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Sjuggerud: “The Secret Currency”

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I’ve had dozens of readers send this one along, most with a long line of question marks. The teaser has been around for a while (a couple years, as far as I can tell), but it continues to spark interest — especially with the dollar at ridiculous lows, inflation fears bubbling, and gold near $1,000 an ounce (yeeks!)

The teaser has a few clues for us about what this “secret currency” is, but mostly the story is built on the aspiration to true robber-baron wealth that the gummint can’t get their mitts on — we hear the story of the Rothschilds, whose vast riches were built on Mayer Rothschild’s expertise with this “secret currency,” and we hear about a few other famously wealthy families, mostly around the turn of the last century, who built or protected their wealth using this “secret currency.”

So what the heck is it?

It’s related to gold, but “It has nothing to do with mining stocks, mutual funds, options, futures, or bullion.”

Man, that cuts the options down significantly.

One of the owners of the Boston Red Sox used it “to amass a fortune worth more than $15 million.”

It was banned on March 9th, 1933 by Roosevelt, a ban that held up for 41 years.

And there are several knockout examples provided of the returns possible through this investment … here are a couple:

  • “From 1972 to 1974, this investment rose 348%, according to an index that keeps track of its market as a whole. At the same time, stocks dropped 34% according to the S&P 500 Stock market index.
  • From 1976 to 1980, while the stock market plummeted 35% according to the S&P 500 Index, the investment I want to tell you about realized 1,195% profits.”

Sounds pretty good, eh? What do you want to bet that the current market malaise, and “so thick you could cut it with a knife” nervous tension of the investing public were the inspiration for the quick return of this teaser ad?

It is also noted in the ad that …

“In fact, the last time the Salomon Brothers brokerage firm included this vehicle in its annual investment survey … THE SECRET CURRENCY RANKED #1 OVER THE PRIOR 20 YEAR-SPAN with an annual return of 17.3%. In other words, it was the single most profitable thing you could do with your money.”

So … this secret is apparently revealed, hopefully with much fanfare, in the special report they’d like to send you, entitled “The Secret Currency — How the World’s Wealthiest Families Make Money Even When Stocks, Bonds and Real Estate Lose Value.”

It’ll cost you $49. That’s the current sale price for the True Wealth newsletter, which I guess is normally $99. And I’m sure they’ll throw in a passel of special reports for you too.

The Gumshoe, however, is somewhat short of fanfare … and I left my pomp and circumstance in my other pants. So I’ll just have to come right out and tell you that this investment is …

Gold coins.

Yep … that’s right, no ticker symbol or anything, you can’t get these through Scottrade. Actual collectible gold coins.

When Sjuggerud talks about gold coins outperforming other indexes in that Salomon Brothers survery, that refers to surveys that they stopped doing a while ago because they weren’t accurately tracking the wide array of gold coins available for collectors and investors. More recent performance figures cited use the more modern index, referred to either as the CU 3000 or the PGCS 3000 index, and the performance numbers they cite certainly seem to be legit from my glance at those charts. More info about that is available from PGCS (the Professional Coin Grading Service … which is, coincidentally, owned by a public company, Collectors Universe).

There are at least dozens of fairly high profile shops and advisers online who would like to advise you about buying gold coins and even buy them and store them for you (though that gets rid of some of the fun of holding them in your greasy little paws and cackling with Scrooge McDuck glee), and there are plenty of actual marketplaces as well. Or you can do what plenty of people do and go to an actual coin store, where they still exist. You can even buy new ones directly from the US Government, if you’re leery of all the different varieties and the reputation of the shops and advisers (I certainly don’t know which ones are any good).

There are all kinds of gold coins — most people have heard of the US gold coins, which were still being minted as legal tender (the American Eagle coins). There are also at least a half dozen other countries that have recently minted gold coins, including South African Krugerrands, Canadian Maple Leafs, UK Sovereigns, etc. The benefit of the contemporary gold coins is that there are a lot of them, there is a standard market, and they all have a set gold content that is guaranteed by their government.

In recent memory, modern gold coins have generally traded at a small premium to the price of gold — so you can buy uncirculated gold coins from the US Mint directly, for example, for about $1050 for a one ounce coin, which is probably something less than a 10% premium to gold bullion, depending on the purity of the coin and the actual market price of gold (I didn’t look it up today). I expect the secondary market prices aren’t that much different.

