The 2018 docket for the U.S. Mint includes an exciting set of silver medals that honor the United States Armed Services. Now, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) has made its recommendations to the mint for the designs to be featured on these medals.
Barring some unforeseen “April Fools” revelation from over the weekend, gold has charted a steady path to close March and begin April. The gold price has held ground at almost exactly where it began last week, hovering just below $1,250/oz. Spot gold was trading around $1,247/oz on Monday morning, largely flat. Meanwhile, spot silver was down about 0.3% to $18.20/oz.
Amid routine construction on one of Jerusalem’s main highways, a cache of 1,400-year-old Byzantine bronze coins have by chance been discovered.
The precious metals opened slightly higher again on Friday morning, charting a solid weekly gain. Spot gold has gained 1.2% this week, steadying at $1,245/oz in early trading this morning. The silver price, meanwhile, was up 0.3% (or +5¢ per ounce) on Friday, approaching $17.70/oz.
Platinum traded flat but palladium was more than 1.5% higher, extending beyond a 22-month high the metal hit yesterday.
For years, the Pobjoy Mint struck all of the circulating and commemorative coinage for the Isle of Man, which is a self-governing entity within the United Kingdom. (Specifically, Isle of Man is a “Crown dependency,” roughly like a commonwealth or protectorate of Great Britain.)
However, the island recently ended its agreement with the Pobjoy Mint. (No real reason was given by either party other than It will now partner with the Tower Mint, which is now owned by the world-famous coin engraver and artist Raphael Maklouf.
Thursday morning saw the gold price finally breach the $1,250-per-ounce mark as demand for precious metals as a safe haven has continued to be robust. The yellow metal opened about 0.25% higher this morning, hovering around $1,250/oz. Spot silver also rose about 0.7% to trade north of $17.60/oz.
Most of our history books in the U.S. explain the colonization of North America primarily through the prism of religious freedom. There are good, compelling reasons why: The motivation to establish a society with protections of religious tolerance no doubt informs the country’s long-standing doctrines of pluralism and separation of Church & State. While it’s also true that many Puritans and other Christian sects fled persecution in Britain by coming to the New World, this hardly accounts for all of the European migration to the colonies in North America.
The narrative of America’s settlement and early development is enriched by giving weight to another, perhaps equally crucial, factor: free markets.
While the rest of the precious metals were largely steady on Wednesday morning, spot gold surged higher yet again. Gold withstood a bout of profit-taking early this morning that sent the yellow metal down to $1,244/oz before recovering to $1,249/oz, up 0.35%.
Spot silver didn’t fare quite as well, losing about 2¢ per ounce (-0.1%) to trade shy of $17.55/oz. Palladium added 0.75% while platinum was flat.
Tuesday morning began as a rather dull one for the precious metals, with mostly sideways action in trading. Gold prices have remained stuck in neutral the past several sessions, hanging out in the $1,230/oz to $1,235/oz range. By 10 am EST, however, the yellow metal had risen about $4 per ounce to finally break out to nearly $1,240/oz. Spot silver likewise jumped after having hardly budged from Friday’s levels, trading 0.8% to $17.55/oz. The Platinum Group Metals were also mostly flat, with platinum and palladium trading near $970/oz and $790/oz, respectively.
For years, the government of India, the world’s second-most populous country, has made reducing gold demand one of its primary focuses. It seems that after years of failure, the government finally hit upon a fool-proof way to cut down on gold purchases: just take away the people’s cash!
The precious metals slipped from their highs on Monday morning but remained slightly above unchanged when markets opened in New York.
Spot gold traded about 0.3% higher this morning, just shy of $1,234/oz. Meanwhile, spot silver was just a pip higher (+1¢) as it approached $17.50/oz. The Platinum Group Metals were each trending 0.2% higher.
Unless someone is deeply involved in the commodities trade or some specialized industrial process, they are probably unaware of the market for the somewhat obscure metal rhodium. Although it is sometimes used to coat white gold or silver jewelry, rhodium’s primary usefulness is as a catalyst in automobile exhaust systems. Unsurprisingly, it is a Platinum Group Metal closely related (in appearance and properties) to platinum and palladium, which are used for the same catalytic converters.
Although it is today overshadowed by many of Europe’s more prominent government mints, the Royal Dutch Mint (Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt) boasts an impressive history that traces back to the 1500s.
The Leeuwendaalder and America’s Silver Coins
The Netherlands’ flagship silver coin, the leeuwendaalder (literally, “lion thaler”), was an especially important trade coin in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Dutch daalder featured prominently alongside the Spanish 8 reales (also known as the Spanish pillar dollar) and Maria Theresa thaler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in global trade. This time period was, in fact, the beginning of colonialism and the early era of growth in shipping and international trade, when something approaching “global” channels of commerce first flourished. The Dutch played a central role in this evolving world.
Precious metal prices were climbing again on Friday as the markets pushed forward for a solid weekly gain. After a rally for the metals was kicked off following this week’s rate hike from the Federal Reserve, spot gold managed to add another $4 per ounce on Friday morning, trading north of $1,230/oz. Meanwhile, spot silver was up 0.2% to just above $17.30/oz.
So the Federal Reserve met the markets’ expectations and raised its target interest rate by 0.25% today. (Interestingly, Wall St immediately jumped higher as the news broke right along with gold prices.) But what direction will the Fed ultimately go over the next two years?
Before we dive into the rate hike, here’s a quick video explaining why the fed funds rate is so important.
The precious metals clawed back some of yesterday’s losses on Wednesday morning. Virtually everything in the markets today will hinge on the decision by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) about whether its target interest rate should go up this month. The central bank will announce its decision and publish a statement that explains their reasoning and provides some forward guidance at 2 pm EST today. This will be followed by a press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen at 2:30.
The World Gold Council (WGC) publishes quarterly data about trends in gold demand around the world, from industry to investment to mining and new technologies. In February, the research group released its 2016 report on central bank gold demand. As central banks have consistently been net buyers of the yellow metal over the past five years or so, this is always a key area of interest for understanding the international gold market.
The gold price poked its nose just above unchanged on Tuesday morning, though it soon joined the rest of the precious metals slightly lower in early trading. Markets in the U.S. and abroad are expected to remain in a holding pattern today due to the start of the two-day March meeting of the FOMC. The moment to watch prices begin to move will be after 2 pm EST tomorrow.
Perhaps the most successful of the U.S. Mint’s recently introduced coin programs is the America the Beautiful series. Introduced in 2010 just as the wildly popular 50 State Quarters® program came to an end, the ATB series has earned acclaim from bullion stackers thanks to the designs appearing on five-ounce silver coins as well as circulating quarter-dollars.
The precious metals woke up to some buying pressure on Monday morning before slipping back to where they started by 9:00 am EST. Sentiment around the markets appeared to be mixed as everyone awaits the two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Spot gold still traded flat by 10 am in New York, holding right at $1,205.50/oz. The yellow metal jumped higher in the early hours of the morning but ultimately fell back to unchanged. Spot silver moved 3¢ per ounce lower (-0.2%) to just below $17/oz. Platinum and palladium were mixed though only moved modestly.