3600-year-old silver pieces confirmed as first money used in the Levant

AncientOrigins/Nathan Falde/1-11-2023

map showing the Levant present day Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria“In a fascinating new study has found that dozens of silver pieces found during excavations in Israel and the Gaza Strip were actually used as currency in ancient times. Since the silver pieces were likely made and put into circulation sometime between 1,700 and 1,600 BC, in the Middle Bronze Age, this would make them the oldest form of currency ever discovered in the Levant (modern-day Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria).”

USAGOLD note: Before gold, silver was the circulating medium of exchange, and savers hoarded it. The “coins” were minted in Turkey then shipped to the Levant where it was used as currency.
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Map courtesy of MapMaster, (2021, February 21). Map of the Levant. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/image/13269/map-of-the-levant/

 

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Short and Sweet
Worry about the return ‘of’ your money, not just the return ‘on’ it

photograph of a bag of gold coins
There is an old saying among veteran investors to worry not just about the return on your money but the return of your money. In the wealth game, emphasize defense when you need to, offense when it makes sense. At all times, remain diversified. And by that, we mean real diversification in the form of physical gold and silver coins and/or bullion outside the current fiat money system – not just an assortment of stocks and bonds denominated in the domestic currency. Keep in mind – if the currency erodes in value, the underlying value of those assets erodes along with it. A proper, genuine diversification addresses that problem now and in the future.


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Russians buy record number of gold bars in 2022, Vedomosti reports

TheInsider/Staff/1-12-2023

photo of Russan 10 rouble gold coin dated 1902“Analysts have pointed out that Russian investors and Russian banks’ premium customers do not have any other serious investment options: the Russian stock market is of no interest, the purchase of real estate amid mass emigration is a questionable investment, and making investments in foreign assets and foreign currency are fraught with risk.”

USAGOLD note: Not to mention that the country is at war that is not going as planned, the rouble is down and the inflation rate is running at double digits. Russia’s citizens bought 67 tonnes of gold in 2022.

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Gold gains as investors worry about possible government debt default
EWT analyst Gilbert says gold is poised for major rally, sees $2428 as next target

(USAGOLD – 1/24/2023) – Gold gained ground in early trading as investors began to worry about the knock-on effects of a possible federal government debt default. It is up $8.50 at $1941. Silver is up 28¢ at $23.79. State Street CEO Ron O’Hanley told Bloomberg that a showdown in Congress over the debt limit could cause a “fair amount of damage [in the bond market] well before you saw a default.” O’Hanley says the risks of a deadlock are greater this time around because “people believe that this is the only way they can get their message across.” State Street is one of the world’s largest asset management and custodial firms.

Avi Gilbert, the Elliot Wave Theorist who gained a significant following with his call for a sharp drop in gold after it hit record highs in 2011, now says that the metal is poised for a major rally. “Back in 2011,” he explains in an analysis posted recently at Seeking Alpha,” I utilized a 100+ year structure in gold to identify the topping target for gold. And, I used the same structure to identify a bottoming target for the correction I expected, even before that correction began. So, now I am going to provide you my next target on the upside – and that is $2,428.”

Gold, Dow Jones and Misery Index
(1970-1980 period of stagflation)

bar chart showing gold, stocks and the Misery Index during the stagflationary 1970sChart by USAGOLD (All rights reserved) • • • Data source: MacroTrends.net  • • • Click to enlarge

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Gold buys owe much to central bank buying

Bloomberg/Liam Denning/1-20-2023

photo of three poured gold bullion bars“The collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX platform, along with his arrest, offered a tragicomic rebuke to those touting the blockchain as a serious challenger to gold (and the dollar and just about everything else). In contrast to crypto’s digital vapor, gold will inarguably hurt you if dropped on your foot.”

USAGOLD note: Bloomberg commodity columnist Liam Denning weighs in on what’s going on in the gold market…… Central bank buying is certainly a factor, but what are the reasons for that buying?

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Notable Quotable

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“The question is whether there’s enough gold to back the currency reserves. The answer is for the price of gold to go higher, perhaps much higher.… Just wait until they’re forced to loosen into an inflationary spike to support the Treasury. At that point, it’s best to have some gold. That’s what grandpa Ben taught me.” – David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital (US News report)

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From the small investor just starting out to the high-net-worth individual hedging a multi-million dollar portfolio, we have helped many thousands add precious metals to their holdings in our nearly 50 years in the gold business – safely, economically and with the investor’s goals in mind.

