March 18, 2013 -- Issue No. 4

From the Owners

Well, March is upon us…and now more than halfway through as this newsletter get’s out a few weeks into the month.  Spring has come, brining with it chirping birds, blooming flowers, pointless time changes, and foreign governments confiscating percentages of consumer bank deposits to satisfy the EU.  You heard me right.

For those of you who haven’t read about it yet, Cyprus, a tiny Mediterranean nation with a population of about one million folks, has closed it’s banks until at least Thursday after customers rushed to pull their money out of the banking system amid talks that their funds would be seized by the government to satisfy debt to the EU.  That’s the short version.  For the long version, just read the headlines on any of the major news sites.  I’m not a reporter, so I’m not going to re-report.

What does it mean for us?  Well, you can bet a silver dollar that when those Cyprus banks re-open their doors, their customers are going to make every effort to pull their funds from the banking system to keep their money safe from government seizure.  But, it won’t just be the citizens of Cyprus (Cypriots, as I believe they are called).   Cyprus bank depository levels represent an almost 8-1 ratio with their national GDP, meaning that lots and lots of non-Cyprus nationals have their money parked (hidden in some cases) in the Cyprus banking systems.  Those people won’t likely be willing to give up their money to a Government seizure.

Still, what does that mean for us?  All these people who will be taking their money out of the banking system…where will they put it.  Amongst growing worries of additional banking seizures, would you put your cash back in a bank…or would you put it in hard assets like silver and gold and wait out the crisis?

We anticipate that this is the first small crisis that drives commodity prices up.  We may see a temporary dip, as confidence in the dollar grows (for now logical reason…dead is worse than dying…though dying isn’t a great place to be), but over the long run, this new EU crisis will chase prices upward. 

If you haven’t seen our new and improved website yet, go take a look at www.rocklincoinshop.net and tell us what you think.  We want to hear from you.  As always, we thank you for your patronage and look forward to serving all of you again in the future.

Best Regards,

Matthew and Ariana Vickers
Owners - Rocklin Coin Shop

My Favorite Gold Coin

by
Chad Vickers

Three Years ago, before I started working in the Bullion Industry if you would have asked me what I knew about the Country of Austria, I would have made a reference to the Balkan Powder Keg, or regaled you with my intense knowledge of the filmography of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  These days when I think of Austria, I think of my favorite gold coin, the Austrian Philharmonic.

The Austrian Mint began production of the Philharmonic in 1989.  It is a pure 24 Karat coin, with beautiful color, and immaculate design.  The coin pays tribute the rich musical history of the country.  On the Obverse side is Vienna's Musikverein Concert Hall, which is fittingly referred to as “The Golden Hall” for its world-renowned sound.  The reverse features a selection of classical instruments.

While not as popular in the United States as the American Gold Eagle, the Canadian Maple, or the Kruggerrand, the Austrian Philharmonic is one of the best selling gold coins worldwide.  It was the world leader in gold coin sale in 1992, 95, and 96.  If one happens to grace our shelves, it does not remain here for long. 

These coins are produced in a number of sizes and weights.  The most popular is the one troy ounce variety.  There is also quarter, half, and one-tenth troy ounce varieties.  In 2004, the Austrian Mint issued a one thousand troy ounce gold Philharmonic to mark the 15th anniversary of the coins inception.  Fifteen coins were struck and they sold out within two weeks. But at that weight, one would need both Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscle to lift, and bank account to buy!

Last Month's Crossword Prize

In last month's issue, we included a crossword puzzle, and offered a prize to the first reader to e-mail all the correct answers.  Sadly, no one got all the right answers.  Even more sadly, no one even e-mailed us!

So, we'll try again.  Visit www.rocklincoinshop.net/newsletter and click on the "archives" link.  You'll find the crossword puzzle in issue #3.  E-mail us with all the correct answers and we'll send you a Commemorative 90% Washington Half Dollar...it's FREE MONEY people.  C'mon!

