The Friday Metals 10-14-2011

October 15, 2011 · Posted in Economic Times, History, Metals · Comment 

Another week has passed. Most of the metals went up-down-up-down-up this week. One, silver, was the odd one to do an up-up-up-down-up performance. But, note, all of the metals ended the week going upward.

Let’s look.

First, there’s gold:

30 Day Gold Performance 10-14-2011

Next is silver:

30 Day Silver Performance 10-14-2011

Third is platinum:

30 Day Platinum Performance 10-14-2011

Fourth is palladium:

30 Day Palladium Performance 10-14-2011

Are the metals starting to pull upward?

After ending last week going downward, all four metals started up on Monday. They all closed the New York market moving up, though some moved more significantly than others.

Tuesday’s New York close saw a fall back for three of the metals with silver holding onto a $0.10 gain.

On Wednesday, the four metals closed upward again. Gold and palladium did not quite regain their Tuesday losses. On the other hand, platinum grew to surpass Monday’s closing values. Silver continued its move upward.

Ah, but Thursday arrived with losses again. Gold and platinum fell to just above the Tuesday closing points. The bigger, more painful losses applied to silver and palladium. Both of these metals lost almost all of the gains achieved during the week. They didn’t quite get as low as the previous Friday’s closing numbers, but they got close.

The week ended with all four metals going upward again. Except for silver, the metals closed at their highest point for the week on Friday. Silver, again being the odd metal, had its highest close on Wednesday.

Let’s take a look at the highs and lows for the 30-day performance period.

  30 day high 30 day low Oct 14 Last Difference between
High and Low
Gold $1,829.00 $1,598.00 $1,679.80 12.6%
Silver $41.23 $28.16 $32.16 31.7%
Platinum $1,815.50 $1,442.00 $1,552.00 20.6%
Palladium $735.00 $549.00 $621.00 25.3%

 

Even with the ups and downs for the week, not one of the metals encountered a new low point for the last 30 days. The highs, however, changed on all four metals as the previous high points fell off the rolling 30-day charts.

Let’s review the week-over-week values for the metals:

  Oct 7 Last Oct 14 Last Percent Change Dollar
Change
Gold $1,638.70 $1,679.80 2.5% $41.10
Silver $31.27 $32.16 2.8% $0.89
Platinum $1,494.00 $1,552.00 3.9% $58.00
Palladium $586.00 $621.00 6.0% $35.00

 

All of the metals gained this week. Palladium won with the highest percentage gain, and platinum increased with the most dollars.

Continuing its trend, platinum remains less than gold, however this week’s spread at $127 is better than last week’s difference of $144.

For a quick comparison, take a look at each day’s closing values on the New York market:

  mon tues wed thu fri
gold $1,675.90 $1,663.20 $1,674.50 $1,666.60 $1,679.80
platinum $1,523.00 $1,518.00 $1,545.00 $1,529.00 $1,552.00
           
silver $32.04 $32.14 $32.58 $31.82 $32.16
palladium $615.00 $602.00 $609.00 $591.00 $621.00

 

With the politics, economy and world unrest, the metals will continue their up and down dance.

Some people predict gold will get to $6000 an ounce in the next few years. On a short term basis, others think the metals will go up more before falling dramatically.

But, who the heck knows for sure? No one, really. Sure, there are experts who can study trends and speculate based on historical performance.

But, I’ll argue that today’s metal environment is different than historical times. Technology makes the market faster. Other nations influence the market more today than in years past. And, there’s probably some truth behind the accusations of market manipulation.

One thing does remain constant. All of the major countries value the metals.

In summary, do your own due diligence research to determine when (and if) you want to invest in the metals.

The Friday Metals 10-07-2011

October 9, 2011 · Posted in Economic Times, Metals · Comment 

The past week ended with the metals’ performance split between two up and two down.

Let’s look.

First, there’s gold:

30 Day Gold Performance 10-07-2011

Next is silver:

30 Day Silver Performance 10-07-2011

Third is platinum:

30 Day Platinum Performance 10-07-2011

Fourth is palladium:

30 Day Palladium Performance 10-07-2011

We think of the charts as up and down like a roller coaster, but perhaps we should think of the metals as bumper cars being bounced by the world’s larger bumper cars of the economy and the politics.

