The bitcoin crash is worse than both crude oil and the ruble

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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 (

WSJ: Gold Spikes on Swiss Franc Stunner “It’s a golden day for precious metals”

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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 (

UK: Thousands of ancient coins discovered in Buckinghamshire field

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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 (

Underwater archeologist on quest for queen’s jewels from 1715 shipwreck off Sebastian Inlet

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One of Sir Robert Marks greatest finds- a helmet made from solid gold weighs more than 80 pounds

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 author of 64 books is scheduled to lecture here next week about a 1715 Spanish shipwreck off Florida’s Sebastian Inlet.

“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

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The Swiss vote ‘No’ – but there are good reasons to own goldJohn 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 (

Gold engagement ring from 17th Century discovered lying in field by pensioner with metal detector more than 300 years after it was lost

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Tom Ross, Jordanstown, holds ring found with metal detector PA-DailyMailSophie 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 (

UK: Fife metal detector uncovers fabulous haul of Bronze Age gold

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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 (

122 Tonnes of Gold Secretly Repatriated to Netherlands

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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 (