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Red pickup silver rule?

I had a surprise Wednesday.

I was out walking at my usual time in the afternoon on the Iola Old Car Show grounds.

There are a couple of hundred acres and asphalted lanes. As I moved along, I realized a motor vehicle was catching up to me by the sound it made.

I turned to see a red pickup truck approaching.

The driver waved.

I knew him. I waved.

I wondered what could be on his mind that he would flag me down this way.

It turned out that he wanted to talk about silver and gold.

He said he hadn’t see me for a while, spotted me on my walk and wanted my opinion of where the market was.

He said he had some money.

Interest rates weren’t much.

Holding the funds as cash under these circumstances didn’t appeal to him.

He asked what the price of silver was.

I told him it was around $17.50.

How did that price relate to where it's been?

I told him the last peak was about $48 in April 2011.

The present price is on the low end.

There certainly have been many worse times to buy than the present moment.

He was also interested in gold, but he did not pursue that topic too far.

Those who follow the Mint Statistics page in Numismatic News know that sales of bullion gold and silver American Eagles have been moving higher in September and October after a weak performance during the summer.

Some have been attracted to bullion in recent weeks by the low prices of the precious metals, but obviously that seems to be less the case here as I told him what the prices were after he had expressed an interest.

This story is no reason to run out and buy bullion, but looking at the silver Eagle sales rate as it runs at twice the level of July and August, it could easily be that many people are looking at their bank statements and thinking what the heck, and deciding to buy silver as this person has.

If you find yourself thinking this way, just remember that you should not spend money on silver Eagles that you will need in the near future.

You pay premium of almost 15 percent to get the coins in quantity and when you sell you will lose a good piece of the premium. Prior year dates are still good silver, but buyers pay less. And next year your current coins will become a prior year issue.

Even holding cash at no interest will leave you in better shape if you will need the funds shortly.

This is why the experts always warn that investments should be made only with funds you are prepared to lose.

Silver can soar from here. It can plunge. The only certainty is the premium you pay is money that is taken from you right off the top.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."