-- Posted 10 March, 2009 | | Discuss This Article - Comments:
(And what Becomes a Round should Go Around!)
Silver Stock Report
Guest essay by Theodore Terbolizard
By Theodore Terbolizard
On behalf of all of my family, we would like to thank everyone who has emailed in ideas and suggestions for silver bullion art round designs, keep them coming! My brother Jason and I greatly enjoy the creative process involved in making our products, and the ongoing discussions with any and all interested folks as we go about this work. We have had some amazingly sublime chats with folks, and I will attempt to convey some of the more obvious results and impressions from this activity.
Two major themes really stand out from the Silver Stock Report reader submissions. For one, Biblical and Christian themes are obviously very popular with the Silver Stock Report email list. Many folks have sent in scriptures, prayers and other bible-oriented ideas for rounds. There have been some non-Christian submissions as well, including Hindu and Buddhist iconography. Secondly, the people sending in ideas are quite often extremely patriotic Americans. This patriotism might range from revolutionaries to constitutionalists to active duty military personnel to conspiracy theorists and beyond, there is much to consider in this area.
We believe heavily in listening to customers, and that the role of the free market is to deliver and provide what the market demands. For that reason, our latest silver bullion rounds - direct from the mint this weekend - incorporate imagery that is extremely familiar to both Patriots and Christians.
Many people wrote in about wanting a silver round with a dove and olive branch on the obverse. This is something we had already considered producing ourselves and needed very little extra encouragment to make this into something you can hold in your hand. The dove and olive branch, which comes from the story of Noah in Genesis, is widely seen as a symbol of peace. Many folks also wrote in asking for the well known peace symbol on future bullion rounds, and we used this as further justification for a dove round, we like the idea of peace. The reverse of this one quotes directly from the King James, Genesis 8:11, "And the dove came to him, and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth."
Many people also wrote in asking for a bullion round with the DONT TREAD ON ME rattlesnake from the Revolutionary era Gadsden flag. The patriotism in our readers covers a wide range of beliefs in our current political system; some folks want to overthrow it; some folks are part of it and already working to improve our situation. We figure that any and all people who want to make the U.S.A. a better place can rally behind an enduring symbol of our founders, themselves revolutionaries. And, like our dove product, we needed very little encouragement to make a Gadsden flag DONT TREAD ON ME silver bullion round a reality. For years I've flown a Gadsden flag outside of my office in my building; and, for those of you that remember my run for Congress last year, I used this image heavily in my campaign. For more on the gadsden flag, www.gadsden.info is a great website.
To see picture previews of the Snake and Dove rounds, which were delivered this weekend, and clear pictures of 11 of our other rounds, see:
(At the link above, be sure to scroll down to see the pictures.)
Both of these products are available right now online in various quantities: direct from my brother Jason at www.seekbullion.com -(Starting Tuesday) who sells 100 and 500 lots for dealers and serious investors - and my mother, who will sell you one or more of these and any of our other products; she'll even put together a custom 'buy it now' for you on eBay if you ask nicely. see www.momssilvershop.com
Based on extensive reader feedback, I'd like to clarify a very important point behind our motivation in producing and selling our fine bullion art rounds. We are promoting and selling silver, which we believe has true value as a free market currency. We believe that any and all of us can find prosperity through the use of silver bullion in trade. Again - to state the obvious - we are promoting silver. We are not trying to promote the images on the rounds; the images on the rounds are designed to promote silver. Get it? I'll say it again: we are promoting silver. So, for example, we produced, in early 2009, Barack Obama Commemorative Silver Bullion Medallions, in two different designs, available at www.silverobama.com. We received LOTS of angry feedback for this endeavor. We are not promoting Obama; heck, none of us voted for him either. However, we believe that Barack Obama's fame is a way to promote the idea of silver as a useful currency to an entirely new audience, and we have certainly helped do that. Another example: we have a very popular product right now that is in a second pressing, our first 'pirate round,' which features an image of a skull with two crossed assault rifles on the obverse. This imagery is very popular with silver bullion collectors, for any number of reasons. We are not suggesting that you should kill people with assault rifles, or steal from people on the high seas as pirates do. We are simply using this very popular and mainstream imagery to promote silver. Got it? For more on our pirate-themed rounds, visit www.silverdoubloons.com
