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73 Franklin Mint James Wyeth Sterling Silver 2nd Plate. 5.57 Troy Oz Pure Silver For Sale
'73 Franklin Mint James Wyeth Sterling Silver Plate
This is a The Franklin Mint's 1973, Sterling Silver, Limited Edition, Second Issue, James Wyeth Plate entitled, "Winter Fox".
The Sterling Silver Plate come in the original outer box, the handsome brown colored Library Slipcase which displays the plate.
I also have the original Franklin Mint descriptive Franklin Mint letter, two (2) brochure and Certificate of Authenticity (4 pieces). The opening paragraph of the letter states: "We are very pleased to send you the 1973 sterling silver collector's plate created by the distinguished artist James Wyeth, entitled "Winter Fox". This is the second in a series of five annual silver collectors plates which the artist plans to design."
The original "Certificate of Authenticity" issued May 14, 1973 with the serial number 5426, which corresponds to the serial number of the plate.
The sterling silver plate is eight inches (8") in diameter. The plate has a few minor scratch which could be polished out. There are no dings or bent places on the plate. This plate weights 6.6 ounces or 187.11 grams. This is the second plate in this series and it weights less than the first plate in this series but weights more than the third and fourth plates in this series. The Franklin Mint added a sterling silver medallian to the back of the plate with the cameo of Benjamin Franklin above the following inscription, "Winter Fox", "JAMES WYETH - 1973", "ETCHED IN SOLID STERLING SILVER", "LIMITED EDITION", the serial number "5426", followed by the copyright mark & "1973 JAMES WYETH". Since the copyright mark is in front of James Wyeth name, I would assume that he held the copyright on this plate and design.
Solid Sterling Silver (.925) Plate by The Franklin Mint. This plate weights 6.6 ounces of sterling silver. This equals 5.56776 troy ounces of pure (.9999) silver. Contains5.56776 troyounces of pure silver.Calculations: Plate weights 6.6 ounces (regular ounces AKA avoirdupois onces) X .925 (sterling silver contents of plate) X .912 (convert regular ounces to troy ounces) equal 5.56776 troy ounces of pure silver.
Limited Edition, Second Plate in the Limited Edition Series by James Wyeth. Great way to own and enjoy a artwork by James Wyeth as well as a precious metal.
My assessment of the value of gold and silver: When our country was founded gold and silver were tied together with a silver dollar (the larger silver coin in the United States Currency) and a twenty dollar gold coin (the largest at the time in the United States currency). This tied silver and gold at 1 to 20 in value. For many years this ratio held true and historically it should be true today. Based on this, with gold value at least $1,300.00 for a troy ounce, then silver should be at $65.00 per troy ounce. Silver has many more pratical uses and will eventually catch up to the proper ratio of 1 to 20.
The Artist: James Browning Wyeth (born July 6, 1946) is a contemporary American realist painter. He was born in Chadds Ford Township, Pennsylvania, son of Andrew Wyeth and grandson of N.C. Wyeth. He is artistic heir to the Brandywine School Tradition, painters who worked in the rural Brandywine River area of Delaware and Pennsylvania, portraying its people, animals, and landscape.
Interesting Note: During the Hunt Brothers "Great Quest" to corner the Silver Market, tremendous amount of the Sterling Silver items produced by The Franklin Mint was sold as scrap silver and eventually melted down into silver bars. It has been estimated that as much as half or more of all the items produced by The Franklin Mint prior to March 1980 was melted. Some of the plates sold for $300 as scrap silver. The following article is very interesting in that portions of history mirrow today events and situations:
The Hunt Brothers and the Silver Bubble Brian Trumbore President/Editor, StocksandNews.com
"In 1973, the Hunt family of Texas, possibly the richest family in America at the time, decided to buy precious metals as a hedge against inflation. Gold could not be held by private citizens at that time, so the Hunts began to buy silver in enormous quantity.
In 1979 the sons of patriarch H.L. Hunt, Nelson Bunker and William Herbert, together with some wealthy Arabs, formed a silver pool. In a short period of time they had amassed more than 200 million ounces of silver, equivalent to half the world's deliverable supply.
When the Hunt's had begun accumulating silver back in 1973 the price was in the $1.95 / ounce range. Early in '79, the price was about $5. Late '79 / early '80 the price was in the $50's, peaking at $54.
Once the silver market was cornered, outsiders joined the chase but a combination of changed trading rules on the New York Metals Market (COMEX) and the intervention of the Federal Reserve put an end to the game. The price began to slide, culminating in a 50% one-day decline on March 27, 1980 as the price plummeted from $21.62 to $10.80.