So, should you? It really depends on you. It’s your money. I don’t own any gold coins, but I know a number of people who do, and they’re not all conspiracy theorists who are preparing for the apocalypse. I know Sjuggerud has recommended a variety of collectibles in his various newsletters, and he often mentions collecting things like classic guitars and other antiques, but for me that kind of investing takes far too much personal expertise … and besides, my closets are pretty small. That doesn’t mean that collecting unique items of any kind can’t be a good investing idea, as long as you’re not relying just on that for your retirement … and as long as you’re not talking about Beanie Babies.

It’s possible, maybe even likely, that Sjuggerud is talking about focusing on genuinely rare gold coins, which are priced dramatically higher (while modern gold coins trade at 5% or so above the price of the gold they contain, genuinely rare or ancient coins obviously trade much higher, even as they may still fluctuate with the price of gold to some degree). The really rare stuff would scare me because of my very limited knowledge of numismatics and the collecting marketplace, but the modern gold coins, which have pretty accessible markets and can even be bought directly from the government, make a certain degree of sense to me. Especially if you do happen to have a small part of your soul that believes “they” are going to come for you one day, and you’ll need a few gold coins in your pocket to make a run for it.

So I certainly can see the logic of putting a portion of your portfolio into gold, and it’s true that gold coins had some remarkable returns over the years for a variety of reasons, but I can’t tell you whether it makes more sense to buy gold coins (remember, you’ll have to store them somewhere — and probably not in the change jar on your dresser) or to buy shares of the Gold exchange traded fund, or a bar of bullion, or shares of a mining company or any of the other variety of investments that trade in a circle around the price of the yellow stuff.

Is anyone out there in Gumshoe Land a coin collector or gold enthusiast? I’m sure you can find the mistakes I’ve made above, and I hope you can share some wisdom with us.

And I’ll keep looking out for collectible oil — anyone wanna keep a few barrels of West Texas Crude in their basement?

Happy investing, all.

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64 Responses to Sjuggerud: “The Secret Currency”

  1. Historically, gold’s ROI has been poor compared to stocks. Plus: you REALLY need to know EXACTLY what you’re doing AND have a significant chunk o’ cash to watch sit for years. It’s OK to sell grandpa’s gold watch right now, but I’d go no further than that. Keep up the good work, Gumshoe.

  2. I can tell you he is talking about the St Gaudens from 1920-1933 in PCGS MS 63-65. I have owned several of these for the past 3-4 years buying them around $1050ea. They can fetch around $1600-$1700 on Ebay right now for a MS65 coin. He is touting them because he feels the rage still hasnt started as gold to the price of graded coins has the lowest premuim we have seen in a long time.

    Ive made more money on his recommendation of buying swiss helvetia coins for $85 a peice a few years back and they sell on ebay for $180-$195 a peice. Now I like those returns and I do own 65 of these.

  3. Thanks folks, always good to hear from people who actually make these investments. The St. Gaudens, for those who don’t know, are US gold coins minted in the first part of the 20th century (1907-1933 or so). They are “rare” because they’re no longer minted and old, but they are pretty widely available from pretty much all coin dealers online or off, and, as Stan noted, through ebay (I don’t knwo what’s special about the 1920-33 mintings, perhaps they’re rarer). St. Gaudens was the sculptor who designed the coin (or started to) at the behest of Teddy Roosevelt.

    As you can see from Stan’s comment, these rare coins trade at a significant premium to their gold content, though that premium can fluctuate. The PGCS MS 63-65 he mentioned is a measure of the quality and condition of the coin, which is obviously much more significant if the coin has collectible value than if you’re just buying it to get that ounce (or nearly) of Gold.

    That’s where the distinction between “bullion” coins that are just conveniently portable gold and “rare” coins that are collectible in their own right is made — maybe today’s American Eagle coins will be considered collectibles someday, but if you’re buying a 2007 American Eagle it’s currently just worth a touch more than an ounce of gold is worth on the market.

    You might buy St. Gaudens because they’re rare, or beautiful, or historic, or because they’re made of gold, but you’d probably only buy American Eagles because you want convenient physical gold, unless you’re aiming for posterity and hoping that these (currently very abundant) coins, or particular mintings of them, become rare. At least, that’s how one (non coin collector) understands it.

