Wales: Man found Bronze Age ring in Rossett field...then discovered another in same spot nine months later
Gary Porter: A metal detector enthusiast discovered a Bronze Age lock ring in a field in Rossett – and then found another in the same spot nine months later.
John Adamson, who has been hunting ancient artefacts since the age of 12, says he was “overjoyed” by his discoveries, which date back some 3,000 years to between 1,000 BC and 800 BC.
Only four of the gold penannular rings had ever been found in Wales prior to the 47-year-old’s double discovery.
The fitter from Runcorn came across the first lock ring within 45 minutes of scouring farm land in Rossett on June 1, 2012, a treasure inquest at Ruthin heard today...Read More (DailyPost.co.uk)
Australia: Husband ordered out of house by wife finds huge 87oz gold nugget
Gold rush! Prospector Mick Brown unearths 87 oz nugget, worth $135,000, buried in the bush but he won¹t tell his mates where he found it The nugget earned the name 'Fair Dinkum' after shocking prospectors with its size. He says the exact location the nugget was uncovered will remain a secret
Gold Looted From Ancient Empire Returned to Romania
Andrew Curry: The first of what archaeologist Barbara Deppert-Lippitz calls the "most sensational finds of the last century" surfaced not in a museum but at Christie's in New York. Among more than a hundred pieces of ancient jewelry for sale on December 8, 1999, was Lot 26, a spiraling, snake-shaped gold bracelet that the auction house identified as a "massive Greek or Thracian gold armband."
Christie's estimated it would sell for as much as $100,000. When the bidding stalled at $65,000, the sale was called off—and the bracelet and its owner disappeared back into the shadowy underworld of ancient artifacts.
It took years for archaeologists and law enforcement officials in Romania to connect the armband to reports of looting in the country's central mountains. Though it has never been recovered, Lot 26 set off an international search to recover the lost heirlooms of Dacia, an empire that was once a mighty rival to ancient Rome...Continue (National Geographic)
The bitcoin crash is worse than both crude oil and the ruble
The seemingly endless collapse of the world’s pre-eminent cryptocurrency continues, as bitcoin punched through $200 today. (As of this posting -$208.90 -click here for current quote)
The continued drop in value made the currency one of the absolute worst things to own in 2014. It remains so. Over the last 12 months bitcoin’s dollar value has fallen roughly 76%, outpacing the decline in both the beleaguered ruble (down a bit more than 70%) and Brent crude oil, which has fallen roughly 58% over the same period...MORE (qz.com)
WSJ: Gold Spikes on Swiss Franc Stunner "It’s a golden day for precious metals"
Gold, silver, platinum and palladium are spiking after the Swiss National Bank surprisingly announced it’s scrapping its currency floor and lowering its already negative interest rate. The news hit the tape shortly before 4:40 a.m. New York time, sending gold up roughly $35 to $1261 a troy ounce.
“Gold is much stronger as the “safety” of the Swiss Fran vanishes,” commented Dave Lutz of JonesTrading...MORE (WSJ.com)
King Tutankhamun (1332–1323 BC) Exhibit-Gold Dagger and Sheath
Daggers were used by the ancient Egyptians from predynastic times onwards, though examples dating from the Old Kingdom are exceedingly rare. During the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom they were generally made of copper or bronze; gold, apart from its use for purposes of embellishment, was probably reserved for royalty. Queen Ahhotpe, mother of Ahmosis I, the founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty, had, in her funerary equipment, a solid gold dagger and sheath, both of which are now in the Cairo Museum. Tutankhamun's mummy was provided with two daggers encased in gold sheaths, one with an iron blade and the other with a blade of hardened gold. It is the latter specimen which is shown here.
As an illustration of the goldsmith's artistic ability and technical skill, this dagger, and particularly its sheath, are among the outstanding pieces of the collection. On the top of the pommel are the king's cartouches in applied embossed gold and a wreath of lily-palmettes in cloisonne work. On the underside are two figures of falcons holding in each claw the hieroglyphic symbol for 'eternity' (shen)...MORE (TourEgypt.net)
UK: Thousands of ancient coins discovered in Buckinghamshire field
Metal detector enthusiasts in Buckinghamshire have uncovered what is thought to be one of biggest hoards of ancient coins ever found in Britain.
Paul Coleman from the Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club discovered more than 5,000 coins buried inside a lead bucket two feet under a field near Aylesbury.
The hoard contains specimens dating back to the 11th Century - the late Anglo Saxon, early Norman period.