Gold won this week – at least from the standpoint of it ended the week higher than the previous week’s ending values. The yellow metal started the week moving upward, but Tuesday’s market lost all of Monday’s gains. On Wednesday and Thursday, gold ended each day up from the previous day. But, gold did not regain Monday’s higher closing value before heading downward at the end of the week.

Behaving somewhat similarly, silver also started the week with upward movement. Tuesday ended with a downturn for silver, but Wednesday’s market regained all of Tuesday’s losses by the close. Thurday’s silver market went upward again only to end downward at Friday’s close – retaining part of the week’s gains.

Unfortunately, the metals’ markets have not been kind to the two other white metals.

Platinum began the week with Monday’s closing value less than the previous Friday’s number. Tuesday’s platinum market saw another drop before increasing on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday’s market turned downward again and closed lower than the previous Friday’s closing number.

Though the numbers are different, palladium performed much like platinum. Monday’s value was down from the previous Friday’s. Tuesday continued downward with Wednesday and Thursday’s closing values moving upward. Friday, however, saw another downward close at less than the previous Friday’s number.

Let’s review the 30-day performance numbers:

  30 day high 30 day low Oct 7 Last Difference between
High and Low
Gold $1,879.50 $1,598.00 $1,638.70 15.0%
Silver $42.34 $28.16 $31.27 33.5%
Platinum $1,860.00 $1,442.00 $1,494.00 22.5%
Palladium $762.00 $549.00 $586.00 28.0%

 

The 30-day high numbers all decreased as the previous high values moved off the rolling 30-day chart. This week, silver and gold did not move below the previous low values, but both platinum and palladium encountered new low values.

As noted earlier, two metals gained over the week and two lost:

  Sep 30 Last Oct 7 Last Percent Change Dollar
Change
Gold $1,624.80 $1,638.70 0.9% $13.90
Silver $29.97 $31.27 4.3% $1.30
Platinum $1,523.00 $1,494.00 -1.9% -$29.00
Palladium $611.00 $586.00 -4.1% -$25.00

 

Silver had the largest percentage gain with gold having the largest dollar increase. Conversely, palladium had the largest percentage decrease while platinum had the largest dollar loss.

As we’ve noted before, in recent years gold’s value has lagged behind platinum. Now, the difference between gold and platinum grows ever larger as gold increases and platinum decreases.

  mon tues wed thu fri
gold $1,660.90 $1,624.20 $1,642.60 $1,650.30 $1,638.70
platinum $1,506.00 $1,479.00 $1,487.00 $1,512.00 $1,494.00
           
silver $30.49 $30.23 $30.51 $31.93 $31.27
palladium $584.00 $565.00 $571.00 $603.00 $586.00

 

At the end of the week, gold’s value exceeded platinum’s by roughly $144. That continues to be amazing. 

What will happen to the metals in the next week? How will the bumper cars fare?

Whatever happens, it will be interesting to watch.

The Friday Metals – 09-30-2011

October 2, 2011 · Posted in Economic Times, Metals · Comment 

Well, this week the metals declined even more with all four metals encountering new 30-day low points. Plus, over those 30 days, the differences between the highs and lows range from $15 (silver) to $374 (platinum).

For some, those decreases dealt their investment opportunities a severe blow. For others, they are taking the opportunity to purchase more of the metals, in particular, gold and silver.

Let’s look at the charts for the 30 days.

First, there’s gold:

30 Day Gold Performance 09-30-2011

Next is silver:

30 Day Silver Performance 09-30-2011

Third is platinum:

30 Day Platinum Performance 09-30-2011

Last is palladium:

30 Day Palladium Performance 09-30-2011

Just look at those charts - downhill every one, though gold and platinum had small increases at the end of the week. The metals’ values went up and down but at different times and with differing levels.

Gold started the week by closing down from its previous Friday values. Tuesday saw gold increase slightly only to turn around and lose on Wednesday to below Monday’s closing value. On Thursday, gold climbed a small amount which continued on Friday. Gold ended the week on an upnote but recorded a loss for the week’s performance.

