Investor CAFÉ

Skousen CAFE: U.S. Mint Suspends Sales of Silver Dollars

Guns and ammo aren’t the only things Americans are buying in record amounts.

Last week, the U.S. Mint announced that it has suspended sales of its 2013 American Eagle silver bullion coins after running out of stock due to soaring investor demand for the newly minted coins in the first two weeks of the year.

Investors already had bought 5 million silver eagles before the suspension was announced. Last year, investors bought more than 40 million American eagle silver dollars.

But do not worry. The American eagle silver dollar is our official coin at FreedomFest, our symbol of sound money and liberty, and we will have plenty of 2013 silver dollars on hand for our big show in July: www.freedomfest.com.

I’ve long been a fan of the American eagle silver dollar — it’s exactly one ounce of silver (now worth $32 an ounce); it is a legal tender coin; it has all the images of America: Lady Liberty, the American eagle, the phrase “In God We Trust” and Benjamin Franklin’s favorite symbol of America. Can you guess it?

I recommend that you buy these beautiful silver dollars and circulate them. Don’t just hide them in a safe deposit box. Give them away as gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, graduation day and other special events. Encourage receivers to keep them in their pockets or purse and look at them from time to time. They can be a good luck piece. Business leaders should use them to give to their employees as a bonus for good work. Or, offer them as a tip for good service. Or, put them in a Salvation Army kettle.

I think it’s tragic that millions of these beautiful coins are hidden away in safe deposit boxes every year.

Plus, they are a great long-term investment. Back in 1960, the paper dollar and the silver dollar both were the same value. They circulated next to each other. Today? The paper dollar has lost 95% of its value, while the silver dollar is worth $34, and produced a 2-3 times rise in real value. Since we left the gold standard in 1971, both gold and silver have become superior inflation hedges.

They also are good ways to save money. I always ask audiences how many of them have bought gold or silver coins, and most people raise their hands. Then I ask how many have sold any gold or silver, and most of the hands go down. In sum, gold and silver coins are an excellent long-term saving program, even though they don’t pay interest.

Finally, they are a good private investment. You easily can give them away to your children, grandchildren, or friends privately without any tax implications (as long as they stay under the annual gift tax rules).

Remember, gold and silver always have had value and never have gone to zero. Can you say the same for stocks and bonds?

Here are my recommended coin dealers to buy the American eagles:

  1. For bullion coins (American eagles, etc.), and common-dated U.S. collectible coins (Morgan silver dollars, St. Gaudens Double Eagle gold coins, etc.): George Resch, Camino Coins, 1301 Broadway Ave., Burlingame, CA 94010, 1-800/348-8001, www.caminocompany.com.
  2. For bullion coins, bullion bars, and Perth Mint Certificate Program: Michael or Richard Checkan, Asset Strategies International, Inc. (ASI), 1700 Rockville Pike, Suite 400, Rockville, MD 20852, 1-800/831-0007, www.assetstrategies.com.
  3. For rare coins (PCGS graded coins) and bullion coins: Van Simmons, president, David Hall Rare Coins, P.O. Box 6220, Newport Beach, CA 92658, 1-800/759-7575, www.davidhall.com.
  4. For rare and bullion coins: Pat Heller, director, Liberty Coin Service, 300 Frandor Ave., Lansing, MI 48912, 1-800/933-4720 www.libertycoinservice.com and EverBank, Metals Select Accounts ($5,000 minimum), 1-800/926-4922, www.everbank.com/metalsselect.

Sales to authorized dealers will resume on or about the week of Jan. 28, after the U.S. Mint has replenished its inventory, it indicated in an email to authorized dealers on Thursday. The coins are produced at the Mint’s facility in West Point, N.Y.

While it is typical for collectors to snap up newly stamped coins, interest this year has ballooned due to investors seeking refuge from U.S. economic uncertainty.

Silver Eagle sales to Jan. 15 exceeded 5 million ounces and were on track to surpass the all-time monthly high of 6.1 million ounces, set in January 2012.

Physical coin sales rose in the final months of 2012 as investors protected their nest eggs from a feared U.S. recession. Many economists predicted a U.S. economic downturn would occur if Congress and the White House did not act to stop pending huge tax hikes and automatic spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff.”

It is not the first time the U.S. Mint has faced a run on its stock. It started allocating sales to authorized dealers in recent years after its supplies were depleted by unprecedented demand.

The Mint had been due to start taking orders for coins, which fetch just under $63 each, from the general public on Jan. 24.

You Blew It! Newspaper Publishes Addresses of Gun Owners

Living in New York, I used to subscribe to a local newspaper called the Journal News. I enjoy reading about the comings and goings of neighbors. But I canceled after they published the names and addresses of residents who had handgun permits. The editors thought this invasion of privacy would somehow expose the evils of gun violence after the grisly Connecticut shootings in early December.

Their reckless action backfired. Gun owners rightly complained that the map could guide burglars to their homes. Police groups claimed the map could lead ex-convicts to the officers who had put them away, or go after jury members who served on criminal-case juries or who are victims of domestic violence.

In response to the Journal News action, the addresses of some Journal News staffers were posted online, and threats were called in to the newspaper’s offices. The newspaper hired armed guards in response.

Good news! The latest New York state gun law allows any citizen to remove his or her name and address from the handgun permit list, and the Journal News now has taken down the data. State Sen. Greg Ball, the most vocal opponent of the posting, said, “Thank God The Journal News has finally realized the error in their judgment and done the right thing. … I am proud to have passed legislation keeping The Journal News from doing this ever again.”

Amen.

To read my e-letter from last week, please click here. I also invite you to comment about my column in the space provided below.

Yours for peace, prosperity and liberty, AEIOU,

Mark Skousen
Wikipedia
Newsletter and trading services
Personal website

Upcoming Appearances

  • We’ve received a rush of sign-ups for our anti-Davos Global Financial Summit, Feb. 6-9, at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The fear of sharply higher tax rates and inflation is upon us! More than 100 investors have signed up already, and we can only accommodate 200 attendees at this private affair. Come join Steve Moore, Peter Schiff, John Browne, Jeffrey Saut, Martin Truax, Richard Rahn, Joel Stern, Peter Zipper, a host of other experts and me. Call Tami Holland at 1-866/266-5101, or go to www.freedomfest.com/gfs. It’s better in the Bahamas.
  • You can’t afford to miss this beginning of the year check-up for your portfolio. Thousands of investors, like you, will be there seeking advice and trend information from world-renowned experts. Don’t miss the world’s largest investor and trader gathering — The World MoneyShow Orlando, January 30-February 2, 2013, at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Be there as I join other speakers in offering advice for how best to position your portfolio to profit in 2013 and beyond. You can register free today by calling 1-800/970-4355 and mentioning priority code 029596 or by clicking here!

Sign Up
  • Jim

    I bought 2013 silver eagle proof coins on 1-24 directly from the us mint for $62, hope to receive them within 10 days….