This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Wow, while I faked out readers with my terribly bad gold and silver price forecasts for 2010, my ability to see the future apparently improved one notch in 2010 compared to my 2009 forecasts. I actually got 6 out of 10 right this past year as compared to a 5-5 tie in 2009.
Of course, my headline forecast, the price of an ounce of gold, was once again spectacularly wrong. I said gold would decline from $1,095.20 to $800. Instead it rose almost 30 percent to a record $1,421.10, closing at that level on New Year’s Eve just to rub it in.
I forecast that silver would follow gold. It did. I just didn’t have the direction right. Silver rose spectacularly from $16.82 to $30.915, up 84 percent, most of it in the last four months of the year.
That’s an 0 for 2 start.
I got some wood on the pitch when my third forecast said the U.S. dollar would rise. That would be consistent with falling precious metals, right? Well, the dollar went up, from roughly 75 to 80 on the spot index, despite precious metals. Go figure, but put this in my column.
Forecast No. 4 was the Mint would catch up with gold and silver bullion American Eagle coin demand and end its rationing of supply. That’s what happened. The Mint caught up with gold first and then silver by the end of August.
Forecast No. 5 was the Mint would bring back proof gold and silver Eagles in 2010. Right again.
Boy you might think I could get cocky, but then came forecast No. 6. What was I thinking? I figured because coin demand had dropped so much in 2009 that it might stay there for the dime or nickel in 2010 and the Mint wouldn’t have to strike one or the other. Well, the Mint struck both and as the story on Page 4 shows, the increases in production for the two denominations was huge – the dime by almost eight times.
Forecast No. 7 was that the Disabled Vet dollars would sell out. Didn’t happen. Coin buyer fatigue? But then forecast No. 8 said the Boy Scout dollar would sell out faster. Indeed it did, but I guess any sellout is faster than one that doesn’t happen.
Forecast No. 9 was the Treasury secretary would not be granted by Congress the power to change circulating coin compositions at will. It took to just about the end of the year to decide, but Congress did indeed keep its constitutional authority to determine coin compositions and asked the Treasury secretary to study alternatives and consult.
I am particularly pleased with my 10th forecast. I wrote: “Sale of the new 5-ounce silver copies of the America the Beautiful quarters will not exactly set the world on fire – unless the Mint decides it can limit issuance to some ridiculously low number.” I’d like to thank the Mint for making me look good on that one.
If I would stick to coin topics rather than precious metals, this year’s 6-4 win would have been 6-2, but who can avoid making bullion forecasts? That’s what you pay your money to read, right? But I will make you come back next week for those and my other 2011 forecasts.