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Snow in May goes away

We woke up to snow in Iola, Wis., on Saturday morning. I never heard what the quantity was, but it was significant enough to cover the ground and weigh down plants and trees.

It disappeared before noon. I wasn’t quite sure of the time because I was busy outside selling bratwurst for a fund-raiser. It is amazing how many people want to eat when it is cold and blustery.

This morning the surprise was on the financial markets. Europe has put together a bail-out package for Greece and suddenly it appears the damage done to confidence will disappear as fast as snow in Iola in May.

Gold is back under $1,200.

Silver, though, has stayed up over $18.

Perhaps like the brat buyers of Saturday, it pays simply to ignore the pyrotechnics of the financial markets and just go about our business, but there is something about the market swings that just makes me want to watch them and wonder how they might affect collecting behavior.

But it isn’t simply some form of entertainment.

With the major rarities being bought and sold by buyers who have a lot of skin in the financial markets and a lot of dealers who finance themselves through various lines of credit, we are not unaffected by financial swings.

Also, there are an awful lot of collectors who have decided to take a flier in silver and gold and are rooting for the precious metals to go higher.

The question becomes have we lost sight of the main numismatic question of simply going about the business of building our collections?