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Half right, half wrong – no way to brag

How charitable do you want to be as I add up the results of my forecasts for the year 2017? I can make the figures add up to 6-4, 5-5 or 4-6 depending on whether you let me. I call it 5-5.

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1. Gold is always my first forecast. I was spectacularly right on this one. I said it would be at least $1,265. It was. It closed the year at $1,306.30, up $156.30 or 13.6 percent.

2. I said silver would rise as well. The number I put on it was $17.57. Though silver rose from $15.936 to close at $17.06, its gain of $1.124 or 7.1 percent fell short of my exact specification. Was I entirely wrong, half right or right? I will choose half right.

3. My third forecast is not open to interpretation. It is entirely wrong. I figured if silver would rise, so too would sales of silver American Eagle bullion coins. Not so. Sales were 18,065,500. This is down by 19,636,000, or 52 percent. Did potential buyers run out of money? Decide to buy stocks or Bitcoins? Perhaps newcomers did not offset old-timers who needed to sell to retire on. Who knows?

4. Gold Eagles sales were also sharply lower, completely counter to my forecast. The Mint sold 302,500 ounces in four sizes, down 682,500 or 69.3 percent. Same questions apply here as for gold.

5. I thought 2017 would be a good year for Morgan dollars. I take this as a win. There were sparks of interest. There were some interesting auction results. There is no boom, but the direction of interest is up. I will count this as a win for me.

6. I said there would be a new Mint director in 2017. President Trump did name David J. Ryder. However, his nomination has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. Right or wrong? I count half.

7. I said the presidency of Jeff Garrett at the American Numismatic Association would end with a fond farewell after two smooth years. It was. This might seem like a gimme, but if you know ANA history, you know that it isn’t. Thanks, Jeff.

8. Clad proof set sales will be down in 2017, I wrote at the beginning of the year. They were, though they had a strong finish. The 2017 number is 537,842 compared to 595,184 for 2016. These numbers will be adjusted for a while. The Mint might even have 2017 sets on sale for so many more months that it could change the outcome. Last year at this time, sales of 2016 sets were about 40,000 lower. But at the actual close of the calendar year, I will count this as correct.

9. I try to make interesting forecasts. Unfortunately, interesting and being right are mutually exclusive. My forecast new half-ounce U.S silver bullion coin did not happen.

10. My forecast that the government would sell shares in the Federal Reserve to raise cash also did not happen, but it did generate a couple of interesting conversations.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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