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Silver Bullion Coins on Allocation at Major National Mints

November 12th, 2015

Silver Investment Bars Also in Short Supply
(Washington, D.C.  October 13, 2015) – Retail investors in recent months have seized the opportunity to significantly increase their holdings of silver bullion coins and, to a lesser extent, bars.  Due to strong demand, the U.S. Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, Australia’s Perth Mint, the Austrian Mint and the British Royal Mint have put their silver bullion coins on allocation, where the volume of distribution of coins is controlled due to bottlenecks in the manufacturing process. This is an unprecedented industry-wide phenomenon. In recent history, putting bullion coins on allocation has only occasionally been done by the U.S. Mint.  The practice points to considerable tightness in the silver coin business at the moment.



Globally, silver bullion coin sales reached an all-time high of 32.9 Moz in the third quarter of this year, according to GFMS Thomson Reuters data. This volume was a 74% quarter-on-quarter and 95% year-on-year increase.  Sales in North America, Europe, Japan and other Asian countries (predominantly China) saw quarter-on-quarter growth of 74%, 72%, 95% and 202%, respectively.
As a result, lead times for silver coins have been stretched from immediate delivery to 3-4 weeks in some cases.  This is an unusual occurrence in the industry, with several dealers stating this is the first time they have experienced lag times for certain coin products.  Additionally, the shortage is apparently both a supply and demand issue.  While demand is very strong, given the slow global economic outlook and attractive silver price, the mints are finding it difficult to source the blanks needed to produce the coins.
“It is clear that investors are continuing to demonstrate their desire for silver bullion coins and we encourage national mints across the globe to examine their manufacturing pipeline to ensure that this strong demand is met with immediate fulfillment,” stated Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute. Read more
We also noticed a greater demand for the Vera Silver Zanzibar, our legal tender silver coin. Do not hesitate to read our article about this coin at 99.95% pure silver.

This Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce is part of a very limited edition (only 50K coins will be struck). This is the very first coin of a long Map coins family.

Why does Austria wish to repatriate its gold ?

November 10th, 2015

Austria official gold reserves 2009 - 2013

Austria official gold reserves 2009 - 2013

Many central banks around the world are aware the international monetary system is moving away from the US dollar and that the role of gold will (officially) be much greater in the future. In this development central banks benefit from a smooth and slow transition to a new system, as sudden shocks will bring the global economy in a free fall and more time provides better preparations. Central bankers prefer slow and attentive change. Signs of the slow development towards gold by central banks can be seen across several continents. In Europe slowly more and more countries are repatriating their gold from the UK (Bank Of England) and the US (Federal Reserve Bank Of New York).

Austria reserve assets

Austria reserve assets

Certainly not all their gold but weighed amounts and in the case of Germany and Austria the gold is repatriated over several years. If all European countries would repatriate all their gold at once it would cause a panic in financial markets. In the East, Russia and China are increasing their gold reserves every single month by relative small amounts, respecting the slow development towards gold. Asian central bankers differ from their European colleagues because they verbally acknowledge the role of gold in finance.

In 2004 Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank Of China, said:

… China’s gold market should move from commodity trade to financial product trade. Gold is a commodity that combines the attributes of a currency, financial commodity and general commodity. … gold still has a strong financial nature and remains an indispensable investment tool. In financial centers in the world, the gold market – together with the money market, securities market and FX market – constitutes the main part of the financial market.

Obviously all these central banks are aware what the future will hold. How else can we explain Europe’s repatriating gold policy and Asia’s buying gold policy?

Candid statements from European central bankers regarding their gold policy are scarce. The slow developmenttowards goldpreviously described is usually covered in excuses by European policy makers. I can recall the Dutch Minister Of Finance, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, was asked in a television interview why the Dutch central bank (DNB) had covertly repatriated 123 tonnes of gold from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2014. Dijsselbloem answered with a condescending smile, saying, “ the decision was made by DNB to spread its gold stock in a more balanced way, but it was of little importance”. Of course the military operation that DNB had carefully planned and executed over the course of two years was of utmost importance for the financial well being of the Netherlands, but Dijsselbloem could not openly acknowledge this importance because of the sensitivity of the subject. Just like Jean-Claude Juncker said in 2011:

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”

Read more …

Buy silver before it’s too late !

