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11.24.21 - When Government Ignores Consequences

Gold last traded at $1,785 an ounce. Silver at $23.47 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices drifted lower Wednesday on mixed economic data and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks fell as higher yields and downbeat retail earnings pressured high-flying stocks.

Latest gold selloff could be a buying opportunity ahead of Q1 rally -Kitco

"The gold market's latest price drop could be a buying opportunity as the Federal Reserve is still expected to be in no hurry to raise interest rates despite who is sitting at the head of the table, according to one analyst.

In a report published Friday, Suki Cooper, precious metals analyst at Standard Chartered Bank, said that she sees higher prices for gold through the first quarter of 2022 as the market continues to focus on rising inflation pressures and lower real bond yields.

'We believe that many of gold's headwinds have been priced in - from USD strength to the Fed tapering timetable - and prices have held up well. While these headwinds could re-emerge, downside risks to growth, plus elevated inflation and our expectations for the USD to weaken and real yields to remain deeply negative, suggest price dips are likely to be viewed as good buying opportunities,' Cooper said in the report....

Cooper added that gold has been responding to the rising inflation threat. She noted that markets will get another critical inflation report later this week with the release of the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index. She said that Standard Chartered expects PCE to rise 4.2% for the year, the highest reading since 1991.

'The gold market is concerned about elevated inflation risk but also does not believe that central banks will react hawkishly to high inflation prints immediately,' she said."

fire What to Expect When the Government Ignores Consequences -Rogue Economics

"The Federal Reserve printed up nearly 5 trillion brand-spanking-new dollars between August 2019 and today.

Surely, there must have been at least one alert economist among the 1,000 Ph.D.s on the Fed’s payroll who noticed that they were about to cause the whole economy to go up in flames.

But what was he thinking? Was he thinking at all?

This was classic monetary inflation on an unprecedented scale. Never before had any government 'printed' so much money in such a short period of time.

But nowhere in the history of the economics profession is there an instance where such prodigious effort on the part of the money-printers led to genuine prosperity.

Instead, many centuries of history show us that monetary inflation leads to price inflation… which then leads to bubbles and busts… confusion… and finger-pointing.

And if it’s not stopped, it can lead to hyperinflation, depression, hunger, poverty, riots, and revolution....

Supply chain disruptions were relatively unknown back in March 2020, when the spree of money-printing began in earnest. Now, they’re as common as strip malls.

How came they to be? When the offices, restaurants, and bars closed, people turned to their home computers… found that they had stimmy money from the feds in their accounts… and determined to spend it.

Some ordered consumer goods. But since America doesn’t make much anymore, these had to be shipped from the other side of the world.

And in a few months, the ships were backing up in the harbors… docks were stacked with containers… and trucks labored night and day to deliver them to every Middlesex, village, and town in the country.

Hence, the 'supply chain disruptions.' It seems so obvious, now. Shouldn’t our man at the Fed have seen it coming?....

Compensating workers is the number one expense of U.S. industry. So, any rise in labor costs is important… and must be passed along.

It is also the most 'sticky' of cost increases. Prices for raw materials may go up and down, but once an employee gets a raise, it is hard to take it back; there’s nothing 'transitory' about it.

And thus it was that prices rose… not for any mysterious reason, but for an obvious one - people were buying stuff.

But not with real money that they earned (which would have increased the supply of goods and services as well as the demand for them). They were spending fake money delivered unto them by the Fed.

It would have taken years of advanced study… and perhaps at least a master’s degree in economics… not to see it coming.

And so, we’ll prompt our Ph.D. friend at the Fed. Here’s a question to put to your comrades now? 'Well, what did you expect?'"

The supply chain crisis should change our holiday shopping habits -Vox

"Black Friday, the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday, once marked the start of the holiday shopping season. In recent years, though, the event has begun to feel like something of a bygone tradition. The holiday retail calendar begins a little earlier every year, but 2021 was especially notable: Some retailers started dishing out early-bird sales and reminder emails as early as September.