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Precious Metals Outlook 2023

MKS Pamp Group/Staff/January 2023

photo of a pile of coins with a kilo bar

“Our macro view is to play for a slower Fed and rising stagflation & recession risks which will ensure both peak US$ and peak real US yields. Inflation will fall, but not to target and the recoveries will be uneven and will ultimately disappoint. That setup has already ensured Gold pivoted from trading defensively for most of 2022, to trading offensively where dips are actively capitalized on, establishing a new technical bull trend after the Fed ended its 75bp hiking regime in November 2022.”

USAGOLD note: A detailed review of the prospects for precious metals in 2023 from Swiss refiner MKS Pamp Group – includes gold, silver, platinum, and palladium base case, bullish case and bearish case scenarios.

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The gathering storm

The New York Sun/Editorial staff/1-12-2023

Ed Stein cartoon graphic of gold bar flying a dollar kite“The coming fight over the debt ceiling is a moment for the Sun to say what we want — a compromise that keeps the government running but commits Congress to establishing a monetary commission. The idea would be to take a formal look at how the Federal Reserve has performed in the last 100 years, how our national experiment in fiat money has performed in the last 50 years, and how to return to honest money.”

USAGOLD note: The monetary storm continues to gather on the horizon, and it will be a long time, if ever in our view, before Congress does anything to detach from the fiat money bandwagon.

 

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Gold is getting its glitter back

Bloomberg/Merryn Somerset Webb/1-15-2023

photo image of stack of American gold eagle coins“The answer, of course, was that it depends what one means by survive. Carry on for many more decades under the same names of dollars, pounds, euros, etc.? Sure. Do so without losing purchasing power? Not a hope. Even inflation at 2% each year halves the value of your money in 36 years.”

USAGOLD note: Webb says the market has “kneecapped” the idea of cryptocurrency rivaling gold and says if you want to own gold, you will need to buy gold.”That being the case,” she adds,” the question is not have you too much, but have you enough — the very same question the head of the PBoC is clearly asking himself right now.”

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Short and Sweet
Only real intrinsic money survives the test of time

photo of stacks of gold and silver coins

Here is a timeless observation from the now-deceased Richard Russell (Dow Theory Letter):

“Paper money is now being created wholesale throughout the world. Stated simply, all paper currency is now valued against each other. But more important, ultimately ALL paper is ultimately valued against the only true, intrinsic money – gold. In world history, no irredeemable paper currency has ever survived. Since all the world’s currency is now irredeemable (in gold), this means that in the end, the only form of money that will survive is real intrinsic money – gold. It’s not a question of whether gold will survive, it’s a question of when the world’s current paper money will deteriorate and finally die. I can tell you that irredeemable paper will not survive – but obviously I can’t tell you when it will die. The timing is the only uncertainty.”

The chart below from the World Gold Council speaks to Russell’s point. It shows the performance of various currencies – past and present – against gold over the long term.  When the end comes, as the chart illustrates, it can come abruptly and without warning. For those who stick to the proposition that gold is not really an inflation hedge, or that it is not really a safe-haven against currency debasement, the chart offers instruction. For those who already own gold as a safe-haven, it provides justification. For those who do not own gold, it serves as an incentive.  As the old saying goes:  All is well until it isn’t.

Chart showing gold outperforming all major currencies since 1900
Chart courtesy of the World Gold Council
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U.S. budget deficit triples to $85 billion in December

MarketWatch/Jeffrey Bartash/1-12-2023

The U.S. budget deficit tripled to $85 billion in December from a year earlier, reflecting somewhat higher spending and a small decline in tax receipts.… Some of the extra outlays stem from the U.S. paying higher interest rates on its mountain of debt.”

USAGOLD note: As of 1/11/2023, the national debt stands at $31,375,141,998,674.97 – and it has almost doubled over the past decade. The national debt, as Ross Perot colorfully called it, is the crazy aunt in the attic. It is rarely a topic of discussion these days in the mainstream media and Washington political circles.

Aggregate National Debt
(Through 1/11/2023)


Source: tradingeconomics.com

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Gold starts week on a quiet note
Gold Newsletter’s Lundin says gold is in a ‘largely unrecognized’ bull market

(USAGOLD 1/23/2023) – Gold is starting the week on a quiet note as markets in general remain in a quandary over Fed policy and the possibility of a recession. It is up $2 at $1930. Silver is down 23¢ at $23.81. It is helpful to keep in mind that since gold’s triple bottom in early November, it is up almost 18%. It is up 5.5% since the start of the year. Gold Newsletter’s Brien Lundin sees gold’s steady performance of late as the start of a ‘largely unrecognized’ bull market.

