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Silver Up, Down or Just Crazy?
June 21, 2011

Today will be the day that silver slides under $30 a troy ounce if it were to match the number of trading days that it took in 1980 for the metal to sink to that level after hitting the roughly $50 high.

Will it happen?

Today is the 36th trading day.

Yesterday’s close of $36.065 is already a deviation from the 1980 pattern. Silver’s last close above $36 in 1980 was on the 33rd day, not the 35th.

Close enough?

Could be.

Nothing tracks perfectly. It could take a few more days for further weakness to set in.

On the other hand, perhaps silver is finding its footings and is laying the groundwork for a further upswing later this year.

I suppose the third possibility is that the metal drops by more than $6 today. That seems the least likely outcome of all.

Why are were drawn to looking for patterns? Following supposed patterns have bankrupted hedge funds that bet on them.

Yet we persist in looking for clues.

If you believe silver is going up, it is best to own it outright, take possession of it and make sure you don’t need the funds involved for a year or more.

There is nothing worse than being right yet forced to sell at the wrong time because you need the money.

If you think silver will stay below the recent highs, you can lighten up.

If you are a collector, I have suggested selling any common silver coins you might have that now have high prices attached to them in order to put the money into better coins that match your long-term collecting goals.

Key dates will always be key dates. Desirable sets will retain that quality regardless of where silver goes.

But, of course, quiet, consistent collecting has no sound track, studio audience or crazy new investment theories to justify it.

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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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