Shoppers were encouraged to order their gifts as soon as possible or risk having packages arrive late, due to rampant supply chain disruptions and mailing delays. Even books (yes, books!) weren’t safe from the impending shortages.

The pandemic briefly curbed consumer spending, but not for very long: As the country opened back up, Americans felt the urge to get out and shop, an impulse that retailers and marketers happily indulged. The early fall holiday shopping schedule was billed to benefit customers by reducing their annual holiday stress, which is likely compounded by supply chain delays. Yet retailers are still banking on shoppers turning out on Black Friday, despite launching monthslong campaigns urging them to shop early.

Early holiday shopping sprees are good news for retail corporations, logistics companies, and the US economy, which all stand to profit from a protracted shopping period. Consumers, in turn, are conditioned to buy without a second thought, a habit that is bad for the millions of workers caught up in manufacturing, distributing, and shipping the tons of junk we order every day. This year on Black Friday, perhaps we should reconsider America’s great shopping addiction.

When the stuff we want is so hard to get ahold of, why go to such great lengths to buy it? Consumers have the option to not order items manufactured overseas, to source things locally from small businesses or artisans. We also have a choice that eliminates the potential for shipping or supply chain mishaps: We can just buy less."

2021's Cost of Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner 14% Higher Than 2020 -Political Calculations

"The cost of providing a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner to 10 people in 2021 is 14% higher than a year ago. The same food that cost $46.90 in 2020 now costs $53.31.

That's according to the results of the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual survey of the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner were released one week before Thanksgiving 2021....

Rising by $4.60 from 2020's $19.39 to 2021's $23.99 for a 16-pound bird, turkey alone accounts for nearly 72% of the year-over-year increase in the total cost for the meal.

Why are turkeys so much more costly in 2021? Here's a partial explanation:

'The USDA's Turkey Market News Report showed that smaller 8- to 16-pound frozen turkeys were selling for $1.41 per pound, up from $1.15 the year before, a 22 percent increase...Gregory Martin, a poultry educator with Penn State Extension, points to larger inflation concerns. 'Prices are going to go up simply because of the cost to get the birds in the store,' he told Lancaster Farming."

**We will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving from the Swiss America family to yours!**

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11.23.21 - 'Build Back Better': Eco-Socialism

Gold last traded at $1,789 an ounce. Silver at $23.67 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices extended losses Tuesday on short-term profit-taking amid rising interest rates. U.S. stocks traded mixed as higher interest rates put pressure on tech stocks.

Latest Treasury, Fed and BIS Reports Confirm: All Twisted Paths Lead to Gold -Gold Switzerland

"The facts keep piling up, and recent BIS, Treasury and Fed reports confirm that all twisted paths lead to gold.

In a recent article, I posed the rhetorical question of when will policy makers finally stop lying and allow honest facts and natural market forces to return?

Unfortunately, as we examine the two latest working papers from the Fed/Treasury Dept cabal and the Bank of International Settlements, each confirms that lies are officially the new normal.

Over the years, we’ve tracked popularized delusions masquerading as policy with evidence rather than awe, addressing such topics as the open fictions of CPI inflation reporting and its 'transitory' myth to the latest sample of double-speak spewing out of the Fed or White House....

History’s patterns confirm that the more a system implodes under the weight of its own self-inflicted extravagance (typically fatal debt piles driven by years of war, wealth disparity, currency debasement and political/financial corruption), the powers-that be resort to increasingly autocratic controls, distractions and automatic lying....

Needless to say, more liquidity, and more inflation, joined by more rate repression, truth destruction and currency debasement means gold’s recent bump north is just the beginning of the ride up...As we’ve said with consistent conviction and hard facts, not to mention spot-on inflation reporting, gold’s golden era has yet to even begin."

federal reserve An Estimate of the Future -The Aleph Blog

"In some ways, the Federal Reserve is the whipping boy of Congress. Congress can’t decide on anything significant, so the Fed fills in the blanks, and keeps things moving, even if it creates humongous asset bubbles in the process.

