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WEEKLY GOLD & SILVER MARKET RECAP – 5/16/2014

Domestic Economy Gaining Strength

The Gold price is set to realize a mild weekly gain today as strong U.S. economic data continues to hamper any significant rally for Precious Metals caused by the crisis in Ukraine.  Reassuring unemployment numbers, good home construction figures and strong corporate earnings all point to increasing strength in the domestic economy.  Benchmark equities indexes have reached all-time highs as the mounting improvement in macroeconomic data helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 briefly realize record levels.  With geopolitical turmoil simmering in Ukraine and strong data regarding the U.S. economy struggling to force steady momentum for Precious Metals prices, Gold remains range-bound pending further impetus. 

Equities Markets could be higher in the short-term

U.S. stocks reached all-time highs on Monday with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average seeing little change through Tuesday.  “We’ve had a stealth rally in the market to this record,” Eric Marshall, a portfolio manager at Hodges Funds, said.  “The fact that we’ve moved up and hit new highs, in spite of some lingering negative sentiment is a very healthy and positive thing for the market.”  Investors are now awaiting the completion of earnings season as over 75 percent of S&P 500 organizations have weighed in with positive reports.  Ongoing strength in earnings data could force equities markets higher in the short-term.

Platinum and Palladium

Platinum and Palladium traded higher early in the week as supply concerns continue in South Africa due to ongoing miner strikes.  South Africa is responsible for a large portion of the world’s Platinum and Palladium production, which has been reduced by nearly 40 percent since the strikes began four months ago.   “A sudden end to the strike would lead to a sharp drop, but we believe the market is working under a structural production/consumption deficit, and we are therefore bullish medium – to longer-term,” James Steel, chief precious metals analyst at HSBC, said.

The Gold Price

U.S. unemployment figures dropped to their lowest level in seven years Thursday, dragging Gold down following Wednesday’s mild surge.  “Jobless claims dropping below 300,000 is a big deal and people are getting convinced that the economy is showing signs of recovery,” Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates, said.  However, signs of economic growth have fallen to force Gold too low as ongoing geopolitical turmoil in Ukraine is helping buoy the yellow metal.  The Gold price will more than likely maintain a tug-of-war while concerns regarding unrest in Ukraine struggle against the forces of continued domestic economic growth.

Stocks

Friday saw stock futures rise on housing data, a day after equities were pummeled by poor earnings from Wal-Mart. Alpari, U.K., Ltd. research analyst Joshua Mahoney said, “The hesitancy seen within markets could lead many to believe we are seeing a top and thus will be looking at more bearish set-ups.” Another bearish sign for stocks is the situation in Ukraine, with reports that Ukrainian troops are attempting to force separatists out of two towns serving as basis for the opposition.

 The Dollar

Gold and Silver turned lower in early morning trading Friday after housing data showed higher-than-expected new home construction numbers. VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov said, “Gold is still stuck in a narrow range because the downside is limited by geopolitical concerns and the upside is capped by generally good U.S. data, which suggest the [Federal Reserve] will carry on with the current pace of stimulus tapering. You have one central bank reducing its quantitative easing when the ECB (European Central Bank) does the opposite. From the simple perspective of the dollar, it should be relatively strong.”

Closing

In closing Friday, the Gold price is set to realize a mild weekly gain as strong U.S. economic data continues to hamper any significant rally for Precious Metals caused by the crisis in Ukraine.  Reassuring unemployment numbers, good home construction figures and strong corporate earnings all point to increasing strength in the domestic economy.  Benchmark equities indexes have reached all-time highs as the mounting improvement in macroeconomic data helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 briefly realize record levels.  With geopolitical turmoil simmering in Ukraine and strong data regarding the U.S. economy struggling to force steady momentum for Precious Metals prices, Gold remains range-bound pending further impetus.  

Headed into the latter half of May, investors will continue to weigh the prospects for further unrest in Ukraine as they digest both domestic and global economic data.  Time will tell if U.S. stocks can continue their rally as Gold looks to find a catalyst to break out of its current trading range.

Click this link to view on our website. http://bit.ly/1lUxwCr

 

APMEX hosts webinar: What the World Knows about Investing

APMEX recently hosted a webinar on April 23, 2014 focusing on what the world knows about Gold that the U.S. probably doesn’t. It had great information for all investor levels. The presentation is only about 20 minutes with Q&A taking up the rest of the hour. It’s definitely worth a look. Check it out here.

Interview with Natasha Muhl, designer of the APMEXclusive 2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark

Natasha Muhl, designer at the Perth Mint We had the opportunity to chat with Natasha Muhl, the creative force behind the APMEXclusive 2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark. See below for some unique insights into her design process.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m from the Kimberley in the North West of Western Australia, so I spent a lot of time outdoors in nature growing up. This would probably be my biggest inspiration, especially when it comes to designing Australian fauna-themed coins. While doing my research for any new series, I tend to look at a range of photography and watch nature documentaries. This helps me to accurately recreate the animal. I also take inspiration from coin collecting catalogs and numismatic magazines, as it’s always great to see what other mints are up to and keep ideas fresh.