October 29th, 2015

Silver mine

We would like to share with you an article written by Jeffry Lewis

The ongoing plight of the long term value investor continues – seemingly without end. However, decades of exuberance and greed have colluded. The financial establishment has created an accident waiting to happen. The mainstream has not “priced in” risk, which makes it even harder to travel the road less traveled.
And once the accident happens, it may be too late.
If silver prices were to suddenly move back toward natural price equilibrium, there would naturally (not always the best thing) be a rush to get on board.

This could very likely induce a shortage, which would temporarily stoke a new monetary enthusiasm for the buy side.

There would be some selling, but we remember that a large amount personally held scrap was purged years ago in its last run toward what would be at least $150 in today’s inflated dollars.

Of course, that was followed by a massive and complete drawdown in world government stockpiles.

There is only one way to protect one’s wealth : by buying gold and silver ! it is possible and you can do so by contacting us. You will be given a large choice of gold and silver coins to invest in with the possibility of free storage in our Swiss vaults outside the banking system !

The lack of silver

October 23rd, 2015

We have been talking a lot about the shortage of silver.

Here is some more coming from Extract :

This chart says it all.  According to the data found on, the top eight traders (COT Report) held a concentrated short position equaling 181 days of global silver production.  Compare this to platinum at 119 days, palladium at 95 days, gold at 65 days, copper at 10 days and oil at a paltry 3 days:

Silver coming first

Silver coming first

Basically, the top eight traders are short half a year’s worth of world silver mine supply.  That’s a great deal of leverage by these traders as the world enters into the next financial collapse.  I would imagine this leverage just might add serious fuel to the rising paper price of silver, as these traders experience one of the greatest silver short-squeezes in history.

Silver is expected to raise. We do not know when exactly but one thing for sure you need to make yourself ready now.

Stack silver now while it still time and possible.

The demand for the Vera Silver has increased so much. You can buy as little as one ounce and as much as you wish.


October 13th, 2015

Extract : Silver Shortage Blog

Silver to become a rare earth metal , it is Extremely undervalued. Silver to become extinct by year 2020 according to geologists only 300 millions ounces left! Silver is consumable industry metal it is used up : 95% gold ever found is still around 75% of silver is a by-product of mining other metal only 25% is primary product of mining,In 1480 the price of one ounce of Silver was equal to one ounce of Gold, Low supply, high demand Price to skyrocket get your silver and stay long!

Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce - Obverse

Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce - Obverse

Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce - Reverse

Vera Silver Zanzibar one ounce - Reverse

Just to let you know that last June we launched our new coin : the Vera Silver Zanzibar with Tanzanian legal tender. It is 999.5 %oo fine silver.
It is QR Coded on the reverse side in order to guarantee authenticity, individually Prooftag sealed and struck by Agosi.
50,000 coins have been struck for 2015 and half of them have already been sold. The Vera Silver Zanzibar can be delivered so do not hesitate to order your own !

Please email us :

VeraMax 1/10 ounce of fine gold - Obverse

VeraMax 1/10 ounce of fine gold - Obverse

Another coin is now up for sale and can be delivered too : the Vera Max 1/10 ounce, with the same properties as the Vera Valor one ounce.

VeraMax 1/10 ounce of fine gold - Reverse

VeraMax 1/10 ounce of fine gold - Reverse

It has a synthetic DNA and adopts the ‘Prooftag’ security system that provides a high level of protection based on a unique ‘bubble code” that cannot be reproduced.
The VeraMax can now be ordered here.

Other coins are up for sale on our website – do not hesitate to visit us :

Our storage facilities are located in Switzerland, in Geneva, outside the banking system. Subscribe to our LSP and enjoy the free storage !