That is what we are facing today. Overvalued stocks, housing, corporate bonds, private equity, and more. Inflation in goods and services may be transitory, but asset inflation is a constant. Whether by QE or rate policy, the Fed tries to end the possibility of recessions by making financing cheap, and blowing asset bubbles in the process.

What of the future? The Fed will be dragged kicking and screaming to tightening. It will follow the stupid Alan Greenspan highway of 25 basis points per meeting. It will be all too predictable, which has little to no impact until it is too late, creating pro-cyclical economic policy, something the Fed specializes in.

The Fed will be surprised (again) to see that the long end of the yield curve does not respond to their efforts. Are they stupid? Yes. the yield curve hasn’t worked in the classical way for over 20 years. In an overindebted economy, long rates are sluggish. Can the Fed abandon the dead orthodoxy of neoclassical economics to embrace the reality of overindebted economics?....

Conclusion: The Fed will tighten and fail, returning us to the same morass that we are in now. Financial repression via the Fed will continue to create inequality with no smoking gun. Stupid people will finger other causes, when the real cause is the Federal Reserve. We need to eliminate the Federal Reserve, and cause Congress and the Executive Branch to take responsibility for their failed policies."

‘Build Back Better’ Is Climate-Change Socialism, Not The Smaller Government We Need -Issues & Insights

"Just 10 months into his administration, Joe Biden is seemingly a man on a destructive mission: everything he touches augers spectacularly into the political dirt and his approval rating reflects the country’s dismay.

Last week, consumer prices jumped the highest in 31 years owing to non-stop stimulus checks, big government spending and energy sector 'climate change' subsidies to electrical vehicle (EV) promoters and manufacturers.

Everything from food prices to used cars increased faster than paychecks. If a working person didn’t receive a 6.2% pay raise this year, he/she is losing money, plain and simple. There hasn’t been a measurement this dramatic in decades....

'The climate crisis can’t wait any longer,' skewed Biden’s press flack Jen Psaki in response to questions regarding policies driving energy prices higher. The Biden team has made it clear: his agenda is to use the Green New Deal to restructure our society....

As the Biden/Socialist policies assault America it’s clear that government at all levels is too large, invasive and corrupting of good policies. The proper alternative for vigorous policy debate for the nation’s future is to identify how government at all levels can be cut from its current size of roughly 40% of GDP to 20% of GDP, which would dramatically increase the rate of economic growth for the benefit of all our citizens."

Inflation's Back! -Newsmax

"This is no time for inflation doves.

Biden may confront the fate of presidents injured, even politically crippled, by inflation. Consider the political careers of Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter, all presiding over inflation, all seeing their presidencies terminated with extreme prejudice.

Coincidence? Not really. As the first celebrity economist, John Maynard Keynes, wrote in The Economic Consequences of the Peace:

'Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.'...

'Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.'

Inflation - felt as rising prices yet really a sinking dollar - is politically lethal. Most politicians mishandle it. It’s that insidious.

President Biden? You are a self-proclaimed champion of capitalism and equity. So, now, pivot to good monetary policy to preempt 'all the hidden forces of economic law' from settling 'on the side of destruction.'....

By far most of it [destruction] was about monetary policy (noting the advantages of the gold standard for quelling inflation and creating equitable prosperity)."

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11.22.21 - Is Fed Making a Mistake? Gold Eyes $1,900

Gold last traded at $1,805 an ounce. Silver at $24.18 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices dipped Monday on profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks rose after President Joe Biden picked Jerome Powell to continue to lead the Federal Reserve.

Is Fed making a mistake? Big market risk ahead as gold looks to $1,900 -Kitco

"According to analysts, with all eyes on the U.S. President Joe Biden's Federal Reserve Chair pick, gold is waiting for its next catalyst to take it to $1,900 an ounce, with markets eyeing year-end volatility....

