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Can Silver Win the Race?
February 28, 2008

Silver is spurting toward $20 an ounce. Gold is moving toward $1,000. Which will cross the nice round number first?

I don't know, but today I am leaning to silver. Why? Well, it is one of those peculiar reasons. My firm publishes gold and silver value charts. These list the value of the bullion in various widely owned coins at various market price levels for the precious metals.

The current gold value chart tops out in the value listing at $1,200. The silver chart tops out at $20. We have run out of these. The internal mechanism for getting more printed was swinging into motion and I had to pass the word yesterday that the chart needs to be modified otherwise we would be paying production costs for something that looks set to be useless in just a few days.

Sure, silver could top out at the $19.21 that it settled at yesterday, but I don't want to bet company money on that possibility. I would much rather see the new charts run up to the $25 area, and even that could become obsolete soon.

Our Federal Reserve chairman is so worried about the banking crisis and the need to cut interest rates, that it appears anyone with any investable funds has decided to take a spin in the commodity casino. Why collect a paltry 3 percent interest from banks or funds that may blow up when you can get huge percentage gains in commodities?

Everybody is watching the $100 mark for oil and the metals milestones but fewer are following things like wheat on the Minneapolis market hitting $24 a bushel when not that long ago it was less than $5 and this story seems to be repeating over and over across the board. Coffee has been soaring, too. That of course worries me most of all. What would I do if I couldn't afford my morning three cups?

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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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