Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Au and Ag in Fairbanks, AK!

I pass along a short anecdote about a small part of our trip to Alaska.  This little story is really about the LAST thing we did before we left by plane back to the "Lower 48".

We were in downtown Fairbanks, an unimpressive place.  Not much to see.  But, my wife and daughter wanted to go see the Ice Museum (where they have a resident sculptor who makes works out of ice) there downtown.  I do not care for that kind of thing so I just wandered around, looking for coffee (and maybe a Wall Street Journal?  Ha ha ha!).  I saw a shop: Alaska Rare Coins.  OK...  Armed with my coffee I wandered in, and spoke to the proprietor, there was no one else there.  After a couple of minutes with the rather laconic guy, a local walked in. He wanted to buy 1000 oz of silver.  Generic.  This was the day AFTER gold cratered from its intra-day high of over $1900 to just below $1800.  (a BTFD kind of guy I guess!)   Whether coins or bars I do not know.  The proprietor then made a call to his main supplier for price and delivery info.  The deal was done and the local fellow walked out.  They clearly knew each other.

I was kind of stunned.

I then asked the guy running the store whether PHYSICAL NON-NUMISMATIC precious metals were selling stronger lately.  He said yes, very much so, lots of sales.  I then asked him if people there wanted US Eagles (like me) or generic (cheaper).  He said virtually ALL of his customers wanted generic, as they could get a little bit more bang for the buck.  I then told him that I too bought gold (mostly) and had some silver.  He did not say anything.  (I have learned to be OK with pauses in conversations)  I only had some $350 or so in cash left on this last day of our trip so was not able to do what I normally would do when wanting to buy gold.  Since gold was down more than $100 off its high, I asked him if he took credit cards or even debit cards.  He said no.  I then asked him if he had any fractional Gold Eagles (1/10th oz size).  He said yes.  So, I bought one.

So, let's review the score:

Alaska Local:   bought approx. $40,000 of silver
Robert Mix:     bought approx. $180 (cost: $198) of gold (high premium for 1/10th oz Eagles)

But, hey, I was on vacation!


  1. That's the danger (for myself also) of getting too close to a coin shop - the PM's are like sirens that call you in and soon your pockets are void of FRNs. Luckily my coin shop also does not take Debit or Debt cards.

    Good to hear you're home safe and sound.

    The Navigator

  2. I routinely try to convince folks what a great place Alaska is to live/work. No one will bite.

    Different breed of cat up here. :-)




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