With Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith
2015 National Coin Week begins in April. This year marks the American Numismatic Association's 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.
To celebrate, Craig R. Smith shares a series of ten two-minute stories entitled, The History of Your Money. The goal is to help inspire Americans to rediscover the rich history behind U.S. gold and silver coins - which also offer financial security during uncertain times like these.
According to the U.S. Mint, "In 1983, the President set aside the third week in April as a time for people to think about coins." Why? Because collecting U.S. coins can help teach us about American exceptionalism in science, industry and history by immortalizing our nation's most important people, places and events.
"When I look at a historic United States gold coin, I see it as the financial light of the world," says national talk show host Michael Savage. "I may collect coins for their history and beauty, but I'm also building long-term wealth insurance at the same time."
#1: $20 BILL VS. $20 GOLD Listen
The History of Your Money today focuses in on a $20 gold piece and a $20 bill.
If you go back to the early 1920's, a $20 bill and a $20 gold piece worked exactly the same in our economy. It used to be that you could go down to a local men's shop and buy a beautiful three-piece suit with either a $20 bill or a $20 gold piece.
Now lets accelerate ahead in history 85 years later. You walk into a shop with a $20 gold piece and a $20 bill, and what happens? Well, with a $20 paper bill, you'd be lucky to find a nice tie, but a $20 gold piece, even in the worst condition is worth $1,200 today -- still ample enough money to buy a nice three-piece suit.
Did the $20 paper bill maintain buying power? No! If you look at American history, it illustrates that gold will always outperform it's paper counterpart.
Do you want to have all of you money in paper, or should you have a little of your money in real money -- gold? Lets learn from history to better prepare our family and our finances for the future. -Craig R. Smith
Read more about today's Three cent dollar.
#2: THE FEDERAL RESERVE Listen
The History of Your Money today focuses on ... understanding the Federal Reserve System.
Are you aware that the Federal Reserve is not federal and has no reserve? The Federal Reserve banks are no more federal than Fred Smith's Federal Express!
The average American today believes that there's truly a federal connection. The Federal Reserve banks are privately held institutions located all throughout the United States of America and where put into place by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
A few years prier to 1913 a number of private bankers, under the cover of night, boarded a train in Hoboken N. J. They set off for a little island called Jekyll Island, where, after days of meeting, they sculpted what would referred to as the Jeckel Island Accords. Later the Jekyll Island Accords became the Federal Reserve Act.
What's interesting is that ever since the inception of the Federal Reserve we've had; the Great Depression, the boom of the 50's, the wage & price freezes of the 70's, the boom of the 90's, and now the bust of the early 2000s.
Should the Federal Reserve be going a better job with your and my money? I think so! Lets learn from history to better prepare our families and our finances for the future. -Craig R. Smith
#3: THE JOHN J. PITTMAN STORY Listen
The History of Your Money today focuses on a wonderful story of a gentleman named John J Pitman.
On October 21 1997, just 6 days before the Wall Street roller coaster nearly derailed, approximately 200 people gathered in Baltimore MD, for the auctioning of one of the most exquisite coin collections in the history of the world, yielding and astonishing 30,000 per cent return on investment!
Friends and family gathered in awe, watching coin connoisseurs spend up to $465,000 for one coin alone. They shook their heads in disbelief, saying to one another, "He was right all this time about those coins, wasn't he?"
You see John J. Pittman was a man as unique as the coins he collected, yet most saw him as an average guy. He wasn't a multi-millionaire. He was a humble man, earning between $10,000 to $15,000 a year, working as the Chemical Engineer for Kodak, but he realized how numismatic coins and collectible coins functioned within a "real" economy.
Yes, John J. Pittman learned how to double, triple, quadruple his profit over time with coins. Lets learn from history to better prepare our families and our finances for the future. -Craig R. Smith
#4: WHY 30% OF AMERICANS COLLECT COINS Listen
The history of your money today focuses on why more than 30% of all Americans collect coins, according to the U.S. Mint.
Will this growing hobby lead to an investment in many of these collectors' lives? Well, if history repeats itself that will be the case. Ever since the inception of the new "State Quarters" program -- you know, the new quarter that's put out by each state to symbolize a specific event in that state's history -- we have seen investors and collectors to flock to put these quarters away.
Why is that? Well, there's just something fun and enjoyable about coin collecting and it represents tracking America's history, romance and the beauty of what made this nation great. Many hobby coin collectors are now discovering a little hidden secret that they were so pleased to find out: putting coins away today could be worth a fortune tomorrow.
As a matter of fact, recently, one single collectible coin brought $7.5 million dollars at an auction, and yet that coin's original value was just $20. Lets learn from history to better prepare our families and our finances for the future. -Craig R. Smith
#5. ALL GOLD IS NOT CREATED EQUAL Listen
The history of your money today focuses on - All gold is not created equal.
That's right, when we talk about gold you can think about gold watches or gold coins or gold jewelry or gold bullion, and yet, all gold is not created equal, that is, when it comes to it's performance as an investment.
Are you aware that in the case of $20 gold pieces and early American gold coinage, during the run up in gold of 1979 and 1980, gold bullion went up 721%, and gold numismatic coins went up 1222%? It's true! But more importantly, when gold started to drop from the highs of $850 back to $250, the numismatic gold coins slowly dropped, giving investors a chance to liquidate without getting caught up in the frenzy!