Gold price goes for $1,300

January 21st, 2015

How far can it go ?

Gold on Tuesday made a dash for the crucial $1,300 an ounce level as investors seek a safe haven from turmoil on financial markets rocked by the confidence-shaking move by the Swiss central bank last week.

In heavy trade of more than 20m ounces by noon in New York, gold for delivery in February – the most active futures contract – jumped just over $20 an ounce from Monday’s close hitting a high of $1,297.20 an ounce – the highest since August 19.

It’s the eighth positive trade session in a row and the metal is now trade up over $110 or 8.7% in 2015.

Gold’s gains this year also comes into the teeth of a rampant US dollar. On Tuesday, the greenback hit fresh 12-year highs against the currencies of major US trading partners, with the dollar index topping 93.

Since August 18, the last time gold could be traded above USD 1,300 an ounce, the USD has strengthened by 12%.

Commodities priced in US dollar usually have an inverse relationship to the world’s reserve currency, particularly gold. The US dollar index record high of 164.72 reached in February 1985 coincided with the bottom in the price of gold of $284.25 an ounce during that same month.

Read more

Gold on Tuesday made a dash for the crucial $1,300 an ounce level as INVESTORS seek a safe haven from turmoil on financial markets rocked by the confidence-shaking move by the Swiss central bank last week.

In heavy TRADE of more than 20m ounces by noon in New York, GOLD for delivery in February – the most active futures contract – jumped just over $20 an ounce from Monday’s close hitting a high of $1,297.20 an ounce – the highest since August 19.

It’s the eighth positive trading session in a row and the metal is now trading up over $110 or 8.7% in 2015.

Gold’s gains this year also comes into the teeth of a rampant US dollar. On Tuesday, the greenback hit fresh 12-year highs against the currencies of major US trading partners, with the dollar index topping 93. Since August 18, the last time GOLD TRADED above $1,300 an ounce, the USD has strengthened by 12%.

Commodities priced in US dollar usually have an inverse relationship to the world’s reserve currency, particularly gold. The US dollar index record high of 164.72 reached in February 1985 coincided with the bottom in the PRICE OF GOLD of $284.25 an ounce during that same month.

China 2014 gold demand heading for 2,100 tonnes

November 25th, 2014

With gold withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange having reached 1,761 tonnes by November 14, and weekly withdrawals since the Golden Week holiday at the beginning of October averaging comfortably over 50 tonnes, China looks to be heading for an annual demand total (SGE gold withdrawals equate to overall demand) of comfortably over 2,000 tonnes again this year assuming these levels are maintained.

Historically November and December are strong months for Chinese gold demand ahead of the Chinese New Year (February 19 2015), which suggests gold demand will remain strong through January and the first half of February too.


Indeed should the current weekly demand levels hold up – the past six weeks have seen withdrawals from the SGE of 52 tonnes, 54 tonnes, 47 tonnes, 60 tonnes, 52 tonnes and 68 tonnes respectively – then we could be heading for an annual figure of around 2,100 tonnes. This is not far short of last year’s record of 2,199 tonnes as stated by the China Gold Association in its China Gold Yearbook released in September (of which 1,507 tonnes came from imports of gold bullion, 17 tonnes in dore imports from overseas mines, 428 tonnes of domestically mined gold thus leaving 247 tonnes to have come from recycled gold scrap. Figures are all from Koos Jansen, Nick Laird and the China Gold Association).

Reading more

Gold Decreases to $1,223.95 an Ounce Awaiting Fed News

November 2nd, 2014

Gold was down on Wednesday as investors awaited more information from the U.S. Federal Reserve regarding interest rate hikes, according to Reuters.

Spot gold declined 0.3 percent to trade at $1,223.95 an ounce. This comes after gold reached a six-week high during the previous week.

Meanwhile, gold futures also fell, decreasing by $5.80 an ounce to $1,223.20.