The Perils of the Penny

by
Denise Taylor

Ah, the penny, that coppery-colored coin that most people won't look at twice—the little coin nobody wants—holds the unique status of being one of the first coins produced by the US Mint along with its counterpart the half cent.

Of course, when the first penny was minted, it was approximately the diameter of a modern half dollar.  These large cents were produced from 1793 through 1857, but when the cost of materials rose, the diameter of the penny shrunk to its current size.

After the Large Cent, came a new smaller version of the cent designed by James B. Longacre—the Flying Eagle (1856-1858).  The Indian Head, which included three varieties was next; again designed by James B. Longacre.  All three varieties included the Indian Head on the obverse (heads side), it was the reverse (tails side) of variety one and two.  Variety one had the Laurel wreath, variety two had the Oak wreath with the Shield.  Variety three which was bronze in color had the addition of an“L” near the ribbon of the Indian head on the obverse, referring to it's designer. 

Next to follow was The Wheat Penny, also know as; “Wheat Back”, “Straw Penny” and “Wheatie”. The Wheatie was designed by Victor D. Brenner and was minted between 1909 through 1958) and the 1909S V.D.B. is one of the most sought after pennies. The Lincoln Memorial (1959-2008) had two designers, Victor D. Brenner's design was used on the obverse  while Frank Gasparro is responsible for the design on the reverse. 

Most recently The Bicentennial (2009) had four different reverse designs.  Both the birth and early childhood in Kentucky were designed by Richard Masters; Charles Vickers designed the formative years in Indiana; with designer Susan Gamble responsible for the Presidency in Washington. 

The Shield on the reverse of the current penny (2010 to Date), was chosen from 18 different designs. The Shield is to represent President Lincoln's preservation of the USA as a single and united country.

Copper was the main composition of the penny till 1982 with the exception of 1815 when a copper shortage halted the production of the large cent and again in 1943 (a critical war year) when the penny was produced from steel coated in zinc, hence the name the steel penny.  The current penny has a mire .008 of copper as its composition.

With the penny now costing approximately 2 cents to produce, it is fairly certain that the penny is coming to the end of its cycle.  If this happens, what will become of the famous sayings such as “penny pincher,” “find a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck,” and my favorite “a penny for your thoughts”?

Why by Locally?

by
Ariana Vickers

Let me start off this article by taking the time to genuinely thank each and every one of our customers for their patronage.  As many of you may know, Matt and I have had to endure several very trying situations over the past couple of years.  As all of you know, all small businesses, particularly in California, have had to endure a difficult economy and a threatening governmental regulatory environment during the past several years.  Matt and I wanted to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for all the support that you have given us, financially and otherwise.  We know that we would not be coming up on the 3 ½ year mark if it wasn’t for all of you.  It may be business, but many of you have become our friends, too.

More directly on the subject of this article, why should you buy locally?  How important is it to even spend any significant amount of time or energy considering the question?

The first decision you have to make is that this is the right time for you to buy gold and/or silver.  If it is, the next question is where are you going to buy it?  There is no shortage of ads online, on the television and on the radio for bullion sellers.  However, few are local businesses.  How do you decide who to buy from?

Aside from obvious logistical concerns, such as, how far do I have to drive, etc, what else do you need to consider?

-Privacy- It may seem somewhat counterintuitive that coming in to a business instead of buying by mail will actually provide more protection of your privacy.  However, consider how much personal information that you have to give out to a complete stranger to have a product delivered to your house.  Generally speaking, you would have to, minimally, provide your full name, delivery address, billing address, phone number, and some form of electronic payment information (credit card number, bank account information, etc.)  Often times, either the delivery or billing address will be your home address.  Despite all security measures possible, any electronic transmission or storage of your information can be breached and stolen.  Last month, both Apple and Microsoft were hacked.  If, even, the makers of the technology cannot provide foolproof protection for themselves, how likely is it that any precious metals sellers could have absolute security for their information databases?  How easy it would be for a hacker to sell the information to a criminal in your area?  Can you imagine being notified that your information had been compromised, and it might have included your name, address, and/or precious metals purchase history?  If you purchase from us, won’t ask for a litany of personal information.  If we don’t have your personal info, then no one can steal it from us.