The coins will now be examined by the British Museum...MORE (BBC.com)
Underwater archeologist on quest for queen's jewels from 1715 shipwreck off Sebastian Inlet
MELBOURNE, Fla. — Years ago, underwater archaeologists lived by the motto "finders keepers" when they struck gold. Today is a different story, but that doesn't stop them from searching.
Robert Marx of Indialantic is one such underwater archaeologist — dare not call him a treasure hunter — who enjoys sharing tales of the deep ocean blue and the world's rich maritime history.
"The 300th-year anniversary is coming up for the loss of that wreck and the whole fleet," he said. "I want to make sure people know about it."
That wreck has been the subject of numerous books, articles, documentaries and blogs. Capitan-General Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla and his flagship, the Capitana, contained quite the cargo: more than 3.5 million pesos in priceless treasure, specifically, the queen of Spain's jewels. En route from Havana to Spain, 12 ships sank and their crews perished during a hurricane on July 30...MORE (FloridaToday)
The Swiss vote ‘No’ – but there are good reasons to own gold
John Stepek: It was the last stand of the gold bugs. And now it’s over.
On Sunday, the Swiss held a referendum on returning to the gold standard.
The ‘Save our Swiss Gold’ plan would have forced the Swiss National Bank – the central bank – to hold 20% of its reserves in gold. If that had happened, demand for gold would have surged, simply to meet the needs of the Swiss.
But in the end, 77% voted against the plan. So is it time to ditch your gold?
Not at all. It might not like being told what to do with its reserves, but like most other central banks around the world, the Swiss Central Bank still holds some gold. And you should too...MORE (moneyweek.com)
UK: Fife metal detector uncovers fabulous haul of Bronze Age gold
Michael Alexander: An amateur metal detecting enthusiast from Fife has discovered a remarkable haul of extremely rare Bronze Age treasure.
Steve Moodie, 44, of Newburgh, discovered six 3,000-year-old pure gold children’s bracelets just inches below a farmer’s stubble field in Gloucestershire.
Mr Moodie, who is known as “Big Steve”, made the remarkable discovery last Saturday morning while participating in a metal detecting rally at Lydney Rugby Club in the Forest of Dean.
The self-employed bric-a-brac salesman, who has been metal detecting for around 11 years, at first thought he had discovered a can but soon learned he had unearthed one of the biggest hauls of Bronze Age artefacts ever found anywhere in the country...MORE (TheCourier.co.uk)
5 Millimeters equals 5.4 Square Feet?
It's not some new kind of math. A gold nugget of 5 mm in diameter (bottom speck) can be expanded through hammering into a sheet of gold foil about 0.5 square meters or 5.38 square feet. That's Amazing! See Gold Leaf; Goldbeating
122 Tonnes of Gold Secretly Repatriated to Netherlands
Mark O'Byrne: The Dutch central bank said Friday it is repatriating some of its gold reserves from the U.S., making it the latest central bank in Europe to address public concerns about the safety of its gold in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis.
As the debate regarding whether or not Switzerland should keep the bulk of its gold reserves at home on Swiss soil reaches it's climax - the referendum takes place on Sunday - it is telling that the Dutch announced on Friday that they have just secretly repatriated 122 tonnes of their sovereign gold reserves from New York back to Amsterdam.
The gold, worth $5 billion at today's prices, represents 20% of the Netherlands total reserves. It now keeps 31% of its reserves in Amsterdam. Another 31% is believed to be in New York, with the remainder spread between Ottawa and London - the same locations where the bulk of Swiss gold is purported to be stored.
The trend towards gold repatriation began with Hugo Chavez bringing Venezuelan gold back to Caracas in 2011. It has been followed by similar moves by other large gold owning nations and central banks, most notably, Germany...MORE (Gold-Eagle.com)
Gold engagement ring from 17th Century discovered lying in field by pensioner with metal detector more than 300 years after it was lost
Sophie Jane Evans: A gold engagement ring from the 17th Century has been unearthed by a pensioner with a metal detector - more than 300 years after it was lost.
Tom Ross, 69, was sweeping his metal detector over a ploughed farmer's field near Newtownabbey in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, when he stumbled across the item.
The rare 'posy' ring, which dates back to the late 1600s and is 85 per cent gold, bears the Old English inscription 'I noght on gift bot gifer', or 'Look not on the gift, but the giver'.
Also known as a 'betrothal' ring, it pre-dates the custom of proposing with an engagement ring, but essentially served the same purpose.
Men and women exchanged the items from the 1500s onwards to symbolise their future commitment to each other...MORE (DailyMail.co.uk)
Voters are fed up with central banks – the Swiss vote is just the start
Merryn Somerset Webb: On Sunday, the population of Switzerland will decide whether they want their central bank – the Swiss National Bank (SNB) – to abide by the following rules.
