As the year comes to a close, I have to begin thinking about my annual forecast columns.
Some years I do better than others, but on average you would do as well tossing a coin.
Even with two weeks to go, there is very little likelihood that I can retrieve my position on gold and silver.
Gold closed 2017 at $1,306.30.
I forecast that the Dec. 31, 2018, close would be higher than that.
I sure wouldn’t bet money on it today, but it is possible.
My silver situation is worse.
This metal closed 2017 at $17.06 an ounce.
My forecast for the end of the year was that it, too, would be up.
A good year for precious metals would have rewarded many in numismatics.
But the reality is like a lump of coal left in the Christmas stocking by Santa Claus.
My general bullion optimism caused me to forecast rises in the Mint’s sales of gold and silver American Eagles this year.
In 2017, the Mint sold 302,500 ounces of gold in Eagle coins of four sizes, tenth ounce to one ounce.
The Mint needs to sell about 20 percent more coins by year end to just tie that mark.
Silver Eagles are another missed call.
There were 18,065,500 silver Eagles sold in 2017.
To equal that number, the Mint needs to ship out 17 percent more than it already has in 2018.
That won’t happen, either.
So this is worse than a bad inning in baseball. It was four up and four down.
Why do I go on?
Well, perhaps I am living for the no-brainer forecast of a sellout of the proof palladium Eagle.
It did sell out.
Collectors scrambled to get them in September.
There were five other forecasts.
I will make you wait for the results of these until I do my final confession in the pages of Numismatic News.
But you can be sure that just like Charlie Brown always making the attempt to kick Lucy’s football, I will offer up my forecast for the performance of silver and gold in the year 2019.
Even when I take my lumps, I enjoy the process.
Readers tell me they appreciate it, too.
Perhaps they just like seeing me get beat up a little.
In any case, I probably should just flip a coin – but you know that is not what I will do.
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."
- Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.