As I did my morning check of the Kitco website, I had to remove my glasses before I believed I was seeing the price of silver correctly.
It was $15.66 an ounce.
I think I was expecting to see something like $15.86.
I am at the age where I never know just exactly where my eyes will be able to focus.
Once I realized what the price was, I went to the U.S. Mint’s website to see how sales of silver American Eagles were doing as we pass the midpoint of the month.
Sales stand at 390,000 pieces.
By itself, this number is nothing to write home about.
However, June’s total for the full month was 435,000.
We are almost there.
May’s total was 380,000.
We have beaten that.
We are still a long way from the 915,000 total of April, but it is easy to envision Eagle buyers taking us there from the present sales position.
There are two weeks to go before July comes to an end.
Are we at the turning point? Are buyers of physical silver bullion coins deciding that it is time to put their toes back in the water?
Markets normally fluctuate. Buyers run hot. Buyers run cold.
They have been decidedly cold for most of this year.
The July heat wave might be warming up more than just the outside temperature.
I like to look at the numbers to see if I can make out any patterns.
But why take my word for it?
Every bullion coin buyer must make his own determination.
One week ago, Barry Stuppler declared “We have seen the low for gold.”
It was a bold call.
Why should we take notice?
He is also a former president of the PNG.
As he explained, “In my 50-year history of monitoring precious metal prices, one thing has happened again and again. Before any major gold/silver rally, there was a clean out, and normally it’s quick.
“A quick, sharp drop in any precious metal price allows the professionals to watch the small speculators being stopped out of their leveraged commodity contracts. It’s called ‘driving out the weak hands’ because margin calls cause small investors to sell and take a loss, rather than investing more money,” Stuppler said.
Is this a good entry point for gold coin buyers?
He said, “A benefit of the strong U.S. dollar for gold investors is the low premium on pre-1934 U.S. and foreign gold coins. It’s the lowest it’s been in 20 years.”
He ought to know.
Where does this leave us?
Buyers are nibbling again with their silver Eagle purchases.
A prominent coin dealer says gold has hit its lows.
We know that the two metals generally move in tandem.
It adds up to one remaining question.
Will the move higher from here be a quick bounce in the price of precious metals, or will we spend time building a solid base for a new bull market?
I think I will bet on base building.
Platinum is my reason.
The price of platinum is extremely weak .
It is $815 a troy ounce.
Global trade war worries have clobbered the price.
The case here says tariffs on imported cars will cut car sales.
Platinum is used in the catalytic converters.
Fewer car sales mean lower platinum demand and, hence, a lower price.
Until the car front of the trade war is sorted out, platinum will see its potential buyers extremely worried.
Gold and silver buyers can’t help but watch the situation with platinum.
I think this reinforces the case for base building.
One last comment: In the time I have been writing this, silver has slid another nine cents to $15.57.
The good thing about it is I did not have to remove my glasses to see it on the Kitco website.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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