Silver operated somewhat differently by alternating between down and up days. Like gold, silver’s Monday close was down from the previous Friday. On Tuesday, silver went up over a dollar only to fall almost two dollars on Wednesday. By Thursday’s close, silver regained $0.74 of which it lost $0.70 by Friday’s close. Silver started the week and ended the week going downward.

Platinum, on the other hand, began the week going downward and continued to do so until Friday. At the end of the week, platinum increased by $3.00 over its Thursday closing value.

This week, palladium behaved like silver – down, up, down, up and down. Palladium’s close at the end of the week introduced the metal’s new 30-day low point.

Let’s review all four metals’ 30-day highs and lows:

  30 day high 30 day low Sep 30 Last Difference between
High and Low
Gold $1,900.30 $1,598.00 $1,624.80 15.9%
Silver $43.25 $28.16 $29.97 34.9%
Platinum $1,885.00 $1,511.00 $1,523.00 19.8%
Palladium $786.00 $611.00 $611.00 22.3%

 

At a difference of $15.09, silver has lost the largest percentage over the 30 days, however platinum lost the largest dollar amount at $374. Gold has lost $302.30 while palladium lost $175.

Let’s compare week-over-week performance:

  Sep 23 Last Sep 30 Last Percent Change Dollar
Change
Gold $1,657.20 $1,624.80 -2.0% -$32.40
Silver $30.93 $29.97 -3.1% -$0.96
Platinum $1,608.00 $1,523.00 -5.3% -$85.00
Palladium $634.00 $611.00 -3.6% -$23.00

 

Platinum lost the most in percentage and in dollars this week which leads to an interesting day-by-day closing value comparison for the metals.

  mon tues wed thu fri
gold $1,628.00 $1,649.70 $1,609.70 $1,615.90 $1,624.80
platinum $1,557.00 $1,553.00 $1,526.00 $1,520.00 $1,523.00
           
silver $30.75 $31.88 $29.93 $30.67 $29.97
palladium $628.00 $646.00 $617.00 $620.00 $611.00

 

In the past, platinum remained ahead of gold. In 2010, platinum’s value exceeded gold’s in the $300 range and approached the $400 range a few times. Early in 2011, platinum almost achieved a $500 premium over gold.

But, look at it now. The difference between the two metals didn’t get below $200 until June. By the end of August, platinum was below gold. Now, platinum’s value is more than $100 below gold’s. Interesting, very interesting.

As evidenced by this year, the metals can fluctuate wildly in comparison to themselves and to each other. The next year, especially between now and November 2012, will show more wild swings in the metals.

The Friday Metals 09-23-2011

September 25, 2011 · Posted in Economic Times, Metals · Comment 

When we think of metals we subconciously think of something heavy instead of something light like a feather. That can be good, especially when their values drop like something heavy such as a rock.

All four metals ended the week down, way down to new recent low values. Let’s look at the charts.

First, there’s gold:

30 Day Gold Performance 09-23-2011

Next is silver:

30 Day Silver Performance 09-23-2011

Third is platinum:

30 Day Platinum Performance 09-23-2011

Fourth is palladium:

30 Day Palladium Performance 09-23-2011

Just ouch…like rocks falling off a cliff…

Though the metals’ ups and downs varied in amounts and percentages, all four followed the same path.

Monday’s New York metals’ market dropped from the previous Friday’s closing values. Tuesday’s market saw an increase in all four metals with gold recovering more than the other three. Wednesday’s market started the downturn which continued for the rest of the week.

Let’s look at the highs and lows for the 30-day period:

  30 day high 30 day low Sep 23 Last Difference between
High and Low
Gold $1,900.30 $1,657.20 $1,657.20 12.8%
Silver $43.25 $30.93 $30.93 28.5%
Platinum $1,885.00 $1,608.00 $1,608.00 14.7%
Palladium $786.00 $634.00 $634.00 19.3%

 

All four ended the week with new low points. Just look at the percentage difference between the high and low points for the period. Silver’s swing in value is almost 30% with palladium at almost 20%. Gold and platinum with their larger numbers do not have as much percentage difference, but they do vary widely in actual dollar differences.

