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Thursday, January 12, 2012

A fascination for Real Money

Man is the only animal that uses money.  All animals abide by laws of some sort.  Not written laws of course.  Man is the only animal that uses writing.  But laws that govern the herd, territory, mating.  Even if you prefer to use the word instinct for some of this behavior, the result is that when animals contravene normal behavior, they are punished.

But only humans use money.  Money has allowed humans to specialize.  Without money everyone would have to spend all their time making their clothes, hunting their food and building their shelter.  Money has allowed humans to spend vast amounts of time and energy creating, inventing, evolving.

For all of human history gold and silver have constituted Money.  For brief periods throughout history Man has tried to use paper as a marker to be redeemed for gold and silver, and occasionally, to disastrous results, paper as money itself.

We happen to live in one such terribly unfortunate period.

However, as the paper edifice crumbles and ultimately burns, fascination for Real Money is on the rise.  We now have a presidential candidate who is gaining great credibility amongst the young as a proponent of Real Money.  We have Central Banks beginning to buy and hoard Real Money.  And we have a wealthy class that is beginning to convert their paper into Real Money.

Along with this fascination for Real Money, many humans also become fascinated by Historical Examples of Real Money.  That is to say gold and silver coins from the time of Croesus in 600 BCE all the way through to gold and silver coins for the modern era.

If you can't understand the fascination for Real Money, stop reading.  If you can - how might you participate?

1) Start with a period of history with which you are fascinated,

2) Study the coinage of that period.  Figure out which coins - and medals - have particular historical importance in relation to that period.

3) Talk to dealers, buy books, look at auction records.  Figure out a reasonable price range for these coins and medals.

4) Understand we are in the very early stages of a renewed fascination for Real Money - and Historical Examples of Real Money.  So even now you're getting in early enough so that errors you make should be bailed out by a rising market.   It's a huge bull market, likely to continue until paper money is shunned, hated, and derided as a barbarous relic of a fallen age.

5) And ask yourself this: Which is more likely to lose value over time: a Gold Historical Coin, or a modern unit of paper money?

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