Metals Market Report Archive

The Mike Fuljenz Metals Market Report

February 28, 2024 - Special Edition

A Historic First Available To Collectors and Investors That’s Sure To Be A Winner

The Royal Mint and the United States Mint have introduced an unprecedented collaboration between the two, where the iconic symbols of Britannia and Liberty join forces on a remarkable bullion coin. It is a historic first, with the Chief Engraver of The Royal Mint, Gordon Summers, and the U.S. Mint’s Chief Engraver, Joe Menna, combining their talents to create a truly unique coin design that is also a bargain for investors. I believe these coins will become “instant classics.”

Not only are there a limited number of 250,000 silver coins that were made, but there are only 10,000 gold coins minted and each is priced less than its counterpart, the one-ounce American Silver Eagle or the one-ounce American Gold Eagle, respectively. You read that correctly, a limited-edition collaborative, legal tender coin at bullion coin prices. I have little doubt that these Britannia-Liberty coins will be a smart bullion investment opportunity, but they are also beautiful and may develop a significant numismatic premium in years to come.

The Double Eagle was Born by the Coinage Act of 1849, as the First 49ers Arrived in San Francisco

In this special edition of my Metals Market Report, we want to honor the birth of two of America’s most important gold and silver rare coin series – the Type 1 Gold Double Eagle and Morgan Silver Dollar. Both are tied to historical events and Congressional Acts passed or taking effect on this date in history.

The first ship of 49ers (gold miners) arrived in San Francisco, aboard the SS California on this date 175 years ago, February 28, 1849. The ship left New York on October 6, 1848, making the arduous trip around Cape Horn in 20 weeks. By the end of 1849, over 55,000 49ers arrived by land and another 25,000 by sea.  

That same week, the Coinage Act of 1849 was being debated in the House. It was passed to the Senate on March 3, where it was passed and signed by President James K. Polk. The Act authorized the Mint to strike the smallest coin it has ever struck – the $1 Liberty Head gold coin – only half an inch wide and weighing 1.672 grams (1/17th of an ounce).  The Act also included the first gold Double Eagle and both coins were designed by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, who also designed the Indian Head cent and our two-cent coins.

The Liberty Head Type 1 Double Eagle, minted 1849-1866, was the chief byproduct of the California Gold Rush, launched at Sutter’s Mill in January 1848. Its eventual 23,526,676 business strikes were minted in Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Francisco, but the first strike is a rarity. The only known 1849 Double Eagle is situated in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.  

The Morgan Silver Dollar Series was Also Born on February 28, 1878, by the Bland-Allison Act

On February 28, 1878, Congress passed the Bland-Allison Act, which mandated two million to four million ounces of silver coins be minted each month, as Western miners wanted to create demand for silver.

At the time, America was mired in a five-year depression, starting with the Panic of 1873. It was a time of deflation and depression, with widespread calls for cheaper (i.e. non-gold) money for the masses after the Coinage Act of 1873 (the “Crime of ‘73”) had removed the use of silver dollars from the list of authorized coins. The crusade to add silver back to our coinage was led by Missouri Representative Richard P. Bland, and Iowa Senator William B. Allison, joining with silver interests to champion a “bi-metallic” money standard (both gold and silver) in a ratio of either 15- or 16-to-1 silver-to-gold ounces. 

President, Rutherford B. Hayes, who held conflicting interests in industry and banking, vetoed the bill, but he was overturned by Congress. As a result, Hayes’ Treasury bought the lower limit (two million ounces) of silver each month.

The silver coins minted from these Treasury purchases became Morgan Silver Dollars, minted from 1878 to 1904 and in 1921 (and starting again in 2021 as collectibles). Each coin contained 0.7734 Troy ounces of pure silver. The coin was named after its designer, United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan.  In 1890, the Bland–Allison Act was replaced by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which more than doubled the silver purchase to 4,500,00 Troy ounces per month, but only for that year, giving rise to the “gold bug” vs. silver “cross of gold” Presidential battle (William Jennings Bryan vs. William McKinley) in 1896.

Gold Gaining Value, Up $50 An Ounce Over the Past Two Weeks

Gold has been in a narrow trading pattern for the last week, but it is still up about $50 from its dip down to $1,985 on Valentine’s Day. Most pundits now say gold is “waiting for the next event” to make a move.” When evaluating gold’s price, however, we must always evaluate it in terms of the U.S. Dollar Index, which is up 2.4% so far this year. So, gold’s nominal 1.36% decline this year means that gold is actually rising by about 1% in terms of most other currencies around the world and this is relevant to the higher level of tension in Europe, the Middle East, China and Ukraine.


Metals Market Report Archive >

Important Disclosure Notification: All statements, opinions, pricing, and ideas herein are believed to be reliable, truthful and accurate to the best of the Publisher's knowledge at this time. They are not guaranteed in any way by anybody and are subject to change over time. The Publisher disclaims and is not liable for any claims or losses which may be incurred by third parties while relying on information published herein. Individuals should not look at this publication as giving finance or investment advice or information for their individual suitability. All readers are advised to independently verify all representations made herein or by its representatives for your individual suitability before making your investment or collecting decisions. Arbitration: This company strives to handle customer complaint issues directly with customer in an expeditious manner. In the event an amicable resolution cannot be reached, you agree to accept binding arbitration. Any dispute, controversy, claim or disagreement arising out of or relating to transactions between you and this company shall be resolved by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act and conducted in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas. It is understood that the parties waive any right to a jury trial. Judgment upon the award rendered by the Arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Reproduction or quotation of this newsletter is prohibited without written permission of the Publisher.