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What's Gold's True Edge?
March 24, 2009

This is Green Bay Packer country. I am a Packer fan. Certainly, though, I am not the biggest Packer fan in this building. I am happy when they win the weekly football game, especially when they beat the Chicago Bears. I am disappointed when they lose, and make that double when it is the Bears that beat them.

During uptrends for gold, the longer they go on they come more and more to resemble a sporting event rather than a market or economic event. Prices rise, the gold crowd cheers. Prices fall, they are disappointed.

With each gain of the past seven and a half years, advocates cheer and predict even higher prices. After each Packer win there is a discussion about what it will take to get into the playoffs and ultimately the Super Bowl.

This is human nature.

But how high is up for gold, really?

I think it is safe to say that gold will have a higher dollar price in 100 years, in 50 years, or even in 20 years, than today, but the closer you get to tomorrow, the harder it is to predict gold's price with any accuracy.

Gold's price fluctuates.

If I ever state that the Packers will beat the Bears in the next game by 100 points, people will correctly conclude I am either nuts or don't know the first thing about how a football game is actually played.

If I write the Packers will win by 7 in the next outing, I will be slapped on the back and someone will probably offer to buy the next round of beers because the group, Packer fans all, will have something to drink to.

With gold, what current forecasts are the 100-point Packer equivalent and what forecasts are the 7-point edge?

That's the true test for gold buyers today. Everybody is a gold fan, but there are limits even to gold.

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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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