“This should be the end of [quantitative easing], but if some wording is used by the Fed that the economic recovery doesn’t justify removal of its monetary stimulus and they have … to leave the door open to reinstating some measures in the future, then that could be interpreted as fairly positive for gold,” Mitsubishi Corp Strategist Jonathan Butler was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Ext :

Dollar up, gold down; why?

September 18th, 2014

The U.S. Dollar Index closed last Friday at 84.25. For the ninth consecutive week, the Dollar Index has finished higher than the quote from the end of the previous week. This is the longest string of consecutive weekly increases since the first quarter of 1997.

The U.S. dollar reached its highest level in six years against the Japanese yen.

This is the highest the index has been over the past couple of years except for two days in May 2013.

In reaction, the price of gold fell to a multi-month low and silver dropped to its lowest levels since May 2010.

There are several reasons why the dollar is temporarily strong. The economies across Europe are proving to be weaker than the politicians were pretending, which had encouraged some investors to abandon the euro and replace it with the dollar. The military actions and economic sanctions involving the Ukraine and Russia are also putting more pressure on Europe than the United States. American politicians are still talking about the economic news in the United States being positive rather than negative as several reports (a horrible jobs report for August, mortgage applications are declining precipitously, the percentage of home sales being settled for cash is dropping sharply, a growing number of people qualifying for food stamps, the Federal Reserve’s continuing inflation of the money supply at far higher levels than it is admitting, and so forth) are indicating. This is quieting potential clamor from the public as we enter the final few weeks before elections.

However, behind the scenes, various regulatory changes are coming that are all likely to hurt American financial markets.  As they impact the value of other kinds of assets, there will be fallout for the values of gold and silver.

On Aug. 28, the CME Group, which owns the COMEX, NYMEX, GLOBEX and other commodity and financial exchanges in New York and the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in Chicago, announced a change to its Rule 575, which became effective Sept. 15.

- See more at:

Read more

Physically Backed Diamond Investment Site Picking Up Steam In Europe, Eyeing U.S. Market

August 19th, 2014

(Correction: Two 26-carat batches in circulation, not two 2-carat batches as previously stated)

By Alex Létourneau Kitco News
Tuesday August 12, 2014 11:50 AM

(Kitco News) - After finding a way to turn diamonds into an affordable investment option, has seen a growing interest in Europe as the company looks to expand to North America.

Using a specific criteria for the diamonds included in their batches, InvestDiamond has managed to bypass the main issue with diamonds being turned into an investment product –which is no two diamonds are alike and therefore impossible to attribute a fixed price to a cluster of diamonds.

InvestDiamond’s physically-backed batches of similar stones are then fractioned as members place bids for as little as $15 or €11, while prices are based on real-time orders on the site and the Rapaport price.

The diamonds are kept in Swiss vaults in the Freeport zone, outside of the banking system.

Launched Nov. 30, InvestDiamond has “two 26-carat batches that are in circulation and we’re working on getting the third one ready,” said Linnea Bruce, project manager at InvestDiamond.

Based in France, InvestDiamond has been testing the waters locally before expanding its reach to other parts of the world, with the U.S. as its next main target.

“Our members are mostly in Europe – we wanted to get some feedback and stability in Europe first before we transitioned to the U.S. market,” Bruce said.

One way they’re looking into capturing the attention of the U.S. market is by introducing a physically backed gold, silver and investment diamond debit card.

InvestDiamond’s parent company,, already has a physically backed gold debit card, called the Vera Carte, that it has put into circulation and used in France over the last few years.  

The success of the card has led InvestDiamond to add silver and diamonds to the card as they are currently in the beta testing phase.

“By year-end it should be out of beta testing and available to the general public,” Bruce said. “You can credit your account with $1,000 and have 60% backed with gold, 20% with silver and 20% with diamonds, for example.”

Bruce said it can used as a regular debit card. It’s accompanied with a pin for usage and is recognized by Master Card.

She also added that they hired a new card distributor, allowing the debit cards to be available for usage worldwide.