Yes, if you study numismatic coin and gold prices you're going to see something very fascinating: when gold moves up, numismatic coins literally explode upward in price.
Given the fact that even the most ardent critics right now are saying; "gold is the buy of the generation," isn't it time to look into numismatic gold coins? Lets learn from history to better prepare our families and our finances for the future. -Craig R. Smith
The history of your money today focuses in on - The mirror of history that rare coins truly represent. One area of coins that I've collected for years is U.S. gold 'Commem' coins. They commemorate some of the spectacular events in the U.S. history.
For example, in 1915 we minted a $2 Panama-Pacific gold coin to commemorate what was at that time the most unbelievable engineering feat known to mankind: the opening of the Panama Canal.
As I studied gold commemorative coins, I found it interesting that historic gold coins not only mirrored the history of the United States and the world, they were also minted in such small mintage's that, as these coins were snatched up off the market, supply and demand kicked in. As a result, extremely attractive returns were given to those wise enough to acquire gold coins.
So, when you look at gold coins, not only do they mirror the history, the beauty and romance of our nation, they also have a very interesting and very, very rewarding return. Let's learn from history to better prepare family and our finances for the future. -Craig R. Smith
#7. GOLD: OUT OF THE DOG HOUSE Listen
The history of your money today focuses on - an area that absolutely astonishes me.
Could you imagine tomorrow if you saw a commercial from McDonalds telling you to go buy Burger King? That's literally what we're seeing happening in the tangible hard asset world.
For years Wall Street has criticized the lack luster performance of gold. They have criticized the wisdom of taking a portion of your assets and putting it away in a vault to protect you from inflation. And yet, starting in 2002-03, even the critics agree that now is the time to have a portion of your money in gold.
Chief economist, Walter Murphy from Merrill Lynch said, "Gold is a buy of the generation." CNBC's Lawrence Kudlow, the most ardent bull on Wall Street (he believes that the Dow one day will be multiplies of 10 thousand) is even suggesting people buy gold.
Why? Because gold represents safety -- and everybody -- even the critics agree that now is the time to own a little gold. Lets learn from history to better prepare our families and finances for the future. -Craig R. Smith
#8. CELEBRITY COIN COLLECTORS Listen
The History of Your Money today focuses on...celebrity coin collectors. Today's numismatist (or coin collector) is in the company of kings, presidents and other famous figures. Kings, queens, even Popes have all been captivated by gold and silver coins over the centuries.
In fact, many Hollywood stars have taken a shine to numismatics too. Like actor Buddy Epsen(Jed Clampett to millions), and James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader). Angie Dickenson and Penny Marshall are also both avid coin collectors.
Many American Presidents have also been big coin collectors, like Thomas Jefferson (who collected early Roman coins), Andrew Jackson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The list goes on...
The next time you take a pill made by Lilly corporation... may it remind you that Josiah Lilly has a whole wing in his castle dedicated to coin collecting.
No wonder coin collecting is becoming more than just a hobby for millions of Americans! U.S. rare coins offer history, beauty AND financial protection, privacy and profit potential!
Yes, coin collectors truly are in the company of kings, figuratively AND literally. You don't have to build a new wing onto YOUR castle to get started, but I do recommend getting a little education before you invest! Let's learn from history - to better prepare our families and our finances for the future!" -Craig R. Smith
#9. THE LEGENDARY HOAGY CARMICHAEL Listen
The History of Your Money today focuses on...the legendary Hoagy Carmichael Collection.
Hoagland Howard Carmichael was born in 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana. His father was an itinerant laborer who moved his family throughout the Midwest looking for steady work.
Hoagy's first paid performance came in high school, where he was offered $5 to play at a dance. In the late 20s, such songs as; "Georgia on My Mind," "Lazy River" and "Little Old Lady" became instant musical hits. I bet you can remember them.
In his famous song, "The Stardust Road," humble Hoagy says: "No, gramma, I don't think I'll ever be president of anything." Yet, over the years, Hoagy did amass a world class coin collection which, four years after his death, in 1986, would break all previous records.
What was Hoagy's secret? QUALITY! That's right, Hoagy's famous collection of coins brought top dollar because they were the most beautiful examples known to exist.
Yes, Hoagy Carmichael is remembered today as one of America's great composers, but he is ALSO remembered as one of the great coin collectors in America history! Let's learn from history - to better prepare our families and our finances for the future! -Craig R. Smith
#10. THE PEACE METAL OF THE LEWIS & CLARK Listen
The History of Your Money today focuses on... the Peace Metal of the Lewis & Clark. The Jefferson Peace Medal was carried by the Lewis & Clark Expedition on its journey across western North America between 1803-1806.
Lewis & Clark maintained the practice of presenting peace medals to ensure goodwill between the United States government and the American Indians -- since the expedition depended on winning both the respect and friendship of the American Indians that they encountered.
When the expedition met with the chief of a very large tribe, there was often a ceremony which could last several hours that included the exchange of gifts, feasting and speech-making.
During these ceremonies, the Lewis and Clark's captains would impress upon the chief the importance of making and maintaining peace. If the chief would promise to be under the rule of the "Great Chief" Thomas Jefferson, the captains would then present him with a peace medal as a symbol of their agreement.
Five sizes of peace medals were taken on the expedition. Today, solid bronze medals are still being struck by the Bureau of the Mint. Let's learn from history - to better prepare our families for the future!-Craig R. Smith