Why is the Monex price of Euro Silver Philharmonics less than U.S. coins?
*The Wall Street Journal, by Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, May 23, 2008
“Curb on Coin Sales Angers Collectors – U.S. Begins Rationing
The government rationed food during World War II and gasoline in the 1970s. Now, it’s imposing quotas on another precious commodity: 2008 dollar coins known as silver eagles.
The coins, each containing about an ounce of silver, have become so popular among investors seeking alternatives to stocks and real estate that the U.S. Mint can’t make them fast enough. In March, the mint stopped taking orders for the bullion coins. Late last month, it began limiting how many coins its 13 authorized buyers world-wide are allowed to purchase.”
“The mint, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, has offered little explanation beyond a memo last month to its dealers. ‘The unprecedented demand for American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins necessitates our allocating these coins on a weekly basis until we are able to meet demand,’ the mint wrote. A spokesman declined to elaborate.
‘Poor Man’s Gold’
The rare shortage offers a glimpse into the growing love of a commodity known as ‘poor man’s gold.’ With more silver mined than gold traditionally, silver has always been far cheaper than gold and today has less than 2% of gold’s value.
But silver is growing in popularity, and some investors are betting that its value will surge as inventory shrinks. Big investors are loading up on silver eagles, which are the only American silver coins allowed in individual retirement plans. For small investors, they are an accessible way to get into the metal boom.”
“The government began producing silver eagles in 1986, basing its design on Adolph Weinman’s 1916 ‘Walking Liberty’ half dollar. The front features a flag-draped Lady Liberty striding toward the sunrise, carrying branches of laurel and oak symbolizing civil and military glory. On the reverse, a design by John Mercanti features an eagle with a shield, olive branch, and talon and arrows.
The coins are made at an armored facility in West Point, N.Y., alongside the military academy. Dealers say they heard the mint had run out of planchets — round metal disks ready to be struck into coins. The disks are used for various coins, and the companies producing the blanks also are busy, limiting the mint’s ability to increase production. The mint won’t comment on the planchets.”
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