“Once we get that launched in France, we’ll be looking for a partner with experience in that concept to bring it over to North America,” Bruce said.

The current outlook for supply and demand metrics in the diamond space has experts pointing to diminishing supply, with a lack of new discoveries and older operations reaching the end of their mine life.

On the other hand, demand is expected to continually expand as the middle classes in China and India are expected to grow rapidly over the next decade.

Australia Seizes 360M From Dormant Bank Accounts And All 50 U.S. States Are Doing This Too

July 18th, 2014

Do you have a bank account that you don’t actively use or a safe deposit box that you have not checked on for a while?  If so, you might want to see if the government has grabbed your money.  This sounds absolutely crazy, but it is true.  All over the world, governments are shortening the time periods required before they can seize “dormant bank accounts” and “unclaimed property”.  For example, as you will read about below, just last year the government of Australia seized a whopping 360 million dollars from dormant bank accounts.  And this kind of thing is going on all over America as well.  In fact, all 50 states actually pay private contractors to locate bank accounts and unclaimed property that can be seized.  In some states, no effort will be made to contact you when your property is confiscated.  And in most states, the seized property permanently become the property of the state government after a certain waiting period has elapsed.  So please don’t put money or property into a bank somewhere and just let it sit there.  If you do, the government may come along and grab it right out from under your nose.

In this day and age, broke governments all over the globe are searching for “creative ways” to raise revenues.  In Australia for example, the time period required before the federal government could seize a dormant bank account was reduced from seven to three years, and this resulted in an unprecedented windfall for the Australian governmentover the past 12 months…

The federal government has seized a record $360 million from household bank accounts that have been dormant for just three years, prompting outrage in some quarters amid complaints that pensioners and retirees have lost deposits.

Figures from the Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) show almost $360 million was collected from 80,000 inactive accounts in the year to May under new rules introduced by Labor. The new rules lowered the threshold at which the government is allowed to snatch funds from accounts that remain idle from seven years to three years.

The rule change has delivered the government a massive bonanza with the money collected in the year to May more than the total collected in the past five decades combined.

Most Americans are not going to be too concerned about this because it is happening on the other side of the planet.

But did you know that this is happening all over the U.S. as well?

For instance, the waiting period in the state of California used to be fifteen years.

Now it is just three years.

And when California grabs your money they don’t just sit around waiting for you to come and claim it.  Instead, it gets dumped directly into the general fund and spent.

If you do not believe that California does this, just check out the following information that comes directly from the official website of the California State Controller’s Office

The State acquires unclaimed property through California’s Unclaimed Property Law, which requires“holders” such as corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies to annually report and deliver property to the Controller’s Office after there has been no customer contact for three years. Often the owner forgets that the account exists, or moves and does not leave a forwarding address or the forwarding order expires. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.

And it is not just bank accounts and safe deposit boxes that are covered by California law.  The reality is that a vast array of different kinds of “unclaimed property” are covered

The most common types of Unclaimed Property are:

Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents

Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends

Uncashed cashier’s checks or money orders

Certificates of deposit

Matured or terminated insurance policies


Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts.

And when a state government grabs your property, the consequences can be absolutely devastating.  The following is an excerpt from an ABC news report from a few years ago…

San Francisco resident Carla Ruff’s safe-deposit box was drilled, seized, and turned over to the state of California, marked “owner unknown.”

“I was appalled,” Ruff said. “I felt violated.”

Unknown? Carla’s name was right on documents in the box at the Noe Valley Bank of America location. So was her address — a house about six blocks from the bank. Carla had a checking account at the bank, too — still does — and receives regular statements. Plus, she has receipts showing she’s the kind of person who paid her box rental fee. And yet, she says nobody ever notified her.

They are zealously uncovering accounts that are not unclaimed,” Ruff said.

To make matters worse, Ruff discovered the loss when she went to her box to retrieve important paperwork she needed because her husband was dying. Those papers had been shredded.