How do you start the design process?
The Perth Mint Sales and Marketing team meet fortnightly to discuss potential concepts for each coin program. Once the theme has been determined, the designers are given a detailed creative brief to follow. As part of the research process we often take part in field trips. With the Great White Shark bullion coin for example, I visited the Aquarium of Western Australia and dived with a range of sharks. It was wonderful to come face to face with these amazing creatures and it really helped steer my creative process.

What are some of your favorite coins?
There are so many to choose from, but I would have to say The Perth Mint’s Famous Ballets Silver proof coin set, with its subtle pad printing details, is one of my favorites. More recently I’m really enjoying the Gods of Olympus series which is struck in high relief to a rimless format – a first for the Mint! These mythological gods are quite dark and moody so it is an exciting concept for the design studio. They have also proven to be extremely popular with collectors which is always great.

How did you get into designing coins?

2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark

2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shar

I studied at Central Institute of Technology [in Perth], graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design in 2009. Fellow Perth Mint designer, Tom Vaughan, was a previous classmate of mine and he kindly recommended me to the Mint when they were looking for a new illustrator. It’s always been my dream to become a designer, so I feel very fortunate to work for The Perth Mint as I get the chance to illustrate a broad range of themes for a variety of audiences.

Why a shark instead of another sea predator or animal?
The Great White Shark is probably the most feared and interesting predator in existence. Most people around the world have watched the movie Jaws and can imagine the terror of an encounter with this deadly creature. I think that’s what makes them so exciting and sought-after.

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6 fun facts about one of the world’s most innovative mints: The Perth Mint of Australia.

The Perth Mint

The Perth Mint (Photo credit: amandabhslater)

If you’re an APMEX customer, you may know The Perth Mint as the prized destination for our annual “Escape To Australia” contest. As an investor or collector, you probably know The Perth Mint for their products. Their Gold and Silver Lunar coins are among the most beautiful and collected Chinese Zodiac coins in the world. Here are a few surprising facts about The Perth Mint that you might not know.

Rare. Many Perth Mint coins are made in strictly limited mintages, giving even their most value-priced bullion coins a dimension of collectibility.

Same Location since 1899. The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint. Today, it’s one of the oldest mints in the world to operate on its original premises, despite the name change.. The Perth Mint is actually incorporated as Gold Corporation and  has two wholly owned subsidiaries – Western Australian Mint and GoldCorp USA.

Created The First Gold Bullion Series. In 1986, The Perth Mint launched the Australian Gold Nugget Coin Series, the first bullion series with a reverse (back) design that changes every year. The first few coins featured Gold nuggets. In 1989, the design switched to a kangaroo. Today, we commonly call this series the Australian Gold Kangaroo.

Biggest and Best. In 2011, The Perth Mint unveiled the biggest, heaviest and inherently most valuable Gold coin in the world. Weighing in at 1,000kg (2,204.6 pounds), this coin contains one metric tonne of 99.99 percent pure Gold and is worth more than $42.6 million at current Gold prices.

A Refinery and A Mint. There’s only one Gold refinery in Australia and it’s The Perth Mint. Between coins, bullion and industrial Gold, The Perth Mint produces more than 400 tonnes of Gold per year.

Visit Perth and The Mint. Located on the Western Shore of Australia, Perth is a bustling and beautiful city with beaches, parks and natural wonders unique to this island continent. You can also visit The Perth Mint while you’re there. In fact, you could…

WIN A FREE TRIP TO PERTH AND THE PERTH MINT!

Every fall, when the new Perth Mint coins come out, APMEX launches the “Escape To Australia” contest. Watch for it on this blog and APMEX.com.

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5 things you never want to do with Gold and Silver.

Gold and Silver may last forever, but coins, bars, rounds and jewelry require special care to preserve their value. Here are a few things you never want to do.

  • Don’t touch or talk over a coin: Fingerprints can be almost impossible to remove so be sure to always wear gloves, preferably made of soft cotton, when you handle coins. And don’t talk in a coin’s direction. Subtle, indiscernible drops of saliva can land on a coin and turn into smudge marks over time.
  • Don’t take a certified coin out of its slab: Grading services like PCGS and NGC seal coins in tamper-evident slabs to protect them and certify their authenticity and condition. Once the seal is broken, the certification is lost and the value of the coin is reduced.
  • Don’t try to authenticate a product yourself: We’ve seen coins, rounds and bars lose value when people drill into or pour chemicals on them. Always ask a professional to help you authenticate. Or better yet, buy from a reputable dealer whose products need no authentication.
  • Don’t clean your coins: Improper cleaning can turn a rare, valuable coin into a $25 Silver ingot. Collectors prefer coins that show the deep coloration of age over those whose surfaces have been stripped away.
  • Don’t swim wearing Gold jewelry: Chlorine breaks down the alloys in 14K and 18K Gold jewelry, weakening prongs and ring shanks. Chlorine bleach can destroy 14K Gold in 24 hours. The 24K Gold found in most APMEX products is impervious to almost every chemical, but is generally too soft and pliable for everyday jewelry.