For example, let’s take a look at the week’s ending values for the metals, week-over-week:

  Sep 16 Last Sep 23 Last Percent Change Dollar
Change
Gold $1,812.50 $1,657.20 -8.6% -$155.30
Silver $40.66 $30.93 -23.9% -$9.73
Platinum $1,809.00 $1,608.00 -11.1% -$201.00
Palladium $730.00 $634.00 -13.2% -$96.00

 

Those are some wide swings in just one week’s time. Silver experienced the largest percentage drop, but platinum fell the most in dollars.

It’s also interesting to see how the metals fared at the end of the New York market each day:

  mon tues wed thu fri
gold $1,778.50 $1,804.80 $1,780.50 $1,736.20 $1,657.20
platinum $1,772.00 $1,776.00 $1,761.00 $1,682.00 $1,608.00
           
silver $39.65 $39.74 $39.62 $35.84 $30.93
palladium $713.00 $714.00 $693.00 $647.00 $634.00

 

Look at gold and platinum. Platinum continues to follow behind gold, when for years it was the more expensive metal of the four.

But take a look at silver. It dropped a dollar on Monday, picked up a few cents on Tuesday, lost a few cents on Wednesday, fell almost four dollars on Thursday and almost five dollars on Friday. That’s significant.

Gold’s decrease was also significant, though neither the largest dollar nor the most percentage loss. Monday’s gold saw a decrease of $34 of which $26.30 was regained on Tuesday. Next, gold began its fall by dropping $24.30 on Wednesday, $44.30 on Thursday and $79 on Friday.

What happened?

Some claim that the metals were sold to cover losses in the stock market. Or could it be those who dipped their toes into the metals market panicked and sold driving the market prices downward?

As one dealer put it, “Where would you prefer to invest your assets – in stock, the dollar, real estate or the metals?” At least with the metals – especially gold and silver, they have historically retained their value in tough economic times.

Each individual must perform their own research and make their own investing decision. Savvy investors will take this drop in market price to buy physical silver and gold – if they can find it.

Next week’s market should be interesting…

Exposition Coins

September 23, 2011 · Posted in Coin Collecting Fun, Coin Values, Coins, Metals, Mint · Comment 

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The other day we posted a press release about the United Future World Currency and their coin that traveled to the International Space Station.

In their Editor’s Notes, they mention, ”The coins of the UFWC have been given legal tender status at the forthcoming ‘EXPO MILANO 2015′. A special set of coins will be commissioned for this occasion and will be utilised for the duration of the International Exposition.”

But, let’s think about the logistics of having a special legal tender status for these coins.

If the majority of the European nations (including the city of Milan) remain on the Euro as their currency, what will be the trading value of the United Future World Currency coinage? Will it be one-for-one with the Euro? What will the coins cost? Will a premium be charged to obtain the United Future World Currency?

For example, let’s go back in time over 100 years ago to the Columbian Exposition.

The United States Mint produced the first commemorative coin, the Columbian silver half dollar, in 1892-93 for the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893.

The commemorative coins initially sold for one dollar even though their legal tender value was a half dollar. Since the general public did not widely purchase these commemorative coins, the US Mint released the excess at face value for circulation. (That had to make some people unhappy who paid $1.00 for theirs.)

The Columbian silver half dollar obverse:

World's Columbian Exposition 1892 silver half dollar obverse

Now, the reverse:

World's Columbian Exposition 1892 silver half dollar reverse

In the early days of the commemorative coins, the US Mint used the same metals as the circulating coins. At that point in time, they did charge a premium for the commemorative coins, at least initially, but the premium was not as dramatic as today’s collectible commemorative coin prices.

The US Mint uses commemorative coins to generate numismatic interest, and with collectible commemorative coins, they also obtain revenues for particular causes. Collectible commemorative coins, whether cupro-nickel clad or silver coins, include premiums that are several times their actual face value (legal tender value).

Of course, today, there are circulating commemoratives, for example, the state and national park quarters. For those commemoratives, their legal tender value and their “cost” are the same.

Back to the intial question, how will the United Future World Coins be used in the 2015 Expo?

As with the initial delivery of the Columbian half dollars, will the United Future World Coins cost more to purchase than their legal tender value?