In terms of us being able to continue offering original silver bullion rounds to the world at large, it has to be a profitable adventure to all of us involved, or the activity will cease. Part of our business model includes a fast turnover of bullion, so we can make a modest margin that is enough for us to cover our expenses as we produce more rounds. If this process becomes too slow, the margins we make aren't enough to keep it all going, and it will stop. What this means is that we need to produce products that have designs with a wide range of appeal. Our best selling bullion rounds have imagery that stimulate discussions on a wide range of levels, maybe with multiple or secret meanings , and these discussions have to have a wide literacy level. Our minimum runs of each design, for cost effectiveness, are 5,000 rounds per design, which we want to move as quickly as possible. So, we need to steer clear, for the most part, from oddball esoteric subject matter on the rounds to stay in business. Of course, we love oddball esoteric subject matter as much as the next person, and we've even had some wacky stuff stamped into silver already, but we cannot be expected to put every obtuse idea into fine bullion. Many folks have written in suggesting all kinds of things we've never heard of for coin designs (thanks for teaching us!), but, realistically, most of it is too 'far out' for us to get to. Again, as the previous paragraph explains, we are promoting silver first. Promoting your personal agenda is not why we are in business.
We are very much interested in continuing discussions with any and all Silver Stock Report readers who have ideas for new silver bullion rounds. We have already produced things suggested by readers and will continue to do so. Please, be civilized in your emails, and be patient. Some folks have been incredibly rude when they write to us, and that's not a good way to sell us on your ideas; if you send us mean-spirited emails with bad spelling and grammar, you're probably not going to hear back from us, think about it. If you think you can help us improve our products, please be constructive, maybe we can make something happen.
Email your best designs, designed to SELL SILVER, to the designer, Terbo at email@example.com
Jason Here: I collaborate with Ted on the designs. We must both feel that a product has potentially wide appeal before we go ahead. We think a design must be compelling, interesting, neat, desired, and understood by a wide audience. We often discuss 5-10 ideas for every design that becomes a round. Then, after we decide on a theme, Ted will design multiple possible layouts for the round. We then discuss back and forth what we like best, and start again, to get something most refined.
If you've managed to get your hands on any of our rounds, I'd like to suggest that you try carrying a few of them around, if you haven't so far. If silver is to be used as currency, it's not something to put in a box or case on a shelf, it's something to hold, share, trade, give as a gift or start discussions with. Already, in the few months since we've been making our art rounds, a number of my friends have started collecting them, and we're starting to use them as a method of barter or exchange from time to time. The silver rounds are endlessly pleasing objects! Silver is the most conductive of all elemental metals; it warms easily in your pocket or hand. Fine silver makes a great and distinctive sound. Silver bullion rounds have a fabulous luminant white color. Once you become intimately familiar with 999 fine silver- from holding it in your hand regularly- you'll notice how dark and dirty sterling silver is (it has a small amount of other metal in it) and you'll notice how dark and smudgy-looking government coins made of nickel and other alloys look. Silver is anti-bacterial, so you're probably not going to get germs from the things. I've almost always got one or two of our rounds on me; I show them to people, drop them on the ground by mistake, and delight in watching the rounds get scuffed up as they age. I'll take a well-weathered bullion round any day over some proof coin sitting in a plastic case. Simply, our rounds are meant to be used by anyone and everyone. Use them.
In case you miss an email, check the archives:
You can buy silver at my auctions at www.seekbullion.com
Auctions end M-Th, Sat, At 7PM, but you can place bids anytime, 24/7.
-- Posted 10 March, 2009 | | Discuss This Article - Comments:
Last Three Articles by Jason Hommel and Theodore Terbolizard