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99% Pure Silver Coins Are Junk!

Michael R Stoddard, CPA/PFS & CFP
Tuesday, July 23rd

Because They Cannot Be Used in Everyday Exchange
They are TOO SOFT !
They are actually MEDALLIONS aka Collector’s Items.


For Hundreds of Years since the late 1400s, the standard in Silver Coinage was set by the THALER from Joachim’s Valley, in what was then Bohemia and now is the Czech Republic (which the Brits & British Colonists called "Dollars"). An excellent discussion of the renaissance of silver coin minting and sound money in Europe is Professor Antal Fekete's excellent article, “Architecture For A New World Financial System[1].

Modern Silver Coinage Started with the Thaler

To make Thalers hard enough for everyday exchange and use at regional Medieval Trade Fairs required that the silver be alloyed with enough copper. The Thalers included approximately 7% copper. This Thaler Standard became THE silver coin standard (eg: even the Brits' "Sterling" standard was close to the Thaler at 92.5% Silver and 7.5% Copper) for many centuries. Then the Americans raised the bar in "Hardness" by adopting a 90% Silver and 10% Copper alloy standard in 1792. To this day in the Silver Industry "Coin Metal" means a 90-10 alloy. Below is a chart that amongst other things presents the Provenance of the US Dollar and preceding Hard Currencies:

As can be seen in the table above, all the silver coins leading up to the U.S. Dollar (which was defined in the U.S. Fiscal Act of 1792 at 371.25 grains fine silver) are shy of the 480 grains that compose a Troy Ounce. But they did have between 6.25% and 10% copper for hardness. To understand what a U.S. Dollar per the Fiscal Act of 1792 is and why it comprised 371.25 fine grains of silver, may I recommend that you read the world expert on the subject - Dr. Edwin Vieira and his essay “What Is A Dollar”[2] on the topic or his magnum opus Pieces of Eight[3]. To abbreviate the story, the 1792 U.S. Dollar was based on the Spanish 8 Real silver coin (aka Pieces of Eight), which was based on the silver Thaler.

When the US Federal Government Mint began minting gold and silver coins again in 1985 they knowingly minted coins that COULD NOT be used in every day exchange. Instead of following the U.S. Coin standard (90-10 alloy) set by the Founding Fathers that had stayed the same from 1792 to 1964, they minted 99.9% pure but ultimately soft medallions. All government and private mints fell right in line with the new 99.9% “Pure” standard. While I prefer 100% cotton shirts, I want my silver coins to be “Coin Metal” hard. Although, who wouldn't want 99.9% pure coins? These coins are beautiful "Collectors” items, but they, like the Dodo Bird, will never fly high as mediums of exchange because they are too soft. The government and private mints have clipped the wings of our silver coins and thus neutered their use in every day exchange. “Soft” coins become defaced easily and become “light” (lose weight because the precious metal gets rubbed away) rapidly. Durability for circulation led mints to use strong alloys for hundreds of years. The only conceivable reason that they don’t use strong alloys now is simply because the 99.9% coins were never meant for circulation.

So what is a Silver Investor to do?

In 1978 the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) set up universal currency standards. In addition to providing 3 letter alpha designations for each currency, they provided a numeric designation. One Troy Ounce of Silver was coded as a currency (believe it or not). The ISO codes for Silver currency are XAG and 961[4].

A New Coin in the Thaler Tradition

In order to produce a silver coin that both falls under the ISO guidelines of containing exactly One Troy Ounce of Silver (480 grains fine silver) & being made of “Coin Metal” so the new coin is both standardized and hard enough to be used in every day exchange, I recommend that the following XAG Coin be minted:

A Real Hard Currency


This new XAG Silver Coin will be about 111% the size of the current 99.9% silver coins or 11% bigger.

Some of the obvious virtues of the XAG silver coin are:

1. It contains 480 grains fine silver or exactly one troy ounce.

2. It is “coin metal” hard and can serve as a collector item but most importantly it can be used in every day exchanges for decades of hard use. Not that I would never recommend purchasing it for use in competition with government fiat currencies.

3. It is defined and codified by the ISO which gives it tremendous credibility.

4. It is not in direct competition with the U.S. Federal Reserve Note as there would be no reference to “Dollar” and its only similarity to the old U.S. Constitutional Standard is the wisdom of being made of 90% silver and 10% copper. Therefore it will carry none of the baggage that the Liberty Dollar carried. My version of the XAG will not have any symbolism similar to U.S. Mint coinage.

Silver Coins are Dead – Long Live Silver Coins

You could say I am a real Hard Money Fan. Give me a 100% Troy Ounce of Silver in my coin and make it hard. Join a real hard money revolution. If you have any interest in this New XAG Silver Coin, please contact me: Michael @ FibonacciFinancial.com. I have recently sent off art work for this coin to an artist sculptor and am looking for a mint. I have also created a new symbol for the ISO Silver Currency XAG.



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