  4. I also have a soft spot for gold and took a shine to the various precious metals (ok I’ll stop now), and have bought successfully from two major online dealers:
    http://www.apmex.com
    http://www.bulliondirect.com

    Both are good dealers, low cost and physical delivery available. One thing I really like about them is they show “buy” prices so you always know excatly what your item is worth.

    Also to make a slight correction, if you buy a one oz gold coin, and its not pure (common since gold is VERY soft), the entire coin will consist of at least one oz of gold. For example, the Krugerrand is 22k gold, the rest basically copper. It weighs about 1.0909 troy oz or 33.9303g. Its not as pretty as a pure gold coin either, but much harder to dent or scratch, so makes for safer storage if you are concerned about scratches. Since its usually just worth its gold content (I got mine for $7 more than the gold price at the time – about $900), scratches aren’t much of a concern.

    You can also get several other metals, and most do better than gold anyway, since these other metals have more industrial use than gold does. The industrial use means the metals usually get rarer over time, as the world stock of the metal depletes. Take a look at the price of silver and platinum as a percentage compared to gold and you will see. Then look at the “stocks” of the metal (stocks means the inventory, not shares of companies making it). You will notice that over the last several years, both have been falling fast, thus pushing prices higher. On top of that, you get the added benefit of protection against inflation (in general) since if the value of the commodity doesn’t change, but the dollar falls, it will take more dollars to buy the same commodity. That, and the perceived “safe haven” of having only so much gold but lots of dollars around, are what has been pushing gold so high. I personally think it will pause a bit at this level, then head off from $1k/oz to $2k/oz before long. However, in spite of owning some gold, most of my money in metals in in silver and platinum. Good luck if you decide to pursue this option – and yes, it it fun to cackle a little :D

    One last comment, buy yourself 10 or 100 oz of silver, then pick it up and hold it. It FEELS like money should. It’s heavy and it takes up some decent space. Its really quite surprising how heavy a small bar really is. Even a one oz coin feels like what you think a coin should feel like. Its hard to explain, but anyone here who has done it will probably agree.
    Have fun!

  5. What about the 2008 Benji Olympic set or sets, there

    are 3 different sets of 3.

    I have the first set, pd.2,100. Think the 2nd sets

    and 3rd be bought as well?

    Thanx

  6. Good work Gumshoe! I had my hunches on this one as well. I completely concur with your assessment. The Seattle Times has an article on this very topic in the business section today. I for one am betting silver will be a better way to play in the coin market.

  7. If you buy any of these coins, be SURE to get them sent to you and buy on a credit card, so you will have a recourse if you don’t get them. DO NOT have them stored for you. I got burned on silver bullion many years ago when the firm went under that was supposedly holding it for me, and the silver did not exist.

  8. Great site Gumshoe.
    I read a lot but always make time for your site.
    Got a great laugh from your first commentator–needed it and set me off on the right foot for the day.
    (From his name, not his comments, in case anyone missed it.—Dowe Cheatthem and How) (My apologies for the pedantry, but it was too funny to leave unshared.)(:-)

  9. Early this year True Wealth’s Feb. issue had his numismatics as his best total return group, but the rest of his portfolio was pretty sad except for SA, a gold spec that he’s lost nearly 45% from it’s high. He feels insulated because he sold 50% of his SA’s high, but you NEVER, but NEVER allow a big gain to turn into a small gain or God forbid, a LOSS!

    I’ve subscribed twice to Dr. Steve’s TW, & once to his “Confidential Report,” & now I’m out of both, poor Steve is in a slump, & those numismatics are falling with the tank job, & knee-capping of precious metals presently.

    Wheat & now Crude Oil is also tanking, don’t yah just love it?

  10. This is about highly skilled replicated (copied) coins. Has anyone ever bought a ‘Maria Theresa?’ This is an Austrian (Hapsberg? Circa 1870)coin in the Saudi Arabian (Dharan, Ras Tanura, Jedda) souks which were awash in these in the 1980s. Very much like a silver dollar,100% pure silver, the first ones I found were several “antiques,’ of ~ circa 1870 or so (all the same date). I had them analyzed for the Ag content. Yep, they were ~1oz of Ag (at (then) $4.50/oz). Later I found tens of these in bags at coin & gold merchants, and freshly minted. I bought ~100 of them as ‘antiques, but at the going price of Ag. I later found out these were not counterfeit but replicas of the “real” MTs, copied exactly as the originals simply because the desert bedouins had adopted and would only accept the same date, facial likeness (ugh!). The MTs were being freshly minted (same ~1870 date) in Italy and looked to be in mint, uncirculated condition. Question: Who keeps St. Gaudins $20 gold pieces dated 1923 from being replicated in this day of laser controlled die-cutting? Who dares pay a super-premium for a replica that even coin graders can’t detect?