And, how will their legal tender value be determined against the local currency?

Which mint will produce the coins? How will they determine how many to produce? Will the coins contain precious and semi-precious metals?

Consumers will not want a coin that does not retain its value for purchases. Collectors will not want a coin that is too widely distri buted or does not have metal content value.

Or, perhaps, the coins will only be collectibles and not really circulating coins during the 2015 Expo.

In summary, they have quite a few challenges to overcome before the 2015 event.

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The Friday Metals 09-16-2011

September 19, 2011 · Posted in Economic Times, Metals · Comment 

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The metals go down then up then down and back up. Two of the metals followed a similar up and down pattern with the other two metals’ movement being only slightly different. 

Let’s take a look.

First, there’s gold:

30 Day Gold Performance 09-16-2011

Next is silver:

30 Day Silver Performance 09-16-2011

Third is platinum:

30 Day Platinum Performance 09-16-2011

Fourth is palladium:

30 Day Palladium Performance 09-16-2011

Gold started the week by continuing downward from the previous Friday. Tuesday saw gold move upward only to fall backward again on Wednesday and Thursday. Ending the week, gold started to climb again, but it didn’t succeed in recovering the week’s losses.  

Like gold, silver continued its fall on Monday with a turnaround on Tuesday. But, on Wednesday silver dropped again and encountered an even sharper drop on Thursday. The end of the week had silver climbing but not enough to recover the week’s losses.

The third metal, platinum, had a slightly different pattern of ups and downs from the gold and silver patterns. It also did not have quite the same degree of growth or fall. On Monday, platinum continued its Friday downward movement. Tuesday’s platinum market saw an increase with another small increase occurring on Wednesday. Thursday’s platinum market fell significantly to a new, recent low point. At the end of the week, platinum started upward and almost, but not quite, recovered the Thursday losses.

Like the other metals, palladium had its ups and downs but in a somewhat different pattern. And like the other metals, palladium started the week down introducing a new, recent low point. On Tuesday, the metal enjoyed a significant increase only to lose part of it on Wednesday. On both Thursday and Friday, palladium’s market value increased almost to the point of recovering the week’s losses.

Let’s look at the new 30-day highs and lows for the four metals:

  30 day high 30 day low Sep 16 Last Difference between
High and Low
Gold $1,900.30 $1,716.50 $1,812.50 9.7%
Silver $43.72 $39.00 $40.66 10.8%
Platinum $1,901.00 $1,783.00 $1,809.00 6.2%
Palladium $786.00 $702.00 $730.00 10.7%

 

Both platinum and silver have new recent lows that are slightly higher than the low points of last week’s 30-day range. On the other hand, palladium encountered a new recent low point this week that is lower than last week’s value. With the drops in the metals’ markets this past week, none of the metals changed their high values for the date range.

Now for the week over week comparisons:

  Sep 9 Last Sep 16 Last Percent Change Dollar
Change
Gold $1,858.60 $1,812.50 -2.5% -$46.10
Silver $41.38 $40.66 -1.7% -$0.72
Platinum $1,830.00 $1,809.00 -1.1% -$21.00
Palladium $736.00 $730.00 -0.8% -$6.00

 

All of the metals lost value, but palladium regained the most of its losses at the end of the week.

Of course, the relationship between the gold and platinum values continue to be interesting. This week, platinum’s closing value on each day of the New York market trailed behind gold:

  mon tues wed thu fri
gold $1,814.40 $1,834.20 $1,821.10 $1,789.80 $1,812.50
platinum $1,803.00 $1,811.00 $1,813.00 $1,783.00 $1,809.00

 

With the economic and political pressures domestically and abroad, the metals will remain volatile for the foreseeable future.

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The Friday Metals 09-09-2011

September 11, 2011 · Posted in Economic Times, Metals · Comment 

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>>>>>>

For years, the metals’ market prices crept up or down within a small, at least relatively speaking, dollar range. Now, it’s not uncommon for them to climb or fall by a much larger amount.

This week, two metals started the week climbing only to begin falling on Tuesday. The other two metals began their week falling.

Let’s take a look.