It would be prevented from selling any of its gold reserves. It would have to store all those gold reserves actually in Switzerland (at the moment only about 70% is there). And it would have to make sure that at least 20% of its assets are held in gold.
Right now less than 8% of the SNB’s assets are held in gold. So raising that to 20% would mean the SNB would have to either sell some of its foreign currency reserves (to increase the proportion of its reserves held on gold), or buy a large amount of gold in pretty short order.
It would be highly unlikely to go for the former option, because this would lead the Swiss franc to strengthen, and kick off a nasty deflationary crisis as a result. (One of the reasons that the percentage of the SNB’s assets held in gold has fallen as low as 8% is because Switzerland has been frantically printing francs and using them to buy other currencies in an effort to prevent the franc from rising.)
The upshot is that if Switzerland votes ‘yes’, the SNB will buy gold over a five-year period. The gold price is likely to jump as a result – by 18%, suggests the Bank of America...MORE (moneyweek.com)
The Real Reason Why Germany Halted Its Gold Repatriation From The NY Fed
Following the stunning announcement in January 2013 that the Bundesbank would repatriate 674 tons of gold from the NY Fed and the French Central Bank, a year later the Bundesbank followed up with a just as stunning revelation that of the 84 tons the bank was supposed to bring back home, it had managed to obtain just a paltry 37 tons, with only 5 tons originating from the NY Fed.
The Bundesbank explained [the low amount of US gold] by saying that the transports from Paris are simpler and therefore were able to start quickly.” Additionally, the Bundesbank had the “support” of the BIS “which has organized more gold shifts already for other central banks and has appropriate experience – only after months of preparation and safety could transports start with truck and plane.” That would be the same BIS that in 2011 lent out a record 632 tons of gold…
The charade ended with a thud in June of this year, when instead of continuing the farce, Germany simply gave up, providing an even more laughable reason why it can no longer even pretend to collect its physical gold located at New York’s 9 Liberty Street.
Germany has decided its gold is safe in American hands...MORE (Investing.com)
Swiss Gold Referendum: What It Really Means--Paul Craig Roberts
In a few days the Swiss people will go to the polls to decide whether the Swiss central bank is to be required to hold 20% of its reserves in the form of gold. Polls show that the gold requirement is favored by the less well off and opposed by wealthy Swiss invested in stocks. http://snbchf.com/gold/swiss-gold-referendum-latest-news/ These poll results provide new insight into the real reason for Quantitative Easing by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.
First, let’s examine the reasons for these class-based poll results. The view in Switzerland is that a gold backed Swiss franc would be more valuable, and a more valuable franc would increase the purchasing power of wage earners, thus reducing their living costs. For the wealthy stock owners, a stronger franc would reduce Swiss exports, and less exports would reduce stock prices and the wealth of the wealthy.
The vote is clearly a vote about income shares between the rich and the poor. The Swiss establishment opposes the gold-backed franc, as does Washington.
A few years ago the Swiss government, after experiencing a strong rise in the exchange value of the Swiss franc as a result of dollar and euro inflows seeking safety in the Swiss franc, decided to expand the Swiss money supply in line with the foreign currency inflows in order to stop the rise of the franc. The liquidity supplied by the central bank creating new francs has stopped the rise of the franc and supports exports and stock prices. As a vote in favor of a gold backed franc is not in the interest of the elite, it is unclear that the vote will be honest.
What does this tell us about the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing, which is an euphemism for printing an enormous amount of new dollars?
The official reason for QE is the Keynesian Phillips Curve claim that economic growth requires mild inflation of 2-3%...MORE (PaulCraigRoberts.org)
Although Chinese demand has been disappointing, Indian gold demand is expected to pick up in April, where it is relatively subdued at present due to the fact that the fiscal year will be ending this week, said Commerzbank.
World Gold Council agrees that a strong US dollar may put pressure on gold, WGC analysis suggests that their relationship is asymmetric: gold prices rise more on a weak dollar than they fall on a strong dollar. Further, history shows that the portfolio benefits of gold outweigh the headwinds created by a strong dollar.
At present only 15 banks are allowed to import Gold. Chinese consumers had to pay high premiums to ensure fast delivery of the yellow metal. The new move is likely to bring down premium on Gold. More competition can be expected which may lead to the dip in premiums.
Pakistan imported 354 kilogram of yellow metal worth of $14.476 million during the first eight months of current fiscal year as against 4,177 kilograms valuing $172.950 million during July-February 2013-14.