  11. This is about highly skilled replicated (copied) coins. Has anyone ever bought a ‘Maria Theresa?’ This is an Austrian (Hapsberg? Circa 1870)coin in the Saudi Arabian (Dharan, Ras Tanura, Jedda) souks which were awash in these in the 1980s. Very much like a silver dollar,100% pure silver, the first ones I found were several “antiques,’ of ~ circa 1870 or so (all the same date). I had them analyzed for the Ag content. Yep, they were ~1oz of Ag (at (then) $4.50/oz). Later I found tens of these in bags at coin & gold merchants, and freshly minted. I bought ~100 of them as ‘antiques, but at the going price of Ag. I later found out these were not counterfeit but replicas of the “real” MTs, copied exactly as the originals simply because the desert bedouins had adopted and would only accept the same date, facial likeness (ugh!). The MTs were being freshly minted (same ~1870 date) in Italy and looked to be in mint, uncirculated condition. Question: Who keeps St. Gaudins $20 gold pieces dated 1923 from being replicated in this day of laser controlled die-cutting? Who wants to pay a super-premium for a replica that even coin graders can’t detect? Buying new Ag and Au Eagles ofr the price of gold is one thing, buying a possible un-detected replica for a historical premium is quite another. Can coin graders insure against this? and who would be the arbiter? Caveat Emptor my friends.

  12. This is about highly skilled replicated (copied) coins. Caveat emptor. The longer story: Has anyone ever bought a ‘Maria Theresa (MT)?’ The MT was an Austrian (Hapsberg? Circa ~1870)coin then readily available in the Saudi Arabian (Dharan, Ras Tanura, Jedda) souks. I first found there early 1970s through 1980s. I’m sure they have been there 50 years before I ever found them as well. These coins were much like a US silver dollar,100% nearly pure silver. The first dozen or so MTs I found were beat-up and well handled “antiques,” all ~circa 1870 or so and exactly same date. I had them analyzed for the Ag content. Yep, they were ~1oz of virtually pure Ag (at (then) $4.50/oz). they “rang” like a bell. Later I found tens of these newly minted in bags at coin & gold merchants. All of the MTs found in worm to mint condition had exactly the same date and likeness. I bought ~100 of them as ‘antiques,’ but at the then going price of Ag + 10% (Vat a deal). I later found out these were not counterfeit but replicas (a very thin line, if at all) of the “real” MTs, recently (yesterday) copied exactly as the originals simply because the desert bedouins had adopted these as a form of local currency and would only accept the same date, facial likeness (ugh!). A shop-keeper told me that he bought the MTs freshly minted (same ~1870 date) from a broker in Italy. The recent arrivals were in mint, uncirculated condition. Question: Who keeps St. Gaudins $20 gold pieces dated 1923 from being replicated in exactly the same way in this day of laser controlled die-cutting? Who wants to pay a super-premium for a replica that even coin graders can’t detect? Buying new Ag and Au Eagles for the price of gold is one thing, buying a possible un-detectable replica for a historical premium is quite another. Can coin graders insure against this? And who would be the arbiter? Caveat Emptor my friends, Caveat Emptor.

  13. I am very happy I found your website. I enjoy reading it everytime it hits my email box. I have subscribed to the True Oil report, the True Wealth report and various others put forth by Agora and others. After buying several of their recommendations, I can tell you that I have definately lost more money utilizing them, then I did when I relied on my own research.

    It is great the way you uncover the truth in all of these bogus “secret currencies” and all the other worthless hype.

    Your site is wonderful – I truly appreciate the information. Keep up the great work – I love it.

  14. UK readers may be interested to know that there is no capital gains tax on gold sovereigns, as they count as currency.

  15. Gumshoe,
    I just found your site looking for what is termed “secret currency” is and just reading your answer and the rest of the comments about coins I already love your site. I have not yet even looked around.
    I will be visiting you often.

    Thanks for the honest no pitch answers.