First, there’s gold:

30 Day Gold Performance 09-09-2011

Next is silver:

30 Day Silver Performance 09-09-2011

Third is platinum:

30 Day Platinum Performance 09-09-2011

Fourth is palladium:

30 Day Palladium Performance 09-09-2011

Just look at the gold chart. It’s difficult to see, but gold closed at over $1900 on Monday, breaking into a new level for the golden metal. Tuesday and Wednesday’s gold markets lost all of the gains from the previous five business days. But, on Thursday gold started back upward with a significant gain then turned around to end the week down slightly.

Silver behaved somewhat differently. It began the week down from the previous Friday’s closing market and continued to fall through Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday’s silver market regained some of the losses, but Friday’s downturn placed the closing value below that of the previous five business days.

Similar to gold but not with the same numbers, platinum started the week going upward then Tuesday and Wednesday’s markets lost the gains made during the last week. On Thursday, platinum started back upward only to fall again on Friday. It didn’t lose quite all of its Thursday gain but almost.

Palladium continues to have a tough time on the market. It continued its downward motion, begun the previous Friday, through Wednesday. Thursday’s palladium markets enjoyed a small increase which was lost with another significant decrease at the end of the week. Again, palladium is the odd metal out.

The rolling 30-day high and low values for the metals provide interesting insights:

  30 day high 30 day low Sep 9 Last Difference between
High and Low
Gold $1,900.30 $1,716.50 $1,858.60 9.7%
Silver $43.72 $38.29 $41.38 12.4%
Platinum $1,901.00 $1,754.00 $1,830.00 7.7%
Palladium $786.00 $727.00 $736.00 7.5%

 

Gold shows another all-time high with its $1900.30 value. The other metals have some new highs and lows mostly due to the previous values moving off the 30-day window.

The percentage difference between the highs and lows provide an interesting indicator of the swings in the market. Silver continues to have the widest swings, but gold is not far behind.

As the charts show, the metals all lost this week. Let’s compare week over week ending numbers:

  Sep 2 Last Sep 9 Last Percent Change Dollar
Change
Gold $1,884.20 $1,858.60 -1.4% -$25.60
Silver $43.25 $41.38 -4.3% -$1.87
Platinum $1,878.00 $1,830.00 -2.6% -$48.00
Palladium $773.00 $736.00 -4.8% -$37.00

 

This week platinum had the largest dollar decrease while palladium encountered the largest percentage decrease.

Another table of interest compares the gold and platinum closing numbers. For a long time, platinum was always higher than gold. That’s not the case now:

  mon tue wed thu fri
gold $1,900.30 $1,873.60 $1,817.30 $1,869.60 $1,858.60
platinum $1,885.00 $1,852.00 $1,820.00 $1,860.00 $1,830.00

 

Only one day had platinum closing above gold. Amazing.

With all of the political and economic issues, the metals will remain volatile and interesting to watch.

<<<<<<<

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The Friday Metals 09-02-2011

September 4, 2011 · Posted in Economic Times, Metals · Comment 

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Another interesting week on the metals’ market…

Three of the metals trended along similar paths ending the week on an up note. The fourth metal acted somewhat the same, except it ended the week on a down note. All four metals closed at week’s end above the previous week’s close.

Let’s look at the charts.

First, there’s gold:

30-Day Gold Performance 09-02-2011

Next is silver:

30-Day Silver Performance 09-02-2011

Platinum is third:

30-Day Platinum Performance 09-02-2011

Fourth is palladium:

30-Day Palladium Performance 09-02-2011

For gold, the previous week ended with a trend upward, however it closed down on Monday of this week. On Tuesday, the yellow metal went back upward to fall again slightly on Wednesday. Thursday’s close was a small increase over Wednesday by $1.20. On Friday, gold’s value increased dramatically, not quite to the previous week’s new high but close.

Though on a smaller scale, silver performed like gold to a degree. It closed the previous week trending upward but fell at Monday’s close. Tuesday’s silver market increased, and unlike gold, continued to increase on Wednesday. Thursday’s close was virtually the same as Wednesday’s. But, on Friday, like gold, silver made a sharp increase in value – not to a new, recent high, but a significant growth.

