Historical Silver Prices: My Friend Gets Shocked
by Mr. Ed
When silver was running up to its $40/oz, a lady friend of mine who knew I had some silver said she wanted to get some 90% to hedge her bets. The nearest coin shop was in a nearby small town, so the price was perhaps a little higher than a city location would have been... She explained what she wanted, and the dealer put together a collection of dimes and quarters - $35 face value (2 rolls of quarters and 3 of dimes). Spot at this point was probably $32. She, like you and I, remembers clearly carrying this stuff around and trading it in for everyday items.
When the man asked for (I'm guessing) $1150, she was flabbergasted. She had come prepared for this kind of price, but the act of handing over more than $1000 for $35 worth of change she found very hard, and is a story she tells frequently. This moment is when she really understood what inflation has done.
Mel Tappen said in his 1976 book Survival Guns that a $20 gold piece would still buy a Colt handgun or a good suit for a man ... while the actual $20 would hardly buy the box of cartridges or the tie that used to be thrown in with either transaction. Thirty-five years later, that is still true. The gold is still worth what it was - but the dollar isn't.
This, of course, didn't happen by accident.