While gold bullion has declined since the November election, demand for extremely rare coins has risen. There’s a growing sense of optimism among entrepreneurs and collectors I talk with that business and income will generally improve during Trump’s presidency. This seems to be manifesting itself in a surge of high-end numismatic sales that is atypical for December. Shortly after the election, for instance, one major Texas dealer sold all eight $50 gold pieces he had in stock. A California dealer also told me there has been a resurgence in demand for coins priced at over $100,000. Perhaps this new demand is based on the fact that high-end customers believe that business will be better and high-end collectibles will soar in price.
We’re also awaiting the official Donald Trump presidential inaugural medal, expected to be available before his January 20 inauguration. The sale of official inaugural medals began in 1901 for the second inauguration of President William McKinley. There is an active collectors’ market for presidential memorabilia that many coin dealers and collectors now offer. Private mints compete for the contract to produce the official inaugural medal. The winner of the contract can strike and sell medals in different sizes, metallic versions and set combinations approved by the Inaugural Committee or a subcommittee.
The New “Sharia Standard on Gold” Was Launched Last Week
The Sharia Standard on Gold – a new platform for the use of modern gold financial products that will meet the requirements of Islamic law – was released last Monday. Before then, the 1.6 billion members of the Islamic faith were uncertain about how to invest in gold in accordance with the laws of their faith. This new Standard carries the potential of opening up the gold market to over one billion new customers.
Basically, the Sharia Standard requires that approved gold investments must be backed by actual physical gold. This means that gold “futures” contracts are out, but gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are acceptable. To meet the Sharia Standard, gold investments must also include the proper calculation of Zakah – the Islamic requirement to contribute to charity. Beyond that, the Sharia Gold Standard allows Islamic investors to invest in vaulted gold, gold savings plans, gold certificates, physical gold ETFs and gold-mining shares within certain parameters. The World Gold Council estimates that this new market for gold products could add hundreds or more metric tons of new demand from the Muslim world each year.
Metals Move in Opposite Directions
Gold declined $10 last week, but silver kept inching upward. Silver has now more than doubled gold’s gain for the year so far. The metals moved in opposite directions in the London market, where gold fell from $1,173 to $1,163 last week, while silver rose from $16.35 to $16.95. Meanwhile, the U.S. stock market seems to be euphoric over the Trump victory and the business-friendly corporate leaders who have recently been named to his cabinet and key advisor posts. Also, the expectation of an interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve this week has added to Wall Street’s list of reasons to sell gold and buy stocks.
A sharp-tongued woman was accused of starting a rumor. When she was brought before the village rabbi, she said, “I was only joking. My words were spread by others, and so I am not to blame.”
But the victim demanded justice, saying, “Your words soiled my good name!”
“I’ll take back what I said,” replied the sharp-tongued woman, “and that will take away my guilt.” When the rabbi heard this, he knew that this woman truly did not understand her crime.
And so he said to the woman, “Your words will not be excused until you have done the following. Bring my feather pillow to the market square. Cut it and let the feathers fly through the air. Then collect every one of the feathers from the pillow and bring them all back to me. When you have done this, you will be absolved of your crime.”
The woman agreed, but thought to herself, The old rabbi has finally gone mad!
She did as he asked, and cut the pillow. Feathers blew far and wide over the square and beyond. The wind carried them here and there, up into trees and under merchants’ carts. She tried to catch them, but after much effort it was clear to her that she would never find them all.
She returned to the rabbi with only a few feathers in her hand. Facing the rabbi, she said, “I could not take back the feathers any more than I could take back my words. From now on I will be careful not to say anything that would harm another, for there is no way to control the flight of words, any more than I could control the flight of these feathers.” From that day, the woman spoke kindly of all she met.
- A Hasidic tale from Eastern Europe
With all the news about “fake news,” this children’s tale is more relevant today than ever before.