Trending somewhat similarly, platinum’s ups and downs have not been quite as dramatic as the gold and silver charts. Like its counterparts, platinum started the week down from the previous Friday’s close. On Tuesday, platinum started back up only to drop back on Wednesday (like gold). Thursday’s close had platinum increasing a small amount, $2.00. At the end of the week, platinum started back upward – just not quite as dramatically as gold and silver.

The odd metal, palladium, has been performing differently as can be readily seen in the charts. Though, palladium, like the other metals, started the week down from its previous Friday’s closing value. On Tuesday, the metal grew significantly which continued with another slight increase on Wednesday. Thursday’s market kept the same price before falling on Friday back to Tuesday’s closing value.

Let’s look at the overall highs and lows for the rolling 30-day performance:

  30 day high 30 day low Sep 2 Last Difference between
High and Low
Gold $1,898.10 $1,648.80 $1,884.20 13.1%
Silver $43.72 $37.71 $43.25 13.7%
Platinum $1,901.00 $1,700.00 $1,878.00 10.6%
Palladium $824.00 $714.00 $773.00 13.3%

 

None of the metals achieved new high points this week, however palladium’s high decreased as the previous high moved off the 30-day rolling period. Gold’s low changed, too - it increased as the previous low moved off the chart.

Look at the percentage differences in the highs and lows for the 30-day performance period. They are still in the double digit range.

Let’s compare the week-over-week numbers:

  Aug 26 Last Sep 2 Last Percent Change Dollar
Change
Gold $1,829.10 $1,884.20 3.0% $55.10
Silver $41.50 $43.25 4.2% $1.75
Platinum $1,829.00 $1,878.00 2.7% $49.00
Palladium $756.00 $773.00 2.2% $17.00

 

This week, gold wins the largest dollar increase while silver wins the largest percentage increase. Once again, gold ends the week higher than platinum.

But, gold followed platinum through the rest of the week:

  mon tues wed thu fri
gold $1,788.50 $1,835.10 $1,824.20 $1,825.40 $1,884.20
platinum $1,820.00 $1,851.00 $1,843.00 $1,845.00 $1,878.00

 

Even though gold ended the previous week higher than platinum by $0.10, it fell further on Monday and stayed behind until the Friday market. This will be interesting to watch.

Did the news for September jobs create the end-of-week spike in the metals? Or, since the metals’ market is global, did the increase reflect a bigger, world economy reaction?

Monday’s market should provide some insights as the American markets will be closed for a holiday while the Asian and European markets will still be trading.

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The Friday Metals 08-26-2011

August 28, 2011 · Posted in Economic Times, Metals · Comment 

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What a difference a week makes…three down and one up in week-over-week performance. As you might imagine, the metals are just the opposite of last week’s end of three up and one down.

But, at the beginning of the week, those three metals achieved new high points with one (gold) being another record high.

Let’s review the charts.

First, there’s gold:

30 Day Gold Performance 08-26-2011

Next is silver:

30 Day Silver Performance 08-26-2011

Third is platinum:

30 Day Platinum Performance 08-26-2011

Fourth is palladium:

30 Day Palladium Performance 08-26-2011

For gold, silver and platinum, their performances for the week were similar with just a variance in how much they increased or decreased each day. Each of the three climbed to a new high point for the close on Monday. Tuesday began the fall as investors sold to take profits with Wednesday being the lowest point for the week. Thursday and Friday saw increases again, but the metals could not recover all of their losses during the week.

Palladium, on the other hand, has been performing differently. Though it did increase and decrease on the same days as the other three metals, it did not increase or decrease as significantly. With smaller losses on Tuesday and Wednesday, the metal’s climb on Thursday and Friday allowed it to end the week up over the previous week’s close.

Let’s take a look at the 30-day high and low values:

  30 day high 30 day low Aug 26 Last Difference between
High and Low
Gold $1,898.10 $1,613.50 $1,829.10 15.0%
Silver $43.72 $37.71 $41.50 13.7%
Platinum $1,901.00 $1,700.00 $1,829.00 10.6%
Palladium $842.00 $714.00 $756.00 15.2%

 

Look at those differences in the highs and lows for the rolling 30 days. Hindsight, of course, is not the way the market works. But, just think, if one could always buy low and sell high, those percentages would be very nice investment growth in today’s market.