And that’s not all. Her great-grandmother’s precious natural pearls and other jewelry had been auctioned off. They were sold for just $1,800, even though they were appraised for $82,500.

And some states are even more aggressive than the state of California in going after bank accounts.

In a recent article, Simon Black noted that the state of Georgia can go after “dormant bank accounts” after just one year of inactivity…

In fact, each of the 50 states has its own regulations pertaining to the seizure of dormant accounts. And the grand prize goes to… the great state of Georgia!

Georgia’s Disposition of Unclaimed Properties Act sets the threshold as low as one year.

In other words, if you have a checking account in Georgia that you haven’t touched in twelve months, the state government is going to grab it.

So much for setting aside money for a rainy day and having the discipline to never touch it.

As economic conditions get even worse, the temptation for governments all over the planet to grab private bank accounts is going to become even greater.

We all remember what happened in Cyprus.  When the global financial Ponzi scheme finally collapses, politicians all over the world are going to be looking for an easy way to raise cash.  And our bank accounts may be one of the first things that they decide to confiscate.

So please don’t keep all of your eggs in one basket, and check on all of your accounts in regular intervals.

In this day and age, it pays to be diligent.

Ext :

Gold Plunges Back Below $1300 As “Someone” Dumps $2.3 Billion In Futures

July 16th, 2014

With The Fed proclaiming bubbles in some of the most-loved segments of the stock market and explaining that the economy is doing “ok” but they must remain dovish for longer for feasr of “false dawns”… what better time than now to dump $2.3 Billion notional in futures… of course the dump in gold’s anti-status quo price coincided with an odd v-shaped recovery in stocks… Gold remains above its pre-June FOMC levels still.

The break was precipitated by the sale of over 17,000 contracts (or over $2.3 Billion notional)…

20140715_gold_1ST GRAPH

But for now gold remains above FOMC levels…

Extract :

Australia’s Perth Mint gold sales hit four-month high

July 4th, 2014

Gold sales from Australia’s Perth Mint, which refines all the output in the world’s second-biggest producer of the precious metal, hit the highest level in four months last month, driven by a rally in prices that stimulated demand.

Sales of gold coins and minted bars rose to 39,405 ounces from 36,127 ounces in May and the most since February, according to data from the mint published by Reuters. In comparison, the mint sold 47,692 ounces in June last year.
US sales, instead, went downhill, with American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins dropping when compared to the same period in 2013. The decline for the silver comes as the US Mint recently lifted their allocation program, which had been limiting the number of coins authorized purchasers were able to order.
During June 2014, Silver Eagle sales reached 2,692,000 ounces. This amount was down from the prior month when sales were a more robust 3,988,500 ounces. The amount is down by 17.8% compared to the year ago period of June 2013 when sales were 3,275,000 ounces.
Extract : and Reuters

Historic gold agreements

June 17th, 2014

1944 – Establishment of the IMF

The first international agreement on gold came with the signing of the International Monetary Fund’s articles of agreement in July 1944.

The IMF was created in order to rebuild the global monetary system after the Second World War, and its articles laid down that all member countries should establish ‘par values’ for their currencies in terms of gold, or in terms of the US dollar which was itself pegged to gold. One dollar was valued at 0.888671 gram of fine gold, or US$35 an ounce.

The agreement confirmed the price of gold as established by President Roosevelt in 1933, and gold became the foundation of the first international monetary system established by international agreement. It was the ‘glue’ that held the system of exchange rates together.

To give the new IMF usable resources to enable it to start lending, members were also required to pay 25 per cent of their subscription to the Fund in gold. Members had to buy and sell gold at the fixed price, plus or minus a margin set by the IMF. Gold was the ultimate reserve asset.

This requirement and the growth of membership resulted in IMF holdings of gold rising to 153 million ounces by 1975, at the time worth US$21 billion.

1960s – Central banks try to stabilise gold prices

In 1961, a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ among central banks – known as ‘The Gold Pool’ – was established to hold the price of gold close to the then official price of US$35 an ounce.

