Additional Quantitative Easing Certain to Stifle Fiat Valuation

A recent speech by Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, seems to indicate that additional monetary easing is on the horizon for the European Union. Draghi’s comments included the phrase “do whatever it takes,” in reference to alleviating the European debt crisis, leading many to believe that sovereign currency printing presses may again be called to action.

Europe’s refusal to monetize the debt load of Spain and Greece is expected to force these nations to activate fiscal cuts, but more action may be needed. Adding to the flurry of financial central planning, the US has now moved their third Quantitative Easing time table forward by one month.

These actions on the part of Central Banks only delay the inevitable. The Fed could put Americans in a position of facing a veritable “ground zero” of monetary easing. The implications of ramping up currency printing are financial Armageddon. By keeping the specter of infinite Quantitative Easing on the table, the US may never close the door to debased GDP targeting.

Precious Metals Depositories Increasingly used to Store Personal and Organizational Assets

Financial turmoil on a global scale has encouraged investment in physical stores of precious metal bullion. Silver and gold are maintaining strong positions in the portfolios of organizations and individuals wishing to protect monetary assets.

For those who want physical control over their highly liquid precious metals, bank depositories, like vaults and safe deposit boxes are no longer the answer. Recognition of silver and gold as “safe haven” assets, should international fiscal emergencies proliferate, is causing many to seek private depositories to store their bullion.

These specialized storage facilities often hold customers assets off their balance sheets, in order to maintain the exclusive claims of their owners. Twenty-four-hour security, separate insurance and immediate availability for direct shipment and transfer are convenient and protective features of these sequestered accounts. Strict adherence to operating protocols for handling investor holdings provides additional security for investors. Private vaults are typically located close to transportation hubs for greater accessibility to transport methods.

Precious Metal Ore in Landfills Trumps Mine Production

Every year thousands of tons of electronic devices are thrown into the world’s landfills. Scrapped in favor of newer, lighter, more efficient, more powerful and faster versions, used electronics are now becoming one of the most rapidly growing forms of waste generated by humanity.

According to the first Global e-sustainability Initiative, or GeSI, landfills now constitute veritable treasure troves of recoverable precious metals. When accounting for precious metals in proportion to total volumes of urban landfills, figures indicating available ore are estimated between forty and fifty times larger than actual mined ore volumes. If all this metal were to be recovered, the value could be as high as $21 billion dollars per annum. Currently less than 20% of this metal is actually being recycled. 7,500 tons of silver and 320 tons of gold are used annually in the production of consumer electronics.

Benefits generated by recycling of precious metals, like silver, copper and gold include reduced emissions from mining and manufacturing processes.

Aircraft Recycling Boosts US Economy

Unknown to most average citizens, the aeronautics and space industry is an enormous consumer of precious metals. Gold, silver and platinum, among other valuable metals are used in a variety of manufactured aircraft components. Temperature control, conduction and lubrication are only a few of the properties provided by precious metals in the manufacturing of aircraft. Precious metals are used for everything from soldering wire to electronic parts.

Surprisingly, nearly eighty percent of an aircraft can be recycled when it has terminated its flying life. Radioactive and leaching processes are commonly used to recover an estimated $6,000 to $18,000 worth of precious metals from the engine, alone. Commercially operated aircraft graveyards are located mostly in the southwestern United States where more land is available to contain lumbering aircraft carcasses.

PMRP, also known as the Precious Metals Recycling Program, is run by the US Department of Defense. Government recycling programs save tax dollars, reduce the environmental impact of mining and conserve precious natural resources.

What Causes Silver to Tarnish?

Silver is one of the least reactive elements in the periodic table. At moderate temperatures, neither water or oxygen will cause silver to react chemically. Silver oxide may be formed at extreme temperatures, or from exposure to low levels of ozone.

The black finish that appears on silver items is a result of common atmospheric pollutants. Commonly called tarnish, this coating is silver sulfide, which is formed slowly as the silver is exposed to airborne sulfur compounds. These atmospheric pollution components are typically emitted by industrial processes and fossil fuel ignition.

Silver sulfide is one of the most insoluble salts, when exposed to solutions containing water, but common table salt is an element that will corrode silver and copper alloys. Alloys containing lower concentrations of silver will tarnish or corrode more easily, since metals mixed with silver may be subject to chemical reactions with oxygen at ordinary temperatures.

Removal of severe tarnish or corrosion may need to be accomplished by a professional, since some polishing compounds or techniques can damage valuable silver items.