In the week-over-week numbers, let’s see how those three down and one up numbers compare:

  Aug 19 Last Aug 26 Last Percent Change Dollar
Change
Gold $1,853.10 $1,829.10 -1.3% -$24.00
Silver $42.90 $41.50 -3.3% -$1.40
Platinum $1,873.00 $1,829.00 -2.3% -$44.00
Palladium $751.00 $756.00 0.7% $5.00

 

Palladium’s growth is not that large, but it is positive. Silver had the largest percentage decrease with platinum having the largest dollar decrease.

But, take a closer look at those numbers, both the high values and the week ending values. Do you see anything odd?

Let’s look at another table — the New York close each day for gold and platinum:

  mon tues wed thu fri
gold $1,898.10 $1,830.10 $1,751.30 $1,771.30 $1,829.10
platinum $1,901.00 $1,863.00 $1,803.00 $1,819.00 $1,829.00

 

For months, platinum has been valued higher than gold on the market. Frequently several hundred dollars separated the two metals.

Just look at the end of the week. They are virtually the same with gold slightly higher.

Is this the start of a new order in the metal values?

This week, the Commodities Exchange increased the amount of funds necessary to purchase gold futures. This, in addition to profit-takers, helped drive the price down.

But, many old-timers speculate that gold will turn quickly to go back up, and though it’s path won’t consistently be up, its growth will be up over time.

On the other hand, there are those who think silver is undervalued and will be increasing significantly as well.

Who is right? What will the markets do? As always, research to make the right choice for your investment strategy.

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Platinum and Lightning

August 26, 2011 · Posted in Coin Collecting Fun, Coins, Metals · Comment 

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The US Mint’s artists included a portrait of the head of the Statue of Freedom on the obverse of the Congress Bicentennial commemorative half dollar.

1989 Congress Commemorative Half Dollar obverse

The statue rests atop the dome of the nation’s capitol. As the highest point, it needs to collect and discharge electricity during storms.

As noted in the Architect of the Capitol description, ten bronze points coated in platinum are on the headdress and shoulders of the statue. If you look closely at this picture of the Statue of Freedom from their web site, at least some of the “lightning rods” can be seen.

Statue of Freedom on Capitol Dome

Platinum is non-corrosive, withstands high temperatures and is stable electrically. Perhaps that is why the engineers used platinum on the lightning rods.

For the everyday household, platinum might just be too expensive, even in small amounts, to be a generic lightning deflector.

Many years ago, however, platinum tipped lightning rods were much more prevalent – before platinum became so valuable as a metal.

In the Jewelers’ Circular, Volume 83, Issue 2, from 1921, they talked of the rise in platinum prices and described instances of theft:

In particular, the famous Notre Dame Cathedral had its massive doors cut in order for thieves to gain access to the towers and the platinum balls on the cathedral’s lightning rods.

The estimated loss was roughly 16 troy ounces of platinum or $1000. Today that $1000 would be roughly $12,600 in 2011 dollars.

But, with platinum at $1829 per ounce on today’s market, those 16 troy ounces would be just over $29,000. It would be interesting to know if they replaced the platinum on the cathedral’s rods back in the 1920s or if they chose a cheaper metal.

The New York Times in January 1922 used an extract from the jewelers’ information in their article New Sources For Platinum decribing the increasing platinum market.

But, even earlier, in the 1880s when the Washington Monument was being completed, the engineer in charge of the project suggested platinum for the cap (see Making the Cap) to deflect the electricity to the ground.

In his letter to the foundry, the engineer stated, “I wish to have this pyramid plated with platinum.”

Letter for Making the Washington Monument Cap

Interestingly, the cap was made with, at that point in time, a little known metal called aluminum.

But, back to what started this meandering research path, the Statue of Freedom.

There’s another version of the statue in the Capitol Visitor Center. It’s made of plaster and located low inside the building.

Plaster Model Statue of Freedom

The next time you view a Congress Commemorative Clad Half dollar coin, you can impress your friends and fellow collectors with your knowledge about platinum and lightning rods!

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