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Ride, Ride, Ride the Wild Surf
November 05, 2010

I couldn’t get the to Kitco website this morning.

Either my Internet connection wasn’t working properly, or an awful lot of people are checking it out in the wake of gold reaching nearly $1,400 a troy ounce yesterday and silver surpassing $26.

I figure it is the latter possibility because I can reach other websites that I check on routinely.

Since silver hasn’t been this high since Christmas 1979, perhaps it is appropriate to address what happened then.

Silver was trading at right around $11 on Labor Day and by New Year’s was at $29.05. That was a heck of a spurt higher.

We didn’t know at the time this occurred the extent to which the Hunt Brothers were involved, but we were about to find out.

The first silver close of 1980 was $38.85, a one-day pop higher of nearly $10, or 33 percent.

Silver’s closing high of $48.70 was reached Jan. 17. It traded as high as $50 Jan. 21 and that is the number we have cited for many years because it is a nice round, stunning figure.

Silver rose by a factor of 4.5 times in about 4.5 months. Then the wheels fell off and it dropped to $10.80 on March 27, 1980, a round trip that occurred in a short seven months. The enforced unwinding of the Hunt positions speeded the fall.

It was wild. It made headlines. If it gets giddy again, don’t forget to take some profits. Don't take that one last ride.

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Recent Comments
On November 6, 2010 harvlaser said
You weren't alone in not being able to get to load yesterday, Dave.. I (and probably everyone else) had the same problem.. after a while it loaded sluggishly, missing half its graphics.. finally, after a few hours, it loaded completely, and quickly, as normal..

It reminded me of those days The US Mint puts some hot, new item, with a very low limit up for sale, and so many people are trying to order it, their servers just melt.. the last time I experienced that was with the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set..

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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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