-Access- In almost any case, you can contact your bullion seller by phone.  Sometimes, however, you want to talk to someone face-to-face.  You have turned over your hard earned money, and it is natural to be concerned about the security of your transaction.  If your seller stops answering the phone, responding to emails, or something seems fishy, wouldn’t you like to be able to know that you can walk in to their business and get some answers?

-Reputation- Your friends, family and acquaintances are more likely to have heard something about someone local.  News travels fast.  This is also why we are so careful to treat people honestly, fairly and the way that we would want to be treated.  Bad news often travels faster than good so each one of our customers, buyers or sellers, large or small, are all valued.  Regardless of whom you do business with, make sure to check with the Better Business Bureau and local Chamber of Commerce.

-Community- As is always an argument for buying locally, remember that we contribute to the area.  Through the taxes we pay, charitable contributions we give, and purchases we make, we pump money into the region.  We are proud to be part of the Rocklin community!

-Relationship- Many gold/silver buyers want to make multiple purchases, over time.  Buying locally allows you a better opportunity to develop a relationship with your bullion seller.  Many of our “regulars” have benefitted from this because we learn what works for them and can look for ways to maximize their dollars.  They also like knowing that if they have questions, at any time, they have someone they can trust to answer them.  In recognition of the importance of your status as a customer, we can usually offer you a better deal if you ever have to sell your metal back (ask for details.)  Nobody buys their gold or silver wanting to turn around and sell it, but supporting your local dealer ensures that there will be someone close by that you can trust to turn it back into currency.  And, remember, if there is ever a service disruption or a problem in shipping, both your money and your metal may end up separated from you. 

 

**Pictured above: the Rocklin Amtrak Station & Chamber of Commerce Building**

This Month's Prize!!!

As you probably know, all subscribers to the Official Rocklin Coin Shop Newsletter earns you automatic entry into our monthly prize giveaway.  

This month’s prize is our first prize to combine commodity values with numismatic values.  The gorgeous Arctic Fox silver coin set from the Royal Canadian Mint retails for $100 on the market.  The set includes four .9999 file silver coins; a 1 troy ounce, ½ troy ounce, ¼ troy ounce, and a 1/10 troy ounce coin.  All coins are deep mirror cameo proof, depicting Queen Elizabeth on the obverse, and four different depictions of the arctic fox on the reverse.  As always, the winner of the prize will be randomly picked and notified via e-mail at the end of the month.

Good Luck!!

Rocklin Coin Shop Staff

Meet the Crew!

In this, the fourth edition of the Rocklin Coin Shop Newsletter, we’ll meet owner Matt Vickers.  Born in sunny Yucaipa, California, Matt’s original focus was in the artistic pursuits…until he realized that he enjoyed food and shelter.  After marrying his wife, Ariana, in 1998, they moved to Davis, California, and eventually found their way to settle in Penn Valley.  Matt’s professional background includes time at Wells Fargo Bank, Tri Counties Bank, Citizens Bank of Northern California, and Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds.  His specialty at Rocklin Coin Shop is on the bullion investment side, paper currency numismatics, and consumer education.  In his free time, Matt enjoys writing, reading, and video games.

When asked what Matt likes best about working at Rocklin Coin Shop, he responded, "after spending years in retail banking, and particularly getting a taste of the big banks, and a 'sales before service' culture, it's nice to not feel pressured from a boss to make sales at whatever cost.  I can be honest with people, and watch the honesty pay off as I earn their trust.  My favorite thing is having a first time customer walk in and say, 'I haven't bought gold or silver before, but my friend said that you guys were awesome.'  When that happens, you know that you're doing something right.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Have something to add to our conversation?  Want to get our opinions or insight on something specific.  Want to give us suggestions on products or supplies that you'd like to see stocked at the shop?  The success of any business comes from it's ability to listen to its customers.  We wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. E-mail us anytime at newsletter@rocklincoinshop.net.