I like ice cream. I tend to eat too much of it. I don’t need the calories. I don’t need the cholesterol, but what would a birthday or anniversary party be without it?
If I stopped there, or even in the vicinity, I would be fine, but I don’t. My daily walks aren’t so much for general health as to try to undo the damage from the ice cream the night before.
Next time you see me, if it looks like I’ve put on weight, you will know why.
Then there is silver. I like silver. Finding silver coins in circulation after the adoption of the Coinage Act of 1965 was one of the earliest and most interesting periods of my collecting life.
Today, if there were any but the most occasional silver coins to find in change, I would probably still be searching through bank rolls. When that circulation finds period ended at the close of 1968, I had to find something else to do.
Fortunately, Numismatic News happened to be handy to draw me more deeply into numismatics and to teach me things that every newcomer needs to turn himself into a better coin collector.
That didn’t mean I had lost my taste for silver. I used most of my available funds in 1969 to buy a 100-ounce silver bar. It cost me roughly $200. I happened to buy right at the high point of the year. I watched as the price went lower and lower until it fell below $1.30 an ounce.
Why did I buy the bar? Well, I had watched silver soar from roughly $1.30 in 1967 to $2.56 in 1968. The only silver I had at the time was what I was finding in my change. Pre-1965 dimes, quarters and halves were worth $1.83 for every $1 face amount, but they were illegal to melt.
I wanted more. I wanted more even in the face of the silver market’s decline. By 1969 it was off roughly 20 percent, but I had the cash from my paper route and I had the burning desire to own more silver. So I bought the bar and then watched my hard earned money start to melt away.
Fortunately for me, when I realized that I wasn’t going to get rich in silver, I also recognized that the collector coins I was interested in seemed like a better future use for my money.
I actually sold the bar years later for a nice profit when I was just out of college and needed the money. Of course, the would-be silver baron in me kicked myself when silver soared to $50 in 1980.
There is a time and a place for silver just like there is a time and a place for ice cream. Just don’t go overboard. Not going overboard with silver is a caution I shared in a blog I posted on May 1 at www.numismaticnews.com. The key question I asked was, “If silver takes a plunge, would it affect your day-to-day cash flow?”
One reader of the blog commented: “I can’t understand why you appear to be such a ‘Silver Hater’ in all your writings regarding the subject.”
I remember being stuck with an expensive silver bar for many years. Fortunately, I didn’t need the money until the market turned much more favorable. That was my good fortune. Another piece of good fortune is I wasn’t asked why I hate ice cream.