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Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR [1]. Today, we look at investing in gold pocket watches. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Platinum [2] is still languishing down near one half the price of gold. Wow! Remember my advice: When it comes to ratio trading, buy at the extremes. In the long term, reversion to norms is the norm.

o  o  o

Gold prices stable; all eyes on Fed summit for rate-cut direction [3]

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: What Happens To Bond ETFs When Interest Rates Go Negative? [4]

o  o  o

Fed officials are divided over whether the economy needs more rate cuts [5]


Looking at corn price [6]s this month, one would think that the severe floods this spring never happened. Short answer? The tariff war with China [2].

o  o  o

World Oil Supply And Price Outlook, August 2019 [7]

Forex & Cryptos:

Yuan falls to 11-year lows on trade war worries, despite state bank support [8]

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British Pound Jumps after Macron says Brexit Deal Can be Amended [9]

o  o  o

Pound to US Dollar outlook: Fed Minutes leave unanswered questions on US Dollar rates [10]

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Early Crypto Angel Investor Issues Warning to Bitcoin Maximalists [11]

Tangibles Investing:

Whenever gold goes up in value, the collectibles that are made of gold go up, almost correspondingly. Gold’s recent jump to the vicinity of $1,500 per Troy ounce got everyone’s attention. (Meanwhile, silver is bouncing around $17 per Troy ounce.)

This might be a good time to look for inexpensive antique gold pocket watches, even if they are not in running condition! Some dealers have not yet “priced in” the higher value of gold. Just be sure that they are genuine, and be satisfied about their actual gold content before you buy. Never pay more than the gold’s value, if your goal is buying a watch for its melt value.

Most pocket watch cases are between 14 Karat and 17 Karat gold, and so marked. Just a few were made of 18K gold–which is is a bit too soft for a watch case that was carried daily, and definitely too soft for a watch chain.

Mentioning that brings me back to some useful data that I haven’t posted in several years. So it is worthy of a redux:

Gold Purity Standards (by Karat):

24 K = 99.9% fine Pure Gold. Too weak for jewelry, but ideal for industrial use
23.5K = 97.92% fine
23 K = 95.83% fine
22.5K = 93.75% fine
22 K = 92.67% fine Some coin gold, though not that of the U.S., is 22K
21.6K = 90.00% fine The approximate purity of U.S. gold coins
21.5K = 89.58% fine
21 K = 87.50% fine
20.5K = 85.42% fine
20 K = 83.33% fine
19.5K = 81.25% fine
19 K = 79.17% fine
18.5K = 77.08% fine
18 K = 75.00% fine The highest grade of gold normally used in jewelry.
17.5K = 72.92% fine
17 K = 70.83% fine
16.5K = 68.75% fine
16 K = 66.67% fine 1/3 copper. This grade is commonly used in dental work.
15.5K = 64.58% fine
15 K = 62.50% fine
14.5K = 60.42% fine
14 K = 58.33% fine
13.5K = 56.25% fine
13 K = 54.17% fine
12.5K = 52.08% fine
12 K = 50.00% fine Half gold, half copper. Used extensively in low priced jewelry.
(Will show brownish tinge in reaction to Nitric Acid.)
11.5K = 47.92% fine The percentage of copper now exceeds that of gold.
11 K = 45.83% fine
10.5K = 43.75% fine
10 K = 41.67% fine Used in some low-grade jewelry such as class rings. Shows a
marked reaction to Nitric Acid.
9.5 K = 39.58% fine
9 K = 37.50% fine.  Not much more than one-third gold.


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos [12] page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR [1]. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form [13].) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who closely watch specific markets. If you spot any news that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers, then please send it in. News from local news outlets that is missed by the news wire services is especially appreciated. And it need not be just about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!