One of the main events the market is watching very closely is Biden's Fed Chair pick, which could be announced as soon as this weekend. According to PredictIt.org, the current Fed Chair Jerome Powell is leading the race, with Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard in the second top spot.

'Looking to next week, we are going to get Biden's decision. Two months ago, Powell was the likely choice. But we got the trading scandal among Fed members and progressives got upset with how Powell handled the regulatory side,' OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya told Kitco News.

'Now, it seems that Powell's renomination might not be a foregone confusion. If we do get a surprise and Brainard becomes the next Fed Chair, it will have a dramatic shift in short-term yields. That's a big risk ahead. Key factor what happens with yields early next week.'

If Biden were to choose Brainard, gold would climb higher as the initial reaction would see those Fed rate hike expectations pushed back even further, Moya explained. However, if Powell is renominated, it doesn't necessarily mean gold would sell off dramatically. 'Risk is still to the upside,' he said.

Choosing Brainard will represent uncertainty for the markets, said Pepperstone's head of research Chris Weston.

'As the well-used term goes, markets hate uncertainty – and a Brainard appointment, at a time of impending monetary policy change, represents a small rise in uncertainty that many in the market could do without – well, except for those who like volatility which is most short-term traders,' Weston said....

As 2021 wraps up, traders will shift their attention away from rate hikes and focus more on growth. 'The Fed could be making a mistake in removing this monetary accommodation. That's a big risk. Leading up to January, the inflation report will be a big one. Gold should see strong support here,' Moya stated.

Over the next month, gold is bound to make a move to $1,900 an ounce as investors come back to bullion for inflation hedges amid a flight to safety with some additional concerns coming from Europe's COVID flare-up and the dovish European Central Bank."

social Security Why You Shouldn't Count on Social Security -US News

"Approximately 65 million Americans receive a monthly Social Security check and it remains a major source of income for the elderly. However, Social Security was never meant to be the only source of income for people when they retire....

Social Security has primarily been known as a pay-as-you-go program. Workers pay Social Security taxes based on their earnings, up to a certain amount, which then goes directly to beneficiaries. Over the last 40 years, there's been more money left over from payroll taxes than what was needed to pay out current benefits. This extra cash goes to the Social Security trust funds.

'Those surpluses now total $2.9 trillion,' says Kathleen Romig, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. These reserves are now being used to pay current benefits, which are estimated to be depleted by 2034, according to the most recent Social Security Trustees' report....

Considering the Social Security Trustees anticipate a 22% benefit cut if there's no reform, it means that instead of collecting $1,500 per month in benefit, you would only receive $1,170. This would add up to a loss of $330 a month, or $3,960 a year.

Although the last time there was an overhaul to Social Security was in 1983, Congress can propose a reform at any time. To stop potential benefit cuts within the next 13 years, lawmakers will have no choice but to take action....

Over the last 12 months, the Consumer Price Index for all items rose 6.2% while Social Security recipients are receiving a 1.3% COLA for 2021. 'That works out to prices rising almost four times faster than the 1.3% COLA,' Johnson adds.

Social Security only replaces about 40% of earnings, or even less. Saving for retirement as early as possible will help to ensure that you have enough money to enjoy a comfortable level of living when you stop or reduce the number of hours you work.

However, a report released by the Federal Reserve found that 31% of survey respondents have no retirement savings or pension and plan to completely rely on Social Security benefits."

Retirees are 'unretiring' - and that’s good for the labor market -CNBC

"Retirees are coming out of retirement, and that’s a good sign for the labor market.

Early retirements among older Americans were among the many labor distortions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to economists, as health risks and other factors led many to leave their jobs.

But there’s an open question: Are these retirements permanent, or will these workers rejoin the labor force?

The answer could have big implications for the U.S. economy and even the finances of everyday Americans, at a time when overall labor force participation has remained stubbornly low.

The number of retirees re-entering the job market is picking up, according to Nick Bunker, economic research director for North America at job site Indeed.