The previous year, the price had risen to US$40 per ounce following panic buying of gold during the US presidential race and a speculative attack on the dollar. According to the Bank of England, “this state of affairs threatened the whole structure of exchange relationships in the western world”. The bank, with the support of the US authorities, sold gold on a substantial scale to bring the price down “to more appropriate levels”.

In October 1961, following a further speculative flurry, the central banks of Western Europe agreed to cooperate with the New York Federal Reserve Bank to stabilise the market.

A period of coordinated gold purchases followed the change of market conditions. However, the Cuba missile crisis of July 1962 triggered record demands for gold on the London market, which was again met by official selling. The objective throughout was to “avoid unnecessary and disturbing fluctuations in the price of gold in the free market”.

The Bank of England’s conclusion on this experiment was that “the knowledge that the central banks were working together in the gold, as well as in the exchange markets, has helped to maintain public confidence in the existing international monetary structure”.

The central banks abolished The Gold Pool in 1968, agreeing that they would no longer supply gold to the market but transact only among themselves at the official price. This established a two-tier system – one for private transactions, where the price fluctuated according to supply and demand, and the other for official transactions.

This agreement lasted until November 1973, when the price of gold was allowed to move freely, following the suspension of dollar convertibility into gold—the end of the gold standard—in August 1971.

1978 – The IMF attempts to write gold out of the system

In the late 1970s, the United States led an attempt to remove gold from the international monetary system. The Second Amendment of the International Monetary Fund’s articles was intended to achieve this aim by barring members from fixing their exchange rates to gold and removing the obligation on members to conduct transactions in gold at the officially mandated price.

The amendment followed the failure of previous attempts to establish a new international monetary system, including the inability of European countries to force the United States to either settle its deficit in gold, or else devalue the dollar against gold.

Not only did the United States refuse to keep gold in the system, it then led a crusade against gold—while being careful to keep a very large strategic stock of gold in its own reserves, sealed off from the outside world.

Symbolising the plan to drive gold out of the system, the IMF was instructed to dispose of 50 million ounces of its gold stock of 153 million ounces. It achieved this partly by sales to the market and partly by giving some gold to members.

Ironically, this exercise had the effect of spreading gold much more widely through the international community than ever before, and gave many countries a new interest in the gold market. Few countries showed any inclination to sell the gold handed to them, and in the vast majority of cases it continues to sit on their books.

Ext.: World Gold Council.

The Silver Fix is Dead ? What’s coming up next ?

June 2nd, 2014

Last week, the big news in the silver space came courtesy of the London Silver Market Fixing (LSMF), which said on Wednesday that it will stop administering the London silver fix at the end of the day on August 14, 2014.

A Q&A included in the private company’s press release manages to be both informative and vague. For instance, while it’s crystal clear about the fact that business will continue as usual until the date named above — after which time “a daily Silver Fixing Price will no longer be published by the Company” — it offers no information about what its decision may mean for market participants.

Indeed, it states that “the Company is not in a position to comment” on what will happen to those “with contracts referencing the Silver Fix,” also noting that its “decision relates only to the London Silver Fixing,” meaning that it can’t comment on the fate of the fixings for goldplatinum and palladium prices.

What is the silver fix?

As the LSMF explains on its website, it has been fixing the price of silver for more than 110 years with the primary aim of “providing market users with the opportunity to buy and sell silver at a single quoted price.”

The process of fixing that price is fairly complex, but The Wall Street Journal provided a good explanation at the end of last year. Essentially, the news outlet notes, representatives of Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), HSBC Bank USA and the Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) speak midday via conference call, exchanging bids and offers “on behalf of the banks and their clients.” Those numbers are then “adjusted up or down to reflect the number of buyers and sellers.”

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"For a mountaineer, the important things are the effort, the posture and the muscles. The rope that holds him serves no purpose when everything works but it gives him a sense of security. In the same way, all gold does is ensure confidence; it's a safe haven."