  16. Travis, LOVE the site, hate those 8-page teaser emails. Thanks for cutting through the clutter.

    Problem, though — I’m left with the impression that you look like the guy in your ad at the top of the page. (Of course, if you revealed your identity, that would take away from the “gumshoe” mystique.)

  17. Thanks Dave! I don’t know if the world is ready for my unique brand of awesome handsomeness, but perhaps I’ll add a photo someday.

  18. Thanks for the info. gumshoe! No sense in paying for information you can get for free. And people can make tons of money online selling all types of info. that can be researched and learned on the internet for free. Glad I learned how to google before parting with my money.

  19. Does any one know if the three Pope John Paul coin set put out by the Vatican in gold have any special value (two sizes in cameo pfoof?). Three coins each with one of the pope john pauls.
    My parents brought them back from Rome in 1981.
    Thanks!
    Barry

  20. Somehow I got the impression the secret currency is the US gold certificate (coin notes) which state “[ten/twenty] dollars in gold coin payable to the bearer on demand.”

    The exact potential gain of 665% has no basis for St Gaudens or any other gold coin, to my knowledge. Especially if it is a subjective numismatic valuation. No certainty for MS-63 to 65 prices.

    If you go to ebay and search on gold, you will see coins and coin notes for sale. Notice how many bids are being placed on the gold certificate coin notes. Hmm. Are they all mistaken? I’d like to hear some opinions.

  21. “Dr.” Sjuggerud’s massive pitch letters, not unreasanobaly, invariably omit to tout some of his past bombs. In terms of currencies, he memorably recommended Argentine bonds as safe (government bonds, right? So they msut be safe) and rewarding… just before one of the Argie governments-of-the-day unilaterally cancelled its USD denominated foreign debt in 2001. The issue is still being debated to this day and many bondholders are not giving up their suits against the Argentine government.

  22. I’ve doubled my money by buying gold bullion coins since 2005. You need to do a dance between eBay and the bullion distributors. For a long time bullion was cheaper on eBay until demand skyrocketed after TARP. Gold spot prices are obviously manipulated; the real value of the coins can be determined by what people will pay for them on eBay. As demand increased, one could get as much as $130 for a tenth-ounce coin when spot was around $900 an ounce. At this point, the bullion dealers are cheaper because their prices are based on spot prices. You just need to be savvy about the size of your purchase to minimize handling and shipping costs. I always go through the whole checkout process just prior to confirming and then figure out my total price per coin. They sometimes add “handling charges” at the last minute, so be careful. Also, credit card purchases are charged more. From there I can make comparisons with other bullion suppliers and eBay and then choose the best buy. I prefer 1/10 ounce coins because they are easier to resell and ship without having to worry so much. Many people are willing to trade for them even now; I won’t do it because I know gold is going to skyrocket once the Asian carry trade unwinds and the dollar plunges. Also it is easier to buy one or two at a time on eBay at bargain prices. An order of 10 1/10 oz coins worked out to $114 per coin the other day from a bullion company. Right now on eBay you can only do about as good at best; I chose the bullion supplier at this point for the convenience of buying several coins at once.

  23. As I read these comments it becomes apparent (not just these comments) that most people expect to pay $50 to $100, buy a few stocks or secret currency picked by a newsletter writer and become overnight multimillionares.

    Gold has had better returns over the past ten years than my managed 457b stock fund.

    I have a meager holding of just a few gold coins, both new and old. They are worth substantially more on Ebay than I paid.

    I also have just a few silver coins. They are only slighlty higher on Ebay than I paid.

    I think you should buy a few collectibles in the best grades you can afford, and buy some junk coins for the bullion content and spend accordingly.

    Dr. S. is not the all knowing, all seeing demi-god that everyone expects. His ideas are supposed to help people make their OWN investment decisions, not make the decisions for you. At $49. a year he has lots of inspiring ideas. But they are only ideas.

    I bought SA at 12.something. I’m happy.

  24. FDR made everybody turn in their gold to the Government in 1933. What makes people think the Government would not do it again?

  25. It's a common misconception that the gubmint required individuals to turn in gold coins.

    Banks were required to turn them in as they came in, and individuals had to turn in gold scrap, but individuals were allowed to keep I think 5-10 of each date and denomination coin.

    The fact that the gubmint didn't require individuals to turn in coins is the logic for why you should hold gold in that form.

