Thursday, February 19, 2015

Race for Cash in Greece as Gov't and Banks on the Brink

When crisis hits, there is always a scramble for bullion and physical banknotes.

"...sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as EUR 25bn euros have left Greek banks since the end of December with outflows surging this week."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Engelhard 10 oz "Old Pour, Bull Logo" - Bullion of the Month January 2015

I picked up this wonderful bullion bar at a coin show.  It is a 10 oz .999 silver poured bar from the former Canadian branch of Engelhard, prior to their buyout by BASF.  Engelhard is one of the few refiners which produced with a serial number for every piece of bullion.  It is distinguished as being Canadian by the "bull logo" - the little hallmark circle with "horns" to the left of the Engelhard name. Most American 10 oz poured bars have a serial number prefix of "PB".  This particular bar is worth a significant premium over spot due to its relative scarcity (yes, there is a collector market in old pour style bullion!).  For more information visit the interesting website  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Swiss Parliament Rejects 20% Gold Reserve Rule

Switzerland already has over 1,000 tons of gold (officially), but this measure would require the SNB to keep 20% of reserves in gold at all times.  The bank and Swiss parliment oppose it, but if 100,000 signatures can be gathered, it will be voted on by the people democratically.

LINK to Bloomberg via Mineweb:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Modified Production Process for US $1 Dollar notes (Federal Reserve Notes)

Instead of 32 notes per sheet there will now by 50 per sheet.  The main difference is the size font of one of the identifying numbers on the note.  This will provide collectors with something interesting to look for in the 2009 series - the "pre" and "post" versions of this change.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Japan's Sales Tax Increase Means More 1-Yen Coins

While Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have all done away with their penny, the United States, Great Britain, Euro-zone, and Japan all see at least some use for retaining their lowest unit coin despite the eroded value after decades of inflation.  Specifically, 1/100th unit coins are needed to make change due to government sales taxes.  One interesting thing I learned from the story is that Japan has "100 Yen stores" the same way we have "Dollar stores" in the US.  There are currently 38.8 billion one-yen coins in circulation.

Gold sales in Japan are also up due to the coming sales tax increase:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rare gold found in California

California couple finds $10 million in rare coins on their property

Very cool story!  Most of the coins were preserved in fantastic condition.  Always investigate old stuff you come across. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Banknote of the Week 2.18.14 - Canada 1954 $10

Yes I realize I hardly ever post a "banknote of the week" so it should be more like "banknote of the four months", but what can I say, I'm easily distracted. 

Bank of Canada $10, series 1954

This particular note is very attractive to me for its simple elegance.  Purple has been a symbol of royalty for thousands of years and its a very under-used color in the design of banknotes.  I think it fits perfectly for this note bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II and it really makes the red serial numbers pop out.  The reverse is a beautiful Canadian landscape.  All Canadian notes are bi-lingual in English and French.  Printed by the British American Banknote Company Limited.  The current producer of Canadian banknotes is the Canadian Banknote Company Limited - I am not sure if there is a connection or if they are distinct entities.