That’s largely a positive thing - most pandemic-era retirements seem to have been for 'bad' reasons (forced retirements amid a health crisis) rather than 'good' ones (like inflated nest eggs), he said.

'[The trend] suggests there’s a group of people out there who want work and are increasingly finding it,' Bunker said....In October 2021, the unretirement rate was 2.6%, above the 2.5% rate for September and 2.4% in August, Bunker found.

This is a noticeable pickup in 'unretirement' relative to other periods during the pandemic, he said. The rate had cratered to 2.1% by June 2020....

Bringing more workers into the job market and boosting labor supply may help ease any wage and price pressures, he said, and lessen the likelihood of the Federal Reserve stepping in to slow down the economy and rein in consumer demand."

The Energy Transition Will Be Impossible Without Fossil Fuels -OilPrice.com

"OPEC members and other participants of ADIPEC2021 are calling on governments and international institutions to be realistic about the global energy transition.

While countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia are ready to embrace the energy transition, they argue that nations need to accept the role of fossil fuels in the global energy mix.

African energy nations, in particular, have supported this message, claiming that they will be left behind if funding and development of their fossil fuel industries dries up....

According to the ADNOC CEO, the demand for oil and gas has been very strong worldwide, outpacing current supply and leading to an energy crunch in mainstream consumer regions such as the EU, China, and even the US. One of the main reasons for this lack of balance in oil markets is a decade of underinvestment, leading to supply issues.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber reiterated that the oil and gas industry needs to invest around $600 billion per year until 2030 to increase overall oil and gas supplies. This claim directly contradicts what both international media and Western governments seem to be reporting.

As Al Jaber emphasized, 'even though renewable energy is the fastest-growing segment of the energy mix, oil and gas are still by far the largest, and will continue to be for decades to come'."

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11.19.21 - U.S. Selling Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Asia?

Gold last traded at $1,849 an ounce. Silver at $24.73 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased Friday on mild profit-taking despite a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks traded mostly lower as concerns over a Covid-19 resurgence weighed on global markets.

Gold-O-Mania is Coming -GoldSwitzerland

"As exuberance continues to dominate intoxicated stock market investors, they haven’t yet noticed that all is not well on the perilous seas. Still, most markets continue to respond positively to the printing press rather than to the underlying fundamentals.

Printing presses don’t create real value, instead they create bubbles full of worthless air. But sadly intoxicated investors confuse air, which is free and has no value, with real, intrinsic values....

Since the time we made substantial investments in the physical gold market in 2002 at $300, I have never worried one day about the value of gold. History told us that gold, with normal fluctuations, would always reflect constant purchasing power.

And since I back then predicted that risk in the financial system would increase dramatically, physical gold was, and still is, the obvious wealth preservation investment....

Gold must not be held for speculation or instant gratification. Instead, hold physical gold and some silver for wealth preservation purposes.

Physical gold and silver will not just preserve your wealth but substantially enhance it as the world economy enters a very troubled time.

So will we have Goldomania? Yes, very likely.

This means that gold (and silver) could become overvalued and overloved at some point in the next 5-10 years like in all manias. That might be the time to swap some gold and silver to undervalued and unloved assets which could be stocks, or land or solid businesses. Such situations can create fantastic opportunities but first we must go though some cleansing and difficult times."

money and gold Gold Breakout Imminent! -Zero Hedge

"By now, readers are tired of my description of gold trading as range-bound between $1,700 per ounce on the low side and $1,900 per ounce on the high side, with $1,800 per ounce as the central tendency...

This pattern emerged in November 2020 after gold fell from its all-time high of $2,069 per ounce on Aug. 6, 2020....

What’s next for gold? That’s where the good news begins. Yes, gold has been range-bound, but the range is getting smaller. While swings of 5% in a matter of days were common as recently as last summer, that volatility has cooled off. Gold still moves up and down in price, but the swings are much more compact....

The first piece of evidence is that the real price of physical bullion today is not $1,864 per ounce...but closer to $2,000 per ounce according to my gold bullion dealer sources....

