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Time Nears to Share Memories
September 30, 2011

There was a staff meeting yesterday to start nailing down our plans for celebrating the 60th anniversary of Numismatic News next year and mark the birth of Krause Publications.

A lot of good ideas are out there. I am sure you will enjoy the results when they come.

It might be hard to believe, but 60 years ago the price of an ounce of silver ranged from 83 cents to 88 cents.

Can you image that?

Nowadays the daily price fluctuations often amount to more than the entire 1952 price.

But that helps explain why the proof sets of the time were priced at just $2.10 each. Now there is $18.52 worth of silver alone in the set at yesterday’s closing market price of $30.47 an ounce.

Gold in 1952 was $35 a troy ounce, a price that had been officially set in 1934 after the dollar had been devalued from the $20.67 level that had prevailed up to 1933, when all gold coins were called in by the federal government.

Back in 1952, the federal government held at its official gold repositories in Ft. Knox and elsewhere more than twice the number of ounces of gold that it holds today.

The actual peak holding year was 1949 at more than two and a half times the present quantity at about 700 million ounces. From that point on, gold flowed out as foreign holders of dollars exchanged them for gold at the official price.

This outflow continued and accelerated until 1971 when President Nixon stopped redeeming the dollar with gold.

Thinking about anniversaries always leads to historical stories and personal reminiscing, so next year I hope you will share your hobby memories with me.

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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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