When it comes to numismatic coins, our advice is even stronger, due to the seasonal nature of the rare coin market. In the final third of the year, offers are generally lower. Many dealers are trying to pare down their inventory, since many states have an inventory tax based on year-end holdings. These dealers don’t want to buy any new coins now, so they will lower their offer on a rare coin. Then, they tend to restock their inventory in the spring, so they tend to make a better offer in the spring months. In general, the time to buy special deals is in the second half of the year, and the time to sell is in the spring months.
Thousands of Volunteers Continue to Provide Relief to Flood Victims
Although the national media attention has shifted from Hurricane Harvey in Texas to Hurricane Irma in Florida – and any new potential storms brewing in the Atlantic – we in Texas and Louisiana are still recovering from the record flood waters from the late-August advance of Hurricane Harvey. We in Beaumont, Texas, got 26 inches of rain in one day – double our previous record. Now is the clean-up phase, and all around us we see armies of warm-hearted volunteers helping us. For instance, my wife and I are hosting eight retired New York firemen in our home while they work full time in flood relief. They are part of the “Tunnels to Towers” program inspired by the late firefighter Stephen Siller, who gave his life on 9/11. These firemen have been donating time and sweat to hurricane relief efforts for the last 10 days, and this is just a sample of those coming in from around country (You don’t see THAT reported in the N.Y. Times!)
Here’s the basic story of Stephen Siller – a story replicated by hundreds of other first responders on 9/11: On September 11, 2001, Stephen Gerard Siller, who was then assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear. Stephen drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back, and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others. Stephen had everything to live for: a dear wife, five wonderful children and many great friends, but Stephen’s parents were lay Franciscans, so he grew up under the guiding philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi, whose core message was “while we have time, let us do good,” words Stephen lived and died by.
According to USA Today, Christian non-profit organizations have outdone FEMA by providing the vast majority of the relief aid to victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Greg Forrester, CEO of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), said that “80% of all recovery happens because of non-profits, and the majority of them are faith-based.” Here are just a few examples USA Today covered:
- Samaritan’s Purse , an evangelical disaster relief group led by evangelist Franklin Graham, has ongoing relief operations in Houston and recently began a relief mission to the Caribbean to help victims of Hurricane Irma, which hit the Caribbean islands even harder than Florida.
- The United Methodist Committee on Relief has sent 20,000 volunteers in disaster response teams to help clean up the mess and repair the damage inflicted on homes by disasters. They also help families with the process of applying for and receiving aid from relief programs.
- Seventh Day Adventists help state governments warehousing various goods and necessities to aid communities in the aftermath of a disaster. Similarly, over 1,000 Mormons came from Utah and other Western states to bring “survival food” and supplies to help those in need.
Military veterans are also contributing mightily. Team Rubicon, made up of military veterans, is down here helping. Their motto is “Disasters are our Business. Veterans are our passion.” Police and other first responders are also continuing with efforts for those in need. For instance, Beaumont and Austin have pioneered the Blue Santa program, in which donations for Harvey evacuees in shelters will receive a wide variety of Christmas gifts and family needs during the upcoming holiday season.
In the last report, I talked about how I am so proud of our staff who donated so much time to cleaning up homes in the area – “de-mucking” would be a more accurate term – I am also proud of my wife who has joined up with Catholic Charities, distributing water, cleaning materials and clothing to those in need.
These storms are terrifying to live through, life threatening and destructive, but they also bring out the best in the human spirit. I wish the New York Times would cover these heartening stories of thousands of volunteer “boots on the ground” in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and the Caribbean. First responders and faith-based groups are living the beliefs that form the core of their souls – to rush to help others in need.
Gold is Still Beating Stocks
Gold fell $24 last week and is down on Monday in advance of this week’s meeting (Tuesday and Wednesday) of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), but gold is still beating stocks so far in 2017. With the Fed meeting and President Trump speaking to the United Nations on Tuesday, any resumption of tensions over North Korea based on President Trump’s rhetoric on Tuesday – or a Fed decision not to raise interest rates on Wednesday – could send gold back up to its recent high of $1,350.
Mike Fuljenz Invited Back to United States Mint Numismatic Forum
I am proud to announce that the United States Mint has invited me back to attend the second annual Numismatic Forum at the Mint headquarters in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Last year, I was appointed head of one of the breakout sessions. The invitation list is a “who’s who” of the numismatic industry – and it looks like I am the only person from this area of the country to be invited this year. The Mint’s purpose is to “create a more collaborative environment” between the Mint and the numismatic community. I applaud the Mint for their outreach to the leaders of the U.S. coin community.