The Case for Silver

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by Bob Rinear, The International Forecaster:

Over the past few days, I have been looking hard at the miners and shaking my head at the beatings they’ve endured recently. Some truly wonderful mining and streaming operations, have had their stocks cut to the bone. It’s crazy. I think we could very well be looking at at least a nice bounce in the mining area.

Over the past few days, I have been looking hard at the miners and shaking my head at the beatings they’ve endured recently. Some truly wonderful mining and streaming operations, have had their stocks cut to the bone. It’s crazy. I think we could very well be looking at at least a nice bounce in the mining area.

So, in considering writing this piece about “the case for Silver” I remembered a letter I penned all the way back in June of 2013. It took me some time to find it, but I did, on an old laptop laying on a closet shelf.  I named the letter  “Bob the Dinosaur,” and I’ll be darned if it doesn’t ring just as true today as it did eight years ago.  (and Check out what I mention at the end concerning ammo!)

I received a particularly well written email this week from someone that tends to read letters; despite vehemently disagreeing with just about everything I write.  I say well written because although he spent the bulk of his letter mocking me for believing that gold and silver were anything but “adornments for women’s ears”, at least he didn’t misspell anything or use any foul language. Some hate mail gets pretty colorful to say the least.  In what could be described as a “talking point presentation” given by maybe someone at a bucket shop telling customers why they should buy overpriced stocks instead of metals, I found it interesting enough that instead of replying personally, I figured that it was well worth presenting to all of you. Especially with the metals being dragged through the mud so to speak as far as pricing goes. So, let say we pull up a chair and have a one on one chat, eh?

I was a jeweler for almost 15 years. I went to school for it. I have a masters certificate of “horology” and no that doesn’t necessarily make me a horror…it is the study of time and timepiece mechanics. Before the advent of electronic watches, a good mechanical watch was in my view a masterpiece of technology. I have used a mini lathe to create a “balance staff” which the balance wheel is affixed. I have created a Breguet overcoil hairspring. I have taken  7 jewel pocket watches and turned them into a 21 jewel watches. I have cut gears for grandfather clocks, fixed the bellows in a cuckoo clock.  I was pretty good at it. But, it was a dying art. People would rather buy a battery powered Seiko, than a mechanical marvel.

From watches and clocks I went into Hand engraving. No thanks. I can’t draw a stick figure properly, let alone lay out a beautiful engraving design. Although I could master the “gravers” which are the hand powered cutting tools to do the engraving itself, I’d always have to have someone else do the artwork. So, engraving wasn’t for me.  But, it wasn’t until I went into the jewelry design and repair phase that I felt I had found a real home. I was playing with the worlds most respected metals. I was surrounded by Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Rhodium. I found a deep respect for their purity, their uniqueness. Without patting myself on the back too hard, I can honestly say I ended up being a darned good jeweler. Interestingly enough I didn’t enjoy the design aspect as much as the repair aspect. I became the jeweler that other jewelers would bring their toughest jobs to.

In one instance that stands out in my mind, a woman brought me in a mashed up, twisted, mass of  14K gold, Sapphires and Diamonds. She asked “is there any way you can fix this?” To which I replied, “uhm, what is it?” She then told me it was a bracelet that she’d been given by her boyfriend. But they broke up and during their break up fight she threw it on the ground and ran it over a few times to “show him” that they were over. Problem was they made up and she wanted her bracelet back. I told her I didn’t even know what it looked like, and it would cost a fortune for me to operate on it. She didn’t care. Please try. It took four solid days, but I did it for her. When she opened the envelope when she came to pick it up, she burst out in tears. “It’s perfect!”.  I had indeed gotten “pretty good”.

So as you can see, the metals do have a place in my emotional heart as well as my logical mind. So when I talk about Gold and Silver to you folks, I have to do my best to separate the emotional admiration that I have for the metal itself, from the logical side that influences “investing in it”.  I don’t take that lightly either. I have some pretty long winded conversations with myself that would make any multiple personality disorder sufferers proud. I need to test myself and make sure I’m not suggesting buying Gold and Silver because they’re “Neat” metals. I need to know they’re a good parking spot for our money.

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