This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Were you a seller?
People who sold their common silver, such as modern commemorative silver dollars for over $37 each when silver traded over $49 an ounce during the Central States Numismatic Society convention in late April for the moment are champions of market timing.
By May 4, silver had plunged $10 from its lofty heights to $39.387 an ounce. At that price the silver in a silver dollar is worth roughly $30.50 – if you can find someone to pay full value.
Silver knocked on the door of the $50 price both April 28 and April 29 during the convention and bullion-related business was brisk.
On April 28 silver traded as high as $49.52 while April 29 took it only to $49.19.
Neither day did it close at the highs. On April 28 trading concluded on the New York COMEX at $47.52 and on April 29 silver closed at $48.584 – both new highs for 2011.
Then the bottom seemed to fall out. On the next trading day, May 2, it fell $2.506, then another $3.502 on May 3 and $3.193 more on May 4.
This rapid fall does not precisely match what occurred in 1980, but it does revive memories of that year.
Both of the 2011 high closes fell short of the closing record in 1980 when silver traded for more than $50 but never managed to close daily trading at that round number. On Jan. 17, 1980, the record New York close was $48.70. Three trading days later on Jan. 22 it closed at $34 and then traded in the $30s for more than a month. A second leg lower took silver down to a close of $29.75 on March 10, 1980.
By March 27, 1980, it was $10.80.
Gold set a record close of $1,556.70 a troy ounce May after trading as high as $1,576.60 then moved lower in sympathy with silver, closing at $1,515.30 May 4.