Do you have any ideas for protecting your Gold and Silver? Share them in the comments section below.

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America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins

2013 5 oz Silver ATB Mount Rushmore National Park, SD

2013 5 oz Silver ATB Mount Rushmore National Park, SD

Big in size. Big in popularity. Big in collectibility.

In April 1832, the U.S. Congress carved out a federal reserve near Hot Springs, Arkansas. In April 2010, the U.S. Mint paid tribute to this site with Hot Springs National Park, the first 3-inch, .999 fine, 5 oz Silver coin in the mint’s history to launch a brand new series.

This was the start of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins series. Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Mount Hood National Forest followed later that year. The U.S. Mint has released five America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins each year since 2010. They’re one of the mint’s most talked about bullion products.

The series honors five national parks and historic sites every year. The program is expected to run through 2021 with a total of 56 coins honoring national parks and historic sites. By the time the series is complete, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories will be represented.

Big, beautiful, 5 oz Silver editions of the popular quarters.

America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins have a nominal face value of 25 cents. The designs are exact duplicates of the popular America the Beautiful quarters that are now in general circulation. Check your pockets or purse and there’s a good chance you’ll find some of these quarters.

But these giant 3 inch, 5 oz coins show design details in ways that no pocket quarter ever can. Also, the coins’ .999 fine Silver composition gives them a lustrous sheen.

For more serious collectors, APMEX has very rare, First Strike and proof America the Beautiful coins — some graded perfect SP-70 by PCGS.

A large selection for investors and collectors.

Though the U.S. Mint issues these coins as bullion, they have become very popular amongst collectors. In the first year of the series, which includes the popular Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks, only 33,000 coins of each design were minted. These have become rare collectibles.

There is a total mintage of only 200,000 coins, spread across all designs for the given year. So these big, beautiful coins are scarce enough to potentially become valuable with collectors.

If you have a collection that you wish to complete, click here to see the huge APMEX selection of America the Beautiful (ATB) coins. One of the largest anywhere, it’s where you’re most likely to find the coin you’re looking for.

 

 

 

 

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Learn more about the Sheldon Grading Scale

2014 1 oz Gold American Eagle MS-70 NGC Early Releases

2014 1 oz Gold American Eagle MS-70 NGC Early Releases

Why graded coins are so prized and valued by collectors

Here’s a collector’s horror story that never has to happen to you.

You fall in love with a coin that appears to be in absolutely perfect condition. Not a scratch or smudge – you’d never know anyone touched it since it left the mint. You pay top dollar. Then to your surprise, an expert looks at it and spots a barely discernible nick near the rim on the coin’s obverse. It’s a great coin, but it’s not worth what you paid for it.

That’s exactly the nightmare Dr. William Herbert Sheldon set out to eliminate when he created the Sheldon Grading Scale in 1949.

A standardized system to evaluate a coin’s condition

The Sheldon Grading Scale gives expert coin appraisers a system of standardized attributes to evaluate a coin’s condition. The expert appraisers inspect the coins and grade them on a scale of 1 – 70.

A grade of 1 means the coin may be clear enough to identify, but it may be badly corroded or so worn that a side of the coin is blanked. On the other end of the scale, 70 means uncirculated perfection – no trace of wear, handling, scratches or contact with other coins. All the mint’s original luster is intact.

No circulated coin receives a grade higher than 58. At that grade, just about all of the coin’s original mint luster remains. Uncirculated coins receive grades from 11 – 70.

Who makes the grade?

The Sheldon Grading Scale is not for amateurs. The people who grade coins and assign these values have to be extremely well trained and experienced. That’s why most coins are graded by professional grading services.

There are dozens of grading services, but two of the most popular and highly respected are the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

Coins graded by these services are highly valued for three reasons.

First, the people who grade coins for NGC and PCGS are unimpeachable experts. Their judgment is highly respected throughout the industry.

Second, after the coins are graded, they are sealed in airtight protective slabs, which help prevent tarnishing. They also provide a strong tamper-evident layer, so coins coin can’t be damaged in handling without a collector knowing about it.

Third, they label the coins with grades and findings. When you see a coin in a plastic slab labeled MS-70, you know it is an absolutely perfect coin. If it has an NGC Early Releases or PCGS First Strike designation, you know it arrived at the grading service within 30 days of the coin’s release by the mint.

Needless to say, graded coins are highly prized and valued.

 A treasure trove of collectibles

APMEX has a huge selection of graded coins, from uncirculated Silver Dollars that are more than 100 years old to the latest bullion coins receiving First Strike and Early Releases designations. Click here to see some of our more popular Graded Gold Coins and Graded Silver Coins.

 

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