The collapse of the silver market meant countless losses for speculators. The Hunt brothers declared bankruptcy. By 1987 their liabilities had grown to nearly $2.5 billion against assets of $1.5 billion. In August of 1988 the Hunts were convicted of conspiring to manipulate the market.
One other experience in the silver bubble worth noting, according to author Edward Chancellor ("Devil Take the Hindmost"), is the experience of an official at the Peruvian Ministry of Commerce, employed to hedge his country's silver production, who lost $80 million by illicitly selling silver short. Said Chancellor, "Although a relatively small sum for a sovereign nation, it was an omen: the 'rogue trader' had appeared on the modern financial scene."
The stock market had its own troubles during the rise and fall of silver. The Dow Jones peaked on February 13, 1980 at 903.84. The day of the collapse, March 27th, the Dow closed at 759.98, a decline of 16% in just 6 weeks. [However, intraday, the loss between the 2/13 high of 918.17 and the 3/27 intraday low of 729.95 was actually 20%.]
For many traders the collapse in silver was the final straw for a stock market already under siege from worries as diverse as the Iranian hostage crisis, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and soaring interest rates. [The consumer price index climbed at a 13% rate for 1979. The prime lending rate hit 22% in early 1980]. But by the year's end, the whole decline was almost forgotten. The Dow ended the year at 963.99, thanks in large part to the euphoria over the election of Ronald Reagan.
Sources: "Devil Take the Hindmost," by Edward Chancellor; "Profile of Power," by Richard Reeves; "The American Century," by Harold Evans; Wall Street Journal article by Suzanne McGee; "The Great Wave," by David Hackett Fischer.
The above is by Brian Trumbore and I have given him credit.
Another very interesting article on Silver, the Hunt Brothers and the Federal Reserve.
The Hunt Brothers' Silver Corner
The best source on the Hunt brothers' silver corner is this post on wallstraits.com. This article on gold-eagle.com is also worth reading. This post takes some information from those two sources. I don't like the academic-style of writing where you footnote every fact.In 1971, the US completely abandoned the gold standard. The US defaulted on its promise to foreign central banks that paper dollars could be redeemed in gold. The original default on the dollar really occurred in 1913 when the Federal Reserve was created, allowing the Federal Reserve to print more Federal Reserve Notes than physical gold was in the US Treasury. Alternatively, the default occurred in 1933 when President Roosevelt said that US citizens could no longer redeem their paper dollars for gold and that US citizens were not allowed to own gold.The Hunt brothers were the sons of a wealthy oil billionaire. They started investing in silver as a hedge against inflation. When they started buying silver, it was still illegal to own gold. They chose silver as their inflation hedge.The Hunt brothers realized that the dollar was now worthless unbacked paper. They famously said "Any fool can run a printing press!" They decided to convert their paper wealth to physical silver. When they first started buying silver, the price was under $2/ounce. Recently, silver was quoted at $18/ounce. Over 30 years, a gain of 9x is equivalent to an annualized return of 7.6%. If the Hunt brothers were able to buy-and-hold their silver, they would have made a respectable rate of return.The Hunt brothers realized that the Federal Reserve was subsidizing negative real interest rates. Instead of taking an unleveraged long position in silver, the Hunt brothers used margin to buy up to 20x as much silver as they actually had capital.If the Hunt brothers merely invested a bunch of their own money in silver, they would have profited immensely. However, they got greedy *AND* they got screwed over by the Federal Reserve and the rules of the commodities exchange (CFTC).After investing their own money in silver, driving up the price, the Hunt brothers started seeking other people to invest in silver with them. They convinced some Arabs to invest oil money in silver along with them. You're a fool to invest in an asset *AFTER* someone else has made a huge purchase, driving up the price. The Hunt brothers were seeking other silver investors to drive up the silver price even more. This made the Hunt brothers' initial silver investment even more profitable.The Hunt brothers took physical delivery of their silver. They hired sharpshooters to protect them as they transported their silver to their warehouse.The Hunt brothers said repeatedly, "Our goal is not to corner the silver market. Our goal is to be long-term buy-and-hold investors in silver." The problem is that the Hunt brothers were using extensive leverage. Whenever you have a leveraged investment, you risk being bankrupted during the next bust phase of the business cycle. Unfortunately for the Hunt brothers, they were *NOT* financial industry insiders. The financial industry insiders changed the rules of the game after the Hunt brothers had bought a large amount of silver.Even though the Hunt brothers said "We are not trying to corner silver.", their actions were the same as someone attempting a corner. In a commodity market, cornering the market means buying so much of the commodity that you have a virtual monopoly. Monopolizing the supply, you can set the price at which you sell.As you begin to corner the market in a commodity, the price naturally skyrockets. Suppose the price of silver is $18/ounce. You decide to invest $1 billion in silver, maximizing your leverage. You use 20x leverage, so you actually can buy $20 billion in silver. You have $20 