How Sad

This is a story I came across today and it saddened me terribly.I don’t hold with mortifying the flesh to amass a fortune.Money is meant to be used (spent).Just make sure that ‘one hundred percent of appreciated value is demanded for each coin spent.’Saving and investing are to increase ones ability to make more to spend more in the present and the future.A little delayed gratification is necessary but to punish oneself to hoard money is stupid.

A Gold Hoarder’s Legacy

Walter Samaszko Jr. was not a guy who wanted company. He covered the windows of his house in Carson City, Nev., with cardboard so the neighbors couldn’t see inside. He made the postman stick the mail through the slot in his garage rather than coming to the front door. He was so good at keeping people away that when he died of heart failure at age 69 in June, nobody noticed until his house began to smell. Someone called the sheriff’s department. A hazmat team removed Samaszko along with part of the floor he was stuck to. Read more of this post


Currencies of Antiquity

The Reichsmark was never an international currency.So studying inflation in the Weimar Republic is not enough.This post traces the history of the Drachma,Denarius,Bezant and Dinar–the international currencies of antiquity.I think knowing this history will help us see the parallels and understand our world better.If macro-economics is not really your thing,atleast knowing about the coins should give a rough idea of which ones would be more collectable for their bullion content!

The Drachma

wealthymatters.comThe Greeks minted stunningly beautiful coins.Non-Greeks thousands of miles away treasured these coins and so they became the first “international currency”.Archeologists have found Greek coins as far away as China, India and Northern Europe. In fact, even though Rome soon rose to eclipse Greece, most Asians kept using Greek money for centuries.

The main currency of Greece was the Athenian Drachma (pic on the left). It was a silver coin, and its weight and quality stayed amazingly consistent through the centuries. From Solon, around 600 BC, to Alexander the Great, around 300 years later, it stayed exactly 67 grains of fine silver. This was the money Alexander brought to India, and from there it traded yet further East becoming the monetary standard of all Asia. And even as Greece declined and was finally absorbed into Rome, its value did not fall much. By the end of the Drachma’s life, it had only declined to 65 grains of fine silver. This is an extraordinary achievement. No other civilization has ever had an international currency that stayed the same value —or pretty much so, since a fall from 67 to 65 grains of silver is a loss of less than 3%. And this was not only during the period of its greatest influence, but even as it declined in power over a period of six centuries.Whatever the secret of the Greeks was, no international currency since then has ever been able to keep its value, even as the government issuing it started on its seemingly inevitable decline.Certainly the conquering Romans were astounded at how the Greeks had mastered money. They paid Greece the ultimate monetary compliment by fashioning their own money, the Roman Denarius, as an exact copy of the Drachma right down to the size and weight. Read more of this post

Indian Gold Coins

wealthymatters.comThe world’s first coins were Greek, made in Lydia about 640 BC. The earliest Indian coins were silver, and it was not until about 100 AD that the Kushan emperor Vima Kadaphises introduced the first Indian gold coin, which was a gold dinar bearing the image of Shiva. So India’s history of issuing gold coins dates back almost 2,000 years.Over this length of time India has produced many different denominations of gold coins, which include Dinars, Staters, Kahavanus, Pagodas, Tankas, Ashrafis, Mohurs, Gadyanas, Bhairava Gadyanas, Varahas, Fanams, Koris, Xerafims, and Tolas.

Many Indians make it a point to own gold, if for no other reason than to use it in weddings.Indian brides traditionally have a dowry of gold. This is usually in the form of high caratage gold made into jewellery, often incorporating gold coins. Wedding guests also gift gold coins as lucky wedding gifts. So over the centuries, many ancient , rare and ultimately valuable gold coins have been melted and made into jewellery.Even today there are not many collectors of Indian coins in general or Indian gold coins in particular.So there are many interesting and very affordable rare Indian gold coins even now in danger of being melted down. Collecting such coins which are currently unpopular or unfashionable might be a good idea,especially if a person is not averse to a bit of speculation and /or has an interest in numismatics. Firstly because the collector can obtain interesting, unusual and rare coins at a fraction of the price of coins from a popular series. Secondly if and when interest increases, prices are certain to increase accordingly. Thirdly, it will help to stop rare coins being lost for ever by being melted down. Read more of this post

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