Archive for July 29th, 2011

July 29, 2011

Better Date Peace Dollars Increase

Peace Dollar  


With the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th, 1919; most of the world once engulfed in total war paused for reflection. The United States, which would not formally end hostilities with the defeated German Empire until the signing of the Treaty of Berlin on July 2nd, 1921, adopted a new sense that, perhaps, this was the “war to end all wars.”

             Wishing to commemorate this new found sense of peace; Farran Zerbe (historian of the American Numismatic Association and founder of the Chase Manhattan Bank Money Museum) proposed, at a meeting of the A.N.A., that a commemorative half dollar or silver dollar be issued for general circulation. Using the Pittman Act of 1918 as the impetus, the federal Commission of Fine Arts initiated a design competition for the new dollar coin.

 Anthony de Francisci, using his wife Teresa as a model, won the competition with his design that featured Liberty wearing a Romanesque radiate crown on the obverse with the legend: “LIBERTY” and IN GOD WE TRUST”; and an eagle perched atop a mountain peak with the legends: “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, “E PLURIBUS UNUM”,”ONE DOLLAR”, and “PEACE” on the reverse. De Francisci’s first design for the reverse depicted the eagle clutching a broken sword symbolizing disarmament. This device was viewed by government officials as symbolizing a defeat rather than a negotiated peace and was rejected. The mint had George Morgan (designer of the previously issued Morgan Silver Dollar) rework the eagle so that it was now clutching an olive branch. De Francisci used Roman style lettering on the obverse, notably using a Roman “V” for a “U” in “TRVST.” Many people mistakenly to this day believe that this stylized “U” is intended to symbolize “V” for Victory.

 Morgan also re-worked the lettering on the reverse. Unfortunately it didn’t match the lettering on the obverse, creating the above mentioned confusion.  The new silver dollar was minted in high relief in 1921, its first year of issue. In 1922 the relief of the coin was lowered (by hammering the electroplate model with a flat board!) to facilitate the minting process. The Peace Dollar would be minted until 1935 when designated silver supplies were exhausted. This dollar commemorating Peace would be the last of the general circulation silver dollars minted by the United States.

July 29, 2011

How High Will Silver Prices Go in 2011?

NEW YORK (TheStreet ) — Gold was the hot metal in 2010 but silver has grabbed the early lead in the race to be 2011’s precious metal winner.

As gold prices struggle to hold new highs, silver prices are on a tear, reaching 31-year highs and up 31% already this year, but these levels are still a far cry from their $50 record.

Silver hit an all-time high of $50 an ounce in 1980 after the famous (or infamous) Hunt brothers bought the metal aggressively for 7 years; at one time owning more than 200 million ounces of silver.

The silver bubble burst soon thereafter, shedding 50% of its value almost immediately, and over the last 30 years the metal has traded as low as $4.

The appeal of silver is three-fold. Often called the “poor man’s gold,” silver performs the role of a hard asset — a form of moneythat retains more value than paper currencies. Silver, like gold, is also a safe-haven asset. There’s been a lot of safe-haven headlines of late with the explosion of violence in the Middle East, rising food prices, riots, inflation, conflict between North and South Korea, a nuclear disaster in Japan and high unemployment.

Silver is also an industrial metal, with about 60% of its usage coming from the sector, which makes the metal a good play on a global economic recovery. Experts say, however, that industrial demand will not likely be as big of a support to higher silver prices in 2011 as it was in 2010, forcing investment demand to pick up the slack,

So far, no problem. The iShares Silver Trust has added more than 280 tons so far in 2011 as traders jumped in. There have also been rumors that Asian buyers were gobbling up shares of the SLV in order to take physical delivery, which they have to do in 50,000 share lots.

Backwardation in the futures market, where the spot month price is higher than the future months, points to a supply crunch and has been a green light for some traders that silver is headed higher.