“[T]he metal is consistently finding reasons to rise, as opposed to excuses to fall,” he says in a recent alert, “If you’ve been reading my stuff for very long, you know that I hold this as one of the most important hallmarks of a bull market. When the market is interpreting even potentially bearish news as bullish, that’s a bull market. Thus, even when the Dow is losing 600 points as it did yesterday, gold barely budged. All of this is good and bodes well for the future.”

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Notable Quotable

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“Inflation oscillates: it’s an idea when it’s not about, and a defining feature when it is. The only other word which comes to mind with similar status is ‘war’. Irrelevant or inexorable – the human mind finds it hard to make a judgement between the two extremes.… Inflation and deflation are generational in scale. Most commentary centres around what inflation will do in the short term – which gives, at best, uninteresting answers, and, more importantly, irrelevant answers. The thought that central bankers can do much to change the broad sweep of inflation is, in my view, far-fetched.” – Jonathan Ruffer, Ruffer Investment Review

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Graphic to link the calendar of reports and events for the week ahead

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Favorite web pages
Charles DeGaulle’s famous ‘Criterion’ speech

photo classice profile of Charles de GaulleGiven the increasing frequency and severity of international currency imbroglios and one emerging nation-state after another falling into monetary disrepair, it is not difficult to visualize more and more of these states looking to hold gold in their reserves as a matter of national defense. One recalls Charles DeGaulle’s famous criterion speech on gold in this context. Though such a holding would not cure internal problems derived from excessive debt and the debasement of their own currencies, it would offer something of a shield for all nation-states against the currency debasement of other nation-states, just as it does for private investors who take the same course of action.

[LINK]

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Scientists discover new structure in gold
that only exists at extreme states

cartoon image of Dr Moneywise with pointed“Scientists have just discovered something new about gold. When extreme crushing pressure is applied quickly, over mere nanoseconds, the element’s atomic structure changes, becoming more similar to metals harder than gold.” – Michelle Starr, ScienceAlert

Dr. Moneywise says: History teaches that under the crushing pressure of a financial meltdown, gold hardens the portfolio, making it more resilient!


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Connecting a few dots

Sprott/John Hathaway/1-5-2023

image showing the blur of high speed money printing press running at full tilt“2023 will reveal that the gross mispricing of financial assets that led to the worst performance of financial markets since 2008 has been only partially resolved. We believe the bear market is far from over, even though investment sentiment is more negative than at the market lows of 2002 and 2008 (AAII Investor Sentiment Survey). With the economy likely to slump into a protracted recession, the Federal Reserve (‘Fed’) will be forced to abort its anti-inflation campaign. A Fed reversal could give temporary respite to financial assets. More importantly, it could underscore the dependency of public policy on money printing and provide a significant boost to the precious metals sector.”

USAGOLD note: Hathaway’s latest. He says 2022 was the year gold built “a solid base, in technical terms, for a strong advance to new record highs against the supposedly invincible U.S. dollar.”

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Move over cryptocurrency, gold could have the last laugh this year

South China Morning Post/Anthony Rowley/1-15-2022

graphic image of gold bars in herringbone design rotated vertically“The gold price appears likely to breach US$2,000 an ounce in 2023 and may go much higher. It could reach US$4,000, given all the factors at play, Juerg Kiener, managing director and chief investment officer of Swiss Asia Capital, an independent asset manager based in Singapore, has suggested.”

USAGOLD note: While the mainstream financial media continues to characterize gold as a short-term speculative play, the essential market for the metal is among those who see it as a long-term safe haven against the obvious turbulence in the economy, and hence financial markets. That group runs the gamut of participants from private individuals to big funds and institutions to central banks – all owning the metal for essentially the same reasons, and it has little to do with its speculative potential. Rowley suggests that the purchases that have  been made thus far “may only be the tip of the iceberg.” An important read at the link……

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The best inflation-fighting investment for 2023 offers 3 other advantages vs. the stock market, says this analyst

MarketWatch/Barbara Kollmeyer/1-12-2023

photograph of oil traders in Houston offices
“While inflation has been a key concern for investors over the past 2 years, and will continue to be an important consideration for the coming year, we believe that there are more reasons to consider allocations to commodities than just inflation.” – Nitesh Shah, Wisdom Tree

USAGOLD note: A brief, but compelling argument for commodities ownership for 2023. Shah believes that with bond yields having peaked, “gold has another headwind removed.”

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