Here is a small, but important, list of educational resources that I consume daily and recommend to everyone who wants to be in the know about matters of economics, freedom and sound money.

  • Lew Rockwell Show – Lew Rockwell is probably my favorite advocate of liberty. He is anti-war, anti-state, pro-market, and the founder of the Mises Institute, which is another one of my favorites.  Listen to his golden voice on the podcast and absorb his mild-mannered wisdom.
  • Mises Institute – The Mises Institute advocates Austrian economics, liberty and peace. If you want to find out how economics really works, Mises is a great start, and you don’t have to be a scholar to understand the concepts.
  • Zero Hedge – When you want the hard-core truth about the economy; when you want to hear what the MSM will never tell you, read Zero Hedge.
  • Stefan Molyneux – Stefan Molyneux is a philosopher with a a strong knowledge of history and economics, who promotes freedom and non-violence. He has also been a guest host on Schiff Radio several times. I watch his videos regularly.  His podcasts are also great, however, if you’re short on time, I recommend focusing on the videos.
  • The Corbett Report – One of my favorites, The Corbett Report is an independent news source, operating on the principle of open source intelligence.  James Corbett produces podcasts, interviews, articles and videos about breaking news and important issues from 9/11 Truth and false flag terror to the Big Brother police state, eugenics, geopolitics, the central banking fraud and more. James Corbett is an American (I think), who lives in Japan (I know).
  • Silver Futurist – I like Silver Futurist’s quirky commentaries because he is so balanced and down-to-earth, often reflecting on precious-metal issues that we all think about.
  • Peter Schiff – Peter Schiff is probably one of the more famous investment advisors. He received recognition when he called the housing bubble.  I listen to his radio show daily.
  • Priced In Gold – Do you want to know what oil and other commodities are worth in gold, instead of dollars? Then this site is for you. This site will come in handy during The Great Reset, when the dollar loses its reserve-currency status.
  • Tom Woods – Thomas Woods is also a member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, host of The Tom Woods Show, and a regular guest host on Schiff Radio. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of 11 books.
  • Liberty Classroom – The Liberty Classroom is Tom Woods’ online school for history and economics. If you want to unlearn the propaganda we were taught in school, and learn real American history and economics, subscribe to the Liberty Classroom.
  • SmartKnowledgeU – I follow JS Kim’s blog regularly. His articles often appear on Zero Hedge as well. SmartKnowledgeU provides unconventional education and investment strategies for adults and young adults, inexperienced and experienced alike.

24 Karat Gold Jewelry

When making jewelry, gold is mixed with other metals to strengthen the piece and create more durable jewelry. We use the term, karats, to specify the amount of gold in the jewelry.  A higher karat means higher gold content, higher purity and higher value. Karat can also be spelled with a C in other countries (carat).

Gold jewelry is often stamped with either the karat (K) or the millesimal fineness gold hallmark to indicate its gold content. Usually the marking also has a trademark near it that identifies its maker. The country of origin can also be included.

Karat purity is measured as 24 times the purity by mass.

Karat Gold Purity Content Hallmark
24 Karat Gold Jewelry 99.9% 24 of the 24 parts are gold. 999
22 Karat Gold Jewelry 91.7% 22 of the 24 parts are gold and 2 parts are one or more other metals 917
18 Karat Gold Jewelry 75% 18 of the 24 parts are gold and 6 750
14 Karat Gold Jewelry 58.5% 14 of the 24 parts are gold and 10 585
12 Karat Gold Jewelry 50% 12 of the 24 parts are gold and 12 500
10 Karat Gold Jewelry * 41.7% 10 of the 24 parts are gold and 14 417
9 Karat Gold Jewelry 37.5% 9 of the 24 parts are gold and 15 375

*10 karat gold is the minimum purity to be considered gold in the United States.

24 karat gold jewellery is not very common because 24 karat gold is soft and not very durable for jewelry. Mixing other metals to create a gold alloy adds strength to gold jewelry, so it is more scratch resistant and will not be damaged as easily as 24 karat gold jewelry. Alloys can also be mixed to create different colors of gold, such as green gold , red gold and even white gold.

Most gold jewelry is 18 karats or less; however, there are 24 karat gold and 22 karat gold jewelry pieces that are worn for ceremonial occasions and bought as investment pieces. Because of their high gold content and the designer’s prestige, such pieces rarely lose value and can increase in value if the designer becomes famous or dies.

There are x-ray fluorescence instruments that can test the purity of precious metals and jewelry. These machines can measure gold content without damaging fine jewelry and can even determine the composition of gold jewelry, such as gold, silver, platinum, paladium, rhodium and other alloys.

