The stock market had a whoopsie time of it yesterday, down 831 points on the Dow.
It is October.
This month is known for a number of famous crashes.
Pardon me if I am a little bit nervous.
I am already primed to be.
Back in the middle of August, I wrote that silver was behaving as it had in August 1987, a couple of months prior to the famous Oct. 19, 1987, stock market crash.
I wrote a column about it.
It was published in the Sept. 4 issue of Numismatic News.
In the column, I pointed out that precious metals tend to follow the stock market lower in the days after a crash.
Right now, the common memory is of huge gains in silver and gold in the aftermath of the crash in 2008.
Those gains came after conditions had bottomed out and the Federal Reserve was seen as priming the economic pump.
It is important for would-be bullion buyers to hold their fire for a bit as the financial markets settle down before counting on upward movement.
That is the lesson of 2008.
The lesson of 1987 is worse for bullion buyers.
Three decades ago, the crash did little real economic damage.
Silver went on a multi-year downtrend.
It ended 1987 at $6.68.
The 1988 close was $6.04.
In 1989, the number was $5.21.
For 1990, it was $4.19.
In 1991, it was $3.88.
At the end of 1992, it was $3.67.
Only in 1993 did the market start going up again.
At the close of that year, it was $5.09, which in percentage terms was nearly a 40 percent gain.
But the price six years later was still below the 1987 annual close.
What is the lesson here?
Try to figure out whether a downtrend in the stock market is doing severe damage.
Where bullion goes seems to depend on what kind of financial plunge is happening.
Who knew such things come in various flavors?
(This is a good day to check the www.Kitco website, but traffic is high and you might have a delay.)
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.