    Of course, there's no guarantee that the gubmint would allow any exemptions if they decided to confiscate gold.

  26. i have nothing against collector's coins..
    but i am sure in the scenario that many gold bugs are looking at (i.e. hyperstagflation) and when gold price hits the level of 3/5 or 7k per oz, the premium of collector gold coins are going to be gone and left their gold content value.

    so what is the meaning of paying 2 or 3 times more now for the same amount of gold?!

  27. Collector coins may carry a premium under "normal" moderate inflation, but you're absolutely correct that it will be meaningless under hyperinflation or other worst-case scenario.

  28. A subscription to Dr. Steve Sjuggerud's "TRUE WEALTH" will entitle you to information about how to boost your Social Security income. Social Security secrets lets you collect thousands of extra dollars. what is the secret form 521-B or form 3881-BK or SSA-25 ??? is this all smoke and mirrow's >>>> Dean

  29. Just like oil there is plenty of gold in the ground and in vaults. However. I guess buying gold (for the long term) should only apply to those in a positive cash position, right? i.e. house, car, boat – all paid off and still sitting on a load of cash. Would buying gold make sense if say you still owe 200k on a mortgage? Just curious…

  30. Yes. Its true that a current US gold coin is more only a little over spot. However, as gold spot continues to climb, any US gold coin, old or new, is worth more in USD (probably hundreds) than just a couple of months or at least a year ago. Thus, gold is insurance against a disintegrating currency.

  31. what is this 18 digit computer code which allows you access to transfer money into your brokerage account from the Stansberry people, DAVID EIFRIG who claims to be a wall street hacker and will share these hacking codes with you for a substantial subscription price… any one know any details,,,,,,,has to do with some type of option purchase……thanks for your help………DEAN

  32. ONLY buy “PCGS-certified” coins, and study the trade papers for pricing. Visit a coin shop and ask to see the “Grey Sheet”, it’s a dealer pricing newpaper, published weekly.

    You can do better in CASH at coin shows, but KNOW the VALUE.

    PCGS. PCGS. PCGS. Nothing else unless you want a huge hassle to resell. http://www.pcgs.com/

    PCGS does NOT sell coins – they are the premier and most trusted grader of coins. ONLY buy PCGS certified, and ONLY buy US gold coins, perferably $20 coins. The market for foreign gold, certified or not, is thin.

    Hear me now, thank me later.

  33. Gumshoe,
    Received an email regarding “Currency-X” from a source that will remain nameless. So vague, convoluted, full of dire consequences, secret conspiracies, and promises of riches easily gained that my BS antennae almost detached from my head. No explanation at all of what Currency-X really is. But because I’m so special they want to let me in on this secret underground economy bonanza for a mere $79.00! Wow, what a deal, Huh?
    Anyway, I did what I always do and did a little research, was eventually led to your website, and found there the most clear, upfront, honest, and direct to the point explanation that can be found on the web. No BS, no smoke, no mirrors. Thank you for restoring my faith in mankind. ;>) Now, I’m going to sign up for your website. I like working with and learning from honest people. Best Regards

  34. A general question… If anyone really did figure out a way to get much better than average returns at any investment, wouldn’t they make more money by borrowing and compound investing than trying to sell the “secret” to others? I could be wrong, but it appears that selling books is the way to get rich.

  35. I saw the three sets today at West Palm Beach coin show. Very nice and great boxes. Not much gold, about one ounce and eight ounces of silver. Pricey on metal value. $ 7,500 for $ 1,500 in silver and gold. just a show piece.

  36. Hi, Mary Kay!
    Are you still investing in gold and silver coins? Sounds like you know what you are doing!
    I'm looking for a few people interested in working with an international firm in Tampa which teaches people how to leverage MS70 gold and silver assets and pays residual income to you. If this is not for you, no worries. Nice to see gold hit $1834! Happy Prospecting! Nancy Travis

  37. i have the exact same to say. i came here for the same reason and can tell this is going to be a very useful site to me. bravo!

  38. Mary I agree with you 100% the moment anything comes across my desk with the word “secret” and a dollar amount to find out what that “secret” is.

    It raises a red flag, I highlight it, and do a dogpile search.

    Which brought me to this wonderful hidden gem of a website.

    thank you stockgumshoe you have a loyal follower for life.

