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Fearless or Foolish?
March 31, 2011

News from Japan and its crippled nuclear power plants seems to be getting worse and worse. There are reports that traces of radiation have made it into such things as milk from the Pacific Northwest.

This, of course, is of great concern to everyone.

However, this kind of news triggered a stray thought.

When Russia was still the Soviet Union, it was a big gold producer. One of the characteristics of Russian gold that came on the market was traces of radiation, which as I recollect was due to the methods the Soviets sometimes employed to mine the metal at the time.

The funny thing, though, is that I don’t recall anyone ever being afraid to buy the gold once it was mined and shipped to the West.

Why was that?

Gold buyers don’t know any better, or are they fearless?

While you are thinking about that, I can report that I began my day in the dentist's chair for the prep work needed to increase my own gold supply to be stored in a back tooth.

You can't say I'm not doing my part to keep gold's price at record levels.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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