It’s a reflection of scarcity, delivery delays and other logistical issues in getting actual physical bullion instead of paper gold contracts. $1,925 per ounce is the real price of real physical bullion. Everything else is just paper....

The second fundamental factor is that Russia is back in the game. As readers know, Russia has increased its gold reserves by 1,700 metric tonnes since 2009...a 283% increase in the past twelve years....

And of course, China has acquired massive amounts of gold in recent years, which has been part of a concerted overall strategy. And recently, Chinese gold imports from Hong Kong hit a five-month high, up nearly 60% in September.

These central bank purchases were in anticipation of a declining dollar and higher dollar inflation. The central banks are buying gold to stay ahead of the curve. Shouldn’t you do the same?"

Something very peculiar is happening with our Strategic Petroleum Reserve -American Thinker

"It's no secret that Americans are paying record prices at the gas pumps. Rapidly ascending prices also affect the cost of all the goods and services that are an integral part of the American economy. Farmers, manufacturers, delivery companies, repair people...you name it: they're paying more to do their jobs, and they're passing those costs to consumers.

So why now, of all times, is the Biden administration selling off America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to Asia?

As the name suggests, the SPR is America's emergency backup supply of oil. The reason we have it is because of the energy crisis in the early 1970s. According to Wikipedia, which is probably accurate about this, '[t]he United States started the petroleum reserve in 1975 after oil supplies were interrupted during the 1973–1974 oil embargo, to mitigate future supply disruptions.'

Fast-forward to 2021. Upon entering the Oval Office, one of the first things Biden did was to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline. Henceforth, rather than flowing safely through a pipeline, Canadian oil will come the expensive way, over land, whether in trucks (which are in short supply) or on trains.

At the same time, Biden halted new oil, gas, and coal leases on federal lands, something that's being fought in the courts. As long as the suit continues, no sane business would start to drill....

Practically overnight, America went from oil independence and being a net oil importer to suffering shortages and, as noted, rising prices. When asked about the problem, Biden blamed OPEC and Russia. Meanwhile, Jennifer Granholm, the energy secretary, simply cackled maniacally and claimed that the administration was helpless.

Biden is now under pressure to tap the SPR to relieve some of the pressure on fuel prices. (Again, remember that Biden birthed this problem by squashing American fuel production, thereby creating the shortage...Even Chuckie Schumer wants to lower prices by chipping away at our SPR emergency supply, despite our having vast, untapped resources beneath American land.

It turns out that Biden is already tapping into the SPR; he's just not doing it to help Americans. A report in investment circles is finally trickling down into the mainstream news: Biden is selling massive amounts of SPR oil...to Asia!

As far as I can tell, the administration has not explained why, with Americans struggling to keep up with rising fuel prices, it's shipping our SPR to Asia."

Biden's approval dips to 36 percent in new Quinnipiac poll -The Hill

"President Biden’s job approval rating is down to just 36 percent in a new Quinnipiac University poll, signaling trouble for Democrats as they head into 2022.

The president’s current approval rating is down a point from 37 percent last month, according to the poll. Disapproval with his job performance also ticked up slightly to 53 percent from 52 percent in October.

Biden gets his worst reviews on his handling of the economy and foreign policy, with 34 percent and 33 percent approving, respectively. Fifty-nine percent of respondents say they disapprove of his handling of the economy, while 55 percent disapprove of his performance on foreign policy.

Just 37 percent of respondents say the president has good leadership skills, compared to 57 percent who believe he does not. And a slight majority - 51 percent - say they do not believe the president is honest, while 42 percent say he is....

When it comes to Biden’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, 45 percent of Americans say they approve of his performance, while 50 percent disapprove. Likewise, 41 percent give him positive marks on climate change compared to 48 percent who disapprove.

The latest numbers from Quinnipiac’s national poll offer a gloomy outlook for Democrats, who are preparing to defend their slim House and Senate majorities in 2022."

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