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Long-time readers know I am an avid bike rider.  Not mountain biking, but LONG rides in the country, where I can dissociate my thoughts from the real world.  I have been long-distance riding since a teenager, and haven’t let up one bit in my “old age.”  To the contrary, two summers ago I rode nearly 2,500 miles in one summer, by far my record for a single season.  I’ll never be able to repeat the bliss of riding on the East End of Long Island in the late 1990s and early 2000s – as discussed in “PEACE OF THE ROCK” – but the flats and foothills of Colorado are a close second!

On the road for hours at a time, the mind often wonders; and I suspect, the “fraternity” of bike riders ponder many of the same topics.  Additionally, we create “mental games” to keep us sharp – such as searching the side of the road for hidden or discarded money.  Many a time I have scoured the landscape for suitcases of cash, envisioning movie-like scenarios wherein criminals “ditch the evidence” while being pursued by the law.  Perhaps such events only occur in the movies, but there’s always the chance it happened in real life, too – isn’t there?  Oh well, silly or not it kills time, and as noted earlier – keeps my mind sharp.

However, notice that I said I was searching for “money” – which in prior lifetimes, suggested suitcases full of crisp, unmarked $100 bills.  Over my “TEN YEARS OF HEAVEN AND HELL,” I have come to not just suspect, but KNOW dollars are not “money”; but instead, fiat currencies not even CLOSE to meeting its definition.  The slide below is utilized in my Power Point Presentations – depicting how only two of the six requisite conditions of “money” (black-highlighted) meet the definition…

The point is, when I bike today, I NO LONGER look for suitcases of dollars.  Instead, I search dunes and grasses for hints of green or red-topped tubes containing SILVER or GOLD EAGLES – although it’s hard to even imagine a scenario where they were ditched by “bad guys.”  Heck, most bad guys are too dumb to realize GOLD IS MONEY, so the only way bullion coins would be on the side of the road is if left by “good guys.”  As the “good, smart people” are in this together, I’d have reservations about taking someone else’s gold; but you can bet that wouldn’t stop me!

While riding the other day, I passed a U.S. quarter on the side of the road.  Normally I’d let it go, but something in my bike riding genetics urges me to “defray” my three hours of solitude with ITEMS OF REAL VALUE I might find along the way.  True, a quarter will one day be worthless – and practically is already – but as I said, I felt compelled to pick it up.  Frankly, I haven’t held a quarter in some time, as not only is there little left to buy with a quarter, but in an increasingly paperless world, there’s little reason to even carry “cash” anymore.

Thus, I was shocked to realize how LIGHT it was, like a feather compared to similarly sized coins composed of REAL MONEY; i.e., PHYSICAL Precious Metals.  Even before joining Miles Franklin as its Marketing Director last year, I had spent years handling bullion coins more often than “change.”  After all, it’s where I store my net worth.

In fact, when selling the concept of PMs as “money,” I tell people they will be SOLD FOREVER once they hold a bullion coin; realizing not just how beautiful it is, but how substantive.  Significant WORK went into producing it, and knowing how valuable it is only solidifies the mindset that something of real, INTRINSIC VALUE is in one’s presence.

A U.S. quarter weighs 5.67 grams, composed of roughly 92% copper and 8% nickel.  Unlike other U.S. minted coins like the penny – worth less than its melt value – the quarter is worth a measly $0.05 in metal.  In contrast, a similar 5.67 gram silver coin (0.182 ounces) is worth $5.10, and a 5.67 gram gold coin $295 – not including the 5%-15% PHYSICAL premiums over the PAPER spot price you will pay.

In other words, if holding a PHYSICAL gold or silver coin is enough to permanently understand why it is considered “money,” holding a nearly worthless U.S. quarter should be enough to convince you why fiat currency has NEVER been considered “money” for more than a few decades.


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