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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 19, May 7, 2006, Article 10

THE GREAT SILVER MELT – MAKE THAT THE ‘BIG’ SILVER MELT

The last two issues of E-Sylum have contained fascinating articles
on the Silver Melt of 1980. It inspired me to reach for the book
in my library on this Great Silver Melt. But it wasn’t there. I
could see it in my mind. I know what it contained. It was a maroon
paperback with silver lettering on the cover. (Must be in those
three skids of books in the basement, as yet unpacked.)

So I went on Abebooks.com to learn about it. I didn’t remember
the author, but the name was "The Great Silver Melt." Zero hits.
I finally found it. The title was incorrect. It was "The BIG Silver
Melt"! The author was Henry A. Merton. Published 1983 by Macmillan.

This book chronicled the events of the silver price run up and the
unsuccessful attempt by the Hunt Brothers to corner silver. Of
course there were some dramatic events after the book was published,
like the auction sale of the Hunt’s notable ancient coin collection
(and the ultimate sale of so much of their assets).

I hope this book is the source of the story I have repeated often.
The Hunts took possession of tons and tons of silver and wanted to
get it to Europe. How? They flew their ranch hands (read gun-toting
cowboys) to New York. Picked up the silver at a refinery in New
Jersey. Drove it to Kennedy International with the ranch hands riding
shotgun over all that silver. They oversaw it loaded onto a plane,
climbed aboard and flew it off to Belgium, I believe. The shotgun
delivery protected the other end, as well.

Merton’s book is excellent; recommend for E-Sylum readers. There
are five copies available on Abebooks. I’m looking forward to when
Hollywood makes this book into a film. Can I play the part of Bunker
Hunt? I promise I’ll put on some weight and practice my Texas drawl!"

[I told Dick that I, too had a copy of Merton's book, but I lied.
When I checked my library, what I thought was the Merton book was
another small paperback titled "The Great Change Robbery: The
Numismatic Nightmare" by Charles Diggins (1965).  It doesn't begin
"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times" -- that's
another Charles Diggins.  This one does include the phrase "Coin
collectors are not stupid, greedy little people who try to bankrupt
the economy."   Turns out my book isn't about the 1980 silver runnup,
but the one in the early 1960s that led to the removal of silver
from circulating U.S. coinage.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
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