Gold and Silver Brokers


I don’t have a lot of money, so my PM strategy thus far has been to save for long periods of time, then buy silver or gold in bulk in one shot to save on premiums and shipping. The downside of this strategy has been that I don’t buy as often as I would like, and it’s not always a good time to buy when I’m finally ready to trade some cash for precious metals. Another problem is that while I’m saving, it’s easier for me to dip into my cash savings, whereas I never touch my savings that are already converted to gold and silver. If I were better off financially, I would prefer to make a small purchases monthly, so buying precious metals would be more habitual.

Solution: Precious Metal Broker

To solve this problem, I’m thinking about trying a precious-metal broker. A precious-metal broker lets you purchase gold, by funding an account online, and stores the gold on your behalf. One benefit is that you don’t have to buy an entire once of gold at once, if you can’t afford it. You simply deposit as much as you can afford, and the corresponding fraction of gold is allocated to your account. In theory, you could deposit one dollar and own a dollar’s worth of gold. This doesn’t mean that they shave off a speck of gold and put it in a vault for you, but they do allocate a speck to you from a gold bar.

Physical Delivery

Some brokers also deliver physical gold, silver and other precious metals. So after you have allocated an entire bar’s worth of gold in your account, you can take delivery of the physical bar. My strategy will be to fund an account regularly and take physical delivery whenever I’ve allocated an entire bar of gold or silver.

The table below contains my findings so far. I will only add brokers that offer physical delivery. The fees are copied directly from respective sites at the time of this post

Broker Commissions Delivery Fees Metals Offered
GoldMoney Your metal purchase is based upon the prevailing gold gram, silver ounce, platinum gram or palladium gram buy rate, which is the metal’s current spot price plus a buy fee.The buy fee for a gold gram purchase ranges from 0.98% to 2.74% above the prevailing spot gold price, depending upon the size of the transaction. The buy fee for a silver purchase ranges from 1.99% to 4.24% above the prevailing spot silver price. For platinum the buy fee ranges from 2.19% to 4.67% and for palladium from 2.63% to 5.52%. Fees will depend on location and bar type. Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium
Transactions Sum of all purchases (or sum of all sales) in the year so far Commission Rates
On the first $75,000 or equivalent 0.50%
On the next $750,000 or equivalent 0.10%
Then 0.05%
In normal use you will receive your money paid directly to your bank account after you sell.You can withdraw bars at any time. The fees vary according to the circumstances:

  1. Where you cannot reasonably be paid safely by bank transfer you can withdraw physical gold for the reduced fee of 1%, plus transport and insurance costs.
  2. Where the normal exit route to your bank remains viable, but you elect a physical withdrawal, then the cost is 2.5% for withdrawing whole gold bars, with a further 5% surcharge for withdrawals below 400 oz – to cover the cost of sourcing the necessary small bars or coins.


The fee for silver (whole bars only) is 10%.

BullionVault gold and silver are both VAT (sales tax) free – for as long as they are held in our vaults. Upon physical withdrawal gold remains exempt, but 20% VAT then applies on silver.

Gold, Silver


Minimum investment = 20 000 euros

Amount Invested Commission
20 000 – 100 000 euros 2%
100 000 – 200 000 euros 1,5%
More than 200 000 euros via Matterhorn Asset Management

Note: 1 oz bars are sold with 2.5% commission on top of the spot price.


Minimum investment = 25 000 euros

Amount Invested Commission
25 000 – 100 000 euros 3,5%
100 000 – 200 000 euros 3%
More than 200 000 euros via Matterhorn Asset Management
Not Specified Gold, Silver

Delivery Delays and Stock Shortages

The recent drop in gold and silver prices has caused a spike in demand, which has emptied the shelves and caused delays for many precious metal dealers. Below is a table of current (April 2, 2013) messages regarding delays shortages.  I commend the dealers who state which items are out of stock or delayed, so we have a clearer picture of what is happening in the markets.

Dealer Message
Bullion Direct “Due to a increase in market activity, please anticipate product and operational delays.”
Gainesville Coins “This item will begin shipping on 05/10/2013” on several popular silver coins.
Gold and Silver Online “SOLD OUT” on many silver items.
Golden Eagle Coins “Out Of Stock” and “Delayed Shipping Date: 05/18/2013″ on some silver items.“Delayed Shipping Date: 04/25/2013″ on some gold items. “Estimated Shipment Date May 19, 2013″ on many silver items.”Estimated Shipment Date May 05, 2013” on many gold items.
JCSGold “Out Of Stock” on popular silver coins.
Kitco “Shipping only outside US. Due to high demand, this product is only available outside of the US.” on many silver and gold items.
Lear Capital “Because of the recent market swings, we are limiting online orders to $5000 after hours.””Delivery may take up to an additional 14 days due to supply postponements.”
Provident Metals “STOCK DELAYED” and “OUT OF STOCK” on many silver items.”STOCK DELAYED” on many gold items.
Texas Precious Metals “Out Of Stock” on many silver items.”Out Of Stock” on some gