The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 18, April 29, 2012, Article 8


John and Nancy Wilson submitted this review of David Ganz' recent book on investing in precious metals. Thanks. -Editor

Ganz Precious Metals The Essential Guide To Investing in Precious Metals, 2011, David L. Ganz, APMEX, Published by KP – F+W Media,
Reviewed by John and Nancy Wilson

The Essential Guide to Investing in Precious Metals was published by KP F+W Media in late 2011 and released in January, 2012 by noted numismatist, author, past ANA President, public servant, and Legal Counsel David L. Ganz. It is a paperback 208 page reference with 200 full-color illustrations. With the current market in precious metals the timing of this reference is perfect. We have watched gold and silver in the late 1970s go up very fast and in the early 1980s plunge just as quickly.

Well-known author and numismatist Arthur L. Friedberg wrote the two page foreword. He stated, "In times of trouble it has been a source of security when all else lay in ruin." From 700 BC to present gold has always held a value. No country or monetary system can make this statement.

Chapter 1 covers "Keys to the Precious Metals Market." Buying and selling precious metals, what legal tender is and four tables listing modern issues currently being sold with their premium cost comparison. How to buy and where to buy is also important information in this chapter. The book uses a value of $1500 per ounce for gold and $35 to $45 for silver.

Chapter 2 covers "Bullion Prices Always Changing." It states "The reason gold or silver has historically increased in value is not because of the change in gold or silver, but rather the relative devaluation of the currencies of all the countries of the earth throughout the ages."

Chapter 3 "How Some Metals Became 'Precious'." How platinum was unknown prior to the 16th century and wasn't available in large quantities until about 1750; and palladium wasn't discovered until the time of Napoleon at the start of the 19th century. Comparison charts regarding precious metals, along with an average annual price per troy ounce of metals from 1960 to 2010 are also helpful.

Chapter 4 "Gold Shines Through History." You will learn about Midas and King Croesus (died circa 547 B.C.) who had great wealth as well as President Roosevelt's Executive Order in 1933 abolishing the holding of gold by U. S. citizens.

Chapter 5 "The Great U. S. Gold Melt." All the gold that was turned into the government in 1934 was melted and turned into bricks or bars and shipped to Fort Knox. In August 1962, President Kennedy signed an Executive Order prohibiting Americans from owning gold abroad except under license. In 1968 our President set up a two-tiered market for gold based on the official price of $35 an ounce and a free market price that was permitted to float somewhat higher. Chapter 6 "U. S. Restores Private Gold Ownership." On December 31, 1974 a Law was passed allowing private gold ownership again.

Chapter 7 "Silver: The Early Choice for Coins." From 750 B. C. to present silver has been the predominant precious metal used in coins. A chart shows the annual silver average price per ounce from 1928 to present. Chapter 8 "Platinum and Palladium Join the Club." A chart on the average annual price of platinum from 1888 to 2011 shows its steady rise in price. A chart on imports and exports from 2006 is also shown.

Chapter 9 History of Buying U. S. Gold Bullion Coins." The famous numismatist, Louis Eliasberg, got his start in numismatics because he wanted a way to legally own gold. Chapter 10 "Bullion Coins Hit the American Market." Charts cover the individual bullion coin or bar, country or refiner, value of precious metal, premium, total and % premium.

Chapter 11 "Mintages for Modern Bullion Coins." The charts of the different countries bullion coin issues make a great research tool. Chapter 12 "Ingots are a Popular Bullion Choice." The collecting and selling of ingots is given.

Chapter 13 "Method of Investing in Gold and Precious Metals." The chapter covers bullion coins, ingots, bulk coins and individual coins and explains their differences. The London Gold Fix is also explained.

Chapter 14 "Where to Buy Gold and Precious Metals." Although APMEX has several charts on the value of buying precious metals from them, you will be able to find several other firms you can use. Before purchasing any precious metals from anyone make sure that they are a credible company. Are they a member of the American Numismatic Association or the Professional Numismatists Guild? Precious metals can be purchased from a coin show, dealer, other collector, Internet retailers (check them out first), a firm such as APMEX (or other large reputable company that deals in precious metals) or telemarketers. Remember telemarketers tend to have very high prices.

Chapter 15 "Bullion can be Part of Individual Retirement Accounts." Several charts show the different types of precious metals that can be placed in these types of accounts. Chapter 16 "Putting it All in Perspective." A short chapter explaining British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) precious metals thoughts; gold going from $20.67 at the start of the 20th century to what it is today; silver prices from the mid-1930s to present; and the entrance of platinum and palladium and how they enter into the mix.

The Appendix covers the mintages of U. S. Commemorative Coins from 1982 to 2011. The Glossary defines from A to Z the different terms used in precious metals such as: Ad Valorem – According to value, the levy of fees or duty based upon a metal's selling price. The Selected Bibliography will give you sources that were used for this book. We especially enjoyed reading the authors personal experiences when compiling the book - especially the information on famous numismatist John Jay Pittman.

This is a very useful reference which will give you the information you will need to buy, sell or invest in precious metals. This book was published by Krause Publications and F + W Media. It retailed for $28.95 and is now available from the publisher for $19.50.

For information on purchasing the reference they can be contacted at: Krause Publications and F + W Media, 700 East State Street, Iola, WI 54990-0001, (715) 445-2214 or (855) 864-2579 or their web page

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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