A trip to a coin-less Las Vegas

Today I find myself in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the main industry is gambling.  While touring the vast expanse of slot an video poker machines -- I noticed something was missing.  There are absolutely no coins here.  To play a slot machine, one can insert paper money.  Buttons are pushed to bet quarters, dollars, or whatever.  At the end, the player pushes the payout button and receives a voucher representing the cash won.  As the machine prints the voucher, it generates artificial sound of coins clinking through the machine.  But gone are the days of players holding there casino cups brimming with silver quarters and dollars.

Casinos have played a significant role in our coinage.  Many of the Morgan dollars , shunned by the citizens at large, were distributed by the treasury for use in the casinos.  In 1965, Lyndon Johnson ordered the minting of the "1964 D Peace dollars " to satisfy the gambling industry.  Click here to see my brief educational video on the 1964 D Peace Dollar .  And so, we have another example of our shift to a society in which coins may becoming obsolete.

Gold passes Platinum!

August 8, 2011 was a historic day.  With the background of a crashing stock market, the price of gold closed at $1753 an ounce, up $56 for the day.  For comparison, platinum closed at $1714 an ounce, up a modest $2 for the day.  An ounce of gold is now worth more than an ounce of platinum.  This is despite the fact that platinum is much rarer than gold.  The US downgrade by Standard and Poor's contributed to the frenzy.  The big question is why is there not a similar platinum mania?

For centuries gold has been used as money, whereas platinum is a johnny-come-lately.  But worldwide mints are producing platinum bullion in quantities much less than the gold counterparts.  The demand, however seems to be for gold.

In my view, this inversion of the gold and platinum prices should not last.  Should we short gold to buy platinum?  A good question, but Dr. Planchet does not give investment advice.