  39. Hi, Buford!
    Are you still investing in gold and silver coins? Sounds like you know what you are doing!
    I'm looking for a few people interested in working with an international firm in Tampa which teaches people how to leverage MS70 gold and silver assets and pays residual income to you. If this is not for you, no worries. Nice to see gold hit $1834! Happy Prospecting! Nancy Travis

  40. Sjuggerud was definitely talking about the St. Gaudens, this has been confirmed several times and its something he’s been pushing for years. That doesn’t mean he’s right, of course.

    If you mean the old US gold certificates, as far as I know those are purely collectibles — they stopped being redeemable for gold in 1933, so they have value only in the price collectors are willing to pay for a piece of history. I have no idea what the collecting universe is like for paper money, but it certainly has no “melt” value — there’s never any reason for a gold coin to trade for much less than its melt value, since it’s pretty easy to melt them down.

  41. Gold certificates and silver certificates before 1934 are collectable in their own right and still legal tender (except for the 1902 $10,000), but can't be redeemed for metal.

  42. Hello Travis and everyone. I came upon this site while researching a long-winded, too-good-to-be-true ad by Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, for the opportunity to invest in the “gold glitch.” He states, “it’s a little-known U.S. government investment vehicle, first made public by the Federal government in the early 1900s, under the direction of U.S. Treasury Secretary Charles Barber.” However, Mr. Barber never held that title. He was actually (according to
    Wikipedia) “the sixth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1879 until his death in 1917. He succeeded his father, William Barber, in the position. Barber’s best-known designs are the eponymous “Barber” dime, quarter, and half-dollar, as well as the so-called “V” nickel. Some lesser known designs by Barber include the trial copper-nickel cent, trial three-cent piece, and the $4 Stella “Flowing Hair” pieces. He was strongly critical of Augustus St Gauden’s designs of the Gold in 1908, and tried hard to stop them being produced.”

    My point, after reading Travis’ gold glitch article here, is that Dr. S. seems to be less than above board in his ad, by appearing to be knowledgeable to his readers, most of whom would not think to check his many “facts” (i.e. “U.S. Treasurer Charles Barber”). Ironically, the very coins (St. Gaudens) that may be a part of the “gold glitch” he is referring to, were spurned by ENGRAVER Charles Barber.

    We don’t need to go through Dr. S. to obtain gold collector coins. He is profiting from the ignorant for his “secret gold glitch” information, which is really no secret at all.

    Disclaimer: This is my amateur opinion. Just the fact that I obtained information from Wikipedia proves that I am no expert on this or any other matter!

  43. Thanks for joining us, Regina — Sjuggerud’s gold coin teaser ads have been around for years, but they don’t ever seem to get any less popular, especially when gold prices are moving up.

  44. Oh yeah; I don’t do numismatic collectibles. In really hard times, I am skeptical about them retaining their high value. Bullion coins are cheaper and their value is more solidly grounded.

  45. Which points out the real opportunity: invest time in writing such ads, then "redeem" them for hard cash when the situation is favorable.

  46. Serious coin collectors, who collect coins as investments, and not just as bullion, buy coins that are graded by a reputable grading company, such as PCGS. Such grading companies are supposed to determine if the coin is in fact, authentic, so that an uwary coin buyer won't be buying a fake or a replica. There are coin dealers who will buy back the coins they sell, so that would also be a form of insurance, should you find your coin is just a 'replica."

  47. I'm not so sure that people were not required to turn in all of their gold bullion in 1933. My understanding is that they were: but, the exception was that people were allowed to keep coins that were considered "rare and collectible" at the time. The 1933 Gold Confiscation act resulted in almost all of the 1933 St. Gaudens $20 Gold pieces being melted down: which is why one sold recently for many millions of dollars.

  48. I've dealt in coins since 1964.

    People were allowed to keep rare and collectable (foreign) gold coins and something like 5-10 of each date, mint and denomination US gold coin.

    The 1933 Saints were almost all melted down because they were never released. A handful escaped, but they were considered contraband, subject to confiscation. This position was held for years, until the government saw the chance to make millions of dollars by allowing one to be sold.

  49. IIRC, that's this nonsense about paying back the money you have received from an earlier retirement and starting over at a later age, which then pays higher monthly benefits.

    Sounds good until you realize that if you paid back $50,000, it will take over four years of $1000 more a month just to break even, IF you live that long.

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