billion in silver and a debt of $19 billion. HOWEVER, your purchase of silver has driven up the price. Suppose you were able to drive up the price 3x to $54/ounce. Now, you have $60 billion in silver and a debt of $19 billion. If you tried selling your silver, you would drive the price back down to $18. However, that's not the way margin rules work. Margin rules value your silver at the CURRENT PRICE. You only invested $1 billion, but your account now has $41 billion in equity ON PAPER. According to margin rules, you can use this equity to borrow more and buy even more silver! Anybody who tries to corner a commodity is taking advantage of this positive response cycle.Real interest rates are negative, so this is a great deal! Your profits aren't free; they're paid by everyone else as inflation. Suppose inflation is 10% but the Fed Funds Rate is 5%. As you hold onto this position, you will benefit IMMENSELY from inflation.That is the real reason "cornering the market" in a commodity is considered illegal/immoral. The real culprit is Federal Reserve negative real interest rates, combined with margin usage. As your attempted corner drives up the price, the margin rules mean that you can borrow more and buy more! Negative real interest rates mean that you profit immensely from using leverage. Money supply inflation is greater than the interest rate you are charged, and you will profit if you can hold onto your position long enough.The Hunt brothers were exploiting the defect of negative real interest rates combined with margin rules. If real interest rates were not negative, but instead market-determined, this would not have been a profitable trade. If margin rules were based on liquidation price instead of current price, they would not have been able to drive up the price of silver so much.At one point, the Hunt brothers had 77% of the world silver supply, either physically held or in the form of futures contracts. The Hunt brothers had substantially driven up the silver price.The Hunt brothers were making a HUGE bet that the price of silver would continue to rise. At the same time, financial industry insiders started making a HUGE bet that the price of silver would crash. Guess who won the conflict?The Hunt brothers were buying all the silver futures contracts they could, using leverage. Financial industry insiders were naked short selling all the silver futures contracts they could. There was no way all this silver could be physically delivered. There was a real risk that there would be a default on the silver futures contract.Suppose you owned futures contracts for 1 billion ounces of silver while the world silver supply was only 200 million ounces. The futures exchange would be forced to default on its promise to deliver silver. As a commodity exchange, a failure to deliver is the most serious disaster you can have. The commodity exchange would collapse in default/bankruptcy. Large financial companies assume liability for the trades. They would be also forced into bankruptcy, because they would also be responsible for the commodity clearing default.The large banks were smart to take a huge bet against the Hunt brothers. They knew the government and Federal Reserve would bail them out! There was *NO CHOICE* but to bail out the banks and screw over the Hunt brothers, because otherwise the financial system could have collapsed! There was no way that much silver could have been physically delivered! The Hunt brothers had practically bought more silver than existed!Besides, nobody other than financial industry insiders is allowed to exploit the defects in the monetary system. Whenever someone else tries, an example must be made of them!In a futures market or options market, there are two types of transactions. You can have an "opening transaction" or a "closing transaction". Suppose A, B, and C have no position in silver futures. Suppose A buys one contract from B. A now has a position of +1 and B has a position of -1. A new futures contract was created by B. Both A and B report their transaction as an "opening transaction", which means the total "open interest" has increased by 1. Suppose B now buys 1 contract from C. B's position changed from -1 to 0, so he reports a closing transaction. C's position changed from 0 to -1, so he reports an opening transaction. This is a closing transaction from B's point of view and an opening transaction from C's point of view. The total number of futures contracts is unchanged. Suppose C now buys 1 contract from A. A's position changes from +1 to 0 and C's position changes from -1 to 0. They both report a closing transaction. The number of outstanding contracts has decreased by one.The "open interest" is the total number of outstanding contracts. An opening transaction is whenever a new contract is created, by one person increasing their long position and another person increasing the size of their short position. A closing transaction is whenever a contract is destroyed. In a closing transaction, someone who is long sells a contract they own, and someone who is short covers their short.One quick way to calculate the "open interest" is you sum up the absolute value of everyone's position and divide by 2.Due to the Hunt brothers' huge silver purchases, there was concern that the open interest was greater than the amount of physical silver available.The Hunt brothers were screwed over by the government and the Federal Reserve. The CFTC/COMEX/CBOT are the regulators that set the rules for the commodities exchanges. The people sitting on the regulatory body are all financial industry insiders, EACH OF WHICH HAD A HUGE SHORT POSITION IN SILVER! First, they set position limits. The number of silver contracts each person could own was restricted, although the Hunt brothers' existing position was partially grandfathered. Second, THEY BANNED OPENING TRANSACTIONS. ONLY CLOSING TRANSACTIONS WERE ALLOWED. Third, they raised margin requirements for long speculators BUT NOT SHORT SPECULATORS! This forced the Hunt brothers into margin calls, while the short speculators could wait to buy and cover!This meant that the Hunt brothers could *NO LONGER* buy silver to keep driving up the price. The only people they could sell to were the financial industry insiders, who had huge short positions. Knowing the rules of the game had been changed to favor them, the financial industry insiders knew they were going to be able to cover their humongous short position at favorable prices.The Federal Reserve also joined the party. The Federal Reserve jacked up interest rates. This made it hard for the Hunt brothers to meet the interest payments on their margin debt. Borrowing at 5% to buy silver is a bargain when inflation is 15%. Borrowing at 20% to buy silver is a ripoff when inflation is 15%!The Federal Reserve also issued a special request to banks. They were to stop issuing loans for "speculative activity". The Federal Reserve didn't specifically say they were targeting the Hunt brothers, but everyone knew they were. Without this request by the Federal Reserve, if the banks colluded to stop extending the Hunt brothers credit, they would be guilty of an antitrust violation. When the Federal Reserve said "Stop lending the Hunt brothers money", the banks felt comfortable colluding to stop loaning the Hunt brothers more money, which is what they wanted to do!With high interest rates, the Hunt brothers were unable to make the interest payments. Temporarily, interest rates were positive; interest rates were greater than the rate of money supply expansion. This ruined the Hunt brothers' profit equation, using leverage to borrow and buy silver. The Hunt brothers were hit with margin calls. They had to sell their silver. The financial industry insiders had taken a huge short position. They profited immensely as the Hunt brothers were forced to sell.The Hunt brothers were attempting to corner silver. Instead, the financial industry insiders had created a "short corner". The Hunt brothers had a huge position they had to liquidate, and the financial industry insiders were the only legal buyers! Only someone with a preexisting short position could buy! The financial industry insiders had "cornered" the right to buy silver futures contracts, while there was a huge seller!Of course, criminal charges were pursued against the Hunt brothers for attempting to corner the silver market. The financial industry insiders changed the rules of the game to bankrupt the Hunt brothers. Of course, what they did was perfectly legal. That aspect is amusing to me. The Hunt brothers, who lost a fortune, were criminals. The financial industry insiders, who changed the rules of the futures exchanges to bankrupt the Hunt brothers, were not accused of criminal activity at all.The silver price crashed. Many individuals bought silver after the Hunt brothers pushed up the price of silver. The MSM said that gold and silver were discredited as an investment.Central banks have huge reserves of gold. The world's central banks confiscated the world's gold supply in 1933. Since the default on the dollar, central banks have been slowly selling off their gold reserves to keep the price down. Central banks also own some silver, but not as much as they own gold. The price of gold and silver are used as a benchmark for the devaluation of fiat money. It is important to make a gold and silver investment look bad. This makes fiat money look good.It was important to bankrupt the Hunt brothers. People who speculate in gold or silver are betting against fiat money. Bankrupting the Hunt brothers made the dollar look strong in comparison. When the price of silver crashed, it created the false impression that the dollar had appreciated in value.Cornering a commodities market is only immoral/illegal in the context of negative real interest rates combined with defective margin rules that mark your position to market. In a truly free market, a corner is not profitable. Other investments would always be more attractive. Buying up the last bit of commodity to get a complete corner would be prohibitively expense. At some point, you'd be investing a lot of capital in a commodity that would just be sitting in a warehouse. It is *ONLY* state manipulation of the market that makes a commodity corner possible. Instead of fixing the defects in the monetary system, the government declares it illegal to attempt a corner.The bottom line is that if you aren't a financial industry insider, you aren't going to profit borrowing to buy assets. If the Hunt brothers had taken an unleveraged long position in silver, they would have made a nice profit, and there's nothing the financial industry could have done to screw them over. Without using leverage, the Hunt brothers wouldn't have been able to push up the silver price that much, and they wouldn't be exploiting negative real interest rates and defects in the margin rules. The financial industry insiders will *ALWAYS* be bailed out by regulatory changes or by the Federal Reserve. In this case, the financial industry insiders had huge short positions. The insiders were bailed out regulatory changes and by the Federal Reserve jacking up interest rates, causing a temporary money supply crash.
By FSK's Guide to Reality
Credit given where credit is due.
Once you read this, you know who the real rascals were: The Federal Reserve, Large Banks and New York Metals Market (COMEX).
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73 Franklin Mint James Wyeth Sterling Silver 2nd Plate. 5.57 Troy Oz Pure Silver: $325