.

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Quote of the Week                               

"Gold was not selected arbitrarily by governments to be the monetary standard. Gold had developed for many centuries on the free market as the best money; as the commodity providing the most stable and desirable monetary medium."

-Murray N. Rothbard   

 

Other Articles      

Utah Could Use Gold Under Sound Money Act
By: Alex Newman

Virginia Eyes Switching Off Dollar
Kelly O'Meara

Money in North American History: From Wampum to Electronic Funds Transfer

Gold Money Bill Site
Many Links, Articles, Resources

Obama Needs Your 401K to Balance His Budget
By Bob Adelmann

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Why Gold & Silver
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Role of Gold In
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Hans Blocker

 
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Physical Gold and Silver Supplies Are Tighter Than Reported ~ Patrick A. Heller
January 28, 2011
Issue 92
 
Issue 93

Physical Gold and Silver Supplies Are Tighter Than Reported
By Patrick A. Heller

There are two main markets for trading gold and silver: the London Bullion Market Exchange and the COMEX in New York. London by far has the higher volume. There are other exchanges elsewhere in the US and around the globe, but large traders tend to buy and sell in these two markets.

The London market is supposed to be for purchasing contracts for delivery of the physical metal at the maturity of the contract. In theory, there is supposed to be enough physical gold and silver in the London vaults to fulfill 100% of the outstanding contracts. This has not been true for some time. At the Commodity Futures Trading Commission March 25, 2010 hearings on gold and silver regulations, both Jeffrey Christian and Adrian Douglas testified that the London vaults only have enough gold and silver to cover 1-3% of open contracts.

The COMEX, in contrast, is more meant for the trading of paper contracts by investors who do not want to take physical delivery (although they can). The COMEX warehouses only have a fraction of the physical gold and silver that would needed if all long positions demanded delivery of physical metal at contract maturity. Realizing this potential problem, the COMEX allows contracts to be settled for cash rather than the commodity. Gold and silver contracts can also now be settled, at the option of the seller of the contract, with shares of exchange traded funds for the same metal.

In normal commodity markets, the price of future contracts trade at higher prices than those maturing this month. The price difference normally reflects the prevailing interest rate minus a bit for the cost of storage. This typical market order is called contango…

Read The Rest of the Article ...

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Special Orders____                              

For those wishing to purchase quantities of 100 rounds or more, we have the ability to do custom divisible coins with the following Obverse designs: Morgan, Buffalo, Walking Liberty, Honest Value & Constitution. Custom Special Orders require payment via wire transfer, and are priced at discount. We suggest that you collaborate with friends and relatives to do a group order so you can take advantage of the special pricing and custom minting. Please call or email us if you want to take advantage of this opportunity.

New Shipping Policy                               

Since the 2010 holidays, we are seeing an increase in delivery incidents with our shipping vendor. For this reason, all FedEx shipping will be requiring ‘Indirect Signature’ upon delivery. Indirect Signature can be obtained from anyone at the delivery address, a neighbor, HOA manager, etc. This is not meant to present an inconvenience, but to ensure that if a loss occurs, it will be covered by the shipping vendor.

Quote of the Week                               

"If you want to remain slaves of the bankers and pay for the costs of your own slavery, let them continue to create money and control the nation's credit."

- Sir Josiah Stamp [1880-1941]   

Other Articles      

Buy When There Is Blood In The Streets
By: Clive Maund

How gold became politically correct
Michael J. Kosares

Silver: Supply & Demand
Silver Institute

Silver in Backwardation:
Price Set To Explode

James Turk

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David Morgan & Mike Maloney

Too Much Gold Paper
Not Enough Metal

John Hathaway

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Silver Rush: Investors Pile Money Into Silver
January 14, 2011 
Issue 91


Silver Rush: Investors Pile Money Into Silver
LONDON (Commodity Online):
January 12, 201
1


Gold has been the hottest commodity that people from India to the United States are piling their money into. Gold's poor cousin silver is emerging as the most luring investment option for traders and common people these days.

What is driving the silver boom? What is it that fascinates investors to silver that used to be the first currency in China centuries back?

Like gold, silver is topping the investment charts these days. In the US, sales of the silver bullion coins have recorded historic high in 2010. A latest commodity report says that silver is the most attractive investment proposition for the people in Australia. In fact, in Australia, people are buying more silver coins than gold coins.

In the last one year-in fact from 2009 onwards-silver price has more than doubled. Silver has boomed to the current $30 level from the $13 level in 2009.

Why is silver booming? Why are investors piling their money into silver?

In this following lucid write up, precious metals analyst Dr. David Eifrig provides some fascinating inputs on silver:

Surging Silver Investment is changing the nature of this market. A couple of years ago, I shared two shocking silver charts with DailyWealth readers.
These charts showed how governments around the globe have abandoned silver as money. They've decided it's easier to expand a nation's credit with fiat paper money than to mine more silver. They've sold off their silver stockpiles to industry and investors.

This trend is decades in the making. At first, much of this silver was used up in industrial manufacturing and processes like photography. That silver is gone forever.

But starting around 1997, silver began flowing into private hands. Folks concerned with wars, investment bubbles, and mismanaged economies were buying it up. They turned to silver as a safe form of savings that can't be debased by a gang of spend-happy politicians.

It was a modern day "rush" into Silver Investment. And Buying Silver back then was a smart move. The metal is up sixfold over the last 14 years...while stocks and real estate have struggled to do anything...and while paper currencies have depreciated in value.

The thing is, the silver rush is still on.

Demand for silver coins is taking off. It's up almost sevenfold from the mid-1990s. The public is catching on to the value of silver, and I expect this trend to continue for years.

Since my first essay back in 2009, the price of Silver Bullion has soared more than 100% - from $13.50 to about $29 today. But over the long term, there's much more to come.

Here's how I explained it in 2009:

"Governments around the world are behaving absolutely stupidly right now. Our vice president just said with a straight face that the government has to spend more money in order to save the nation from bankruptcy. That's crazy...but it passes for conventional wisdom these days.

"In my 30 years of investing, I've never seen so many risks in the financial system. That kind of 'patriarchal thinking' is producing those risks."

The stupid thinking I saw in 2009 hasn't gone anywhere. Governments across the globe are spending with abandon and creating big risks for savers and investors.

That's why it's a good idea to keep a portion of your assets in "chaos hedges" like gold and silver. You should know, I'm not the kind of guy who lives in a concrete bunker. I don't think the world is about to end. I'm not anyone's idea of a "gold bug". I buy this stuff just like I buy car insurance.

You should think of gold and silver as insurance against calamity. You should think of it as a safe store of wealth. And as I've just shown you, many people are catching onto this line of thinking. I expect millions more will over the next few years.


Traditional Tea Party Rounds Coming Back…
 

We will be minting the Traditional version of our
Tea Party Round very soon.
These will be available in quantity
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2011 Silver American Eagles…


Each year the US Mint's production of new Silver (& Gold) American Eagles is released late in January. We can special pre-order these right now, but will be carrying 2011 Silver Eagles in stock once they are available. Please call or eMail us if you would like to pre-order now.
 


Other Articles of Interest

US Mint Reports Unprecedented Buying Spree Of Physical Silver
Zerohedge

Silver: From $30/oz to
Over $500 by 2020

Jason Hommel

Virginia Offers HR 577 and Alternative Currency to Protect Itself from "Likely" Federal Reserve Meltdown
Before It's News

Ongoing Battle for the
Silver Market

Silver Coin Investor

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SGS Volume Discounts

SGS has received several inquiries of late regarding our volume discount program. Our volume discounts apply only to non-numismatic rounds and begin with quantities of 200 ounces or more as follows:

200 -500 oz - $1.00 / oz discount
501 - 1000 oz - $1.50 / oz discount
1001 or more - $2.00 / oz discount

Volume orders will need to be placed by phone at present. We welcome individuals to enlist acquaintances to join them in a group order to take advantage of these discounts.

With the recent price drop
This is an excellent time to
take advantage of
volume discounts

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Quote of the Week

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This Week's Videos
 


The Real Value of the Dollar
Robert Kiyosaki

Gold and Silver: The Price Is High For A Reason
Lind-Waldock Strategist Jim Comiskey talks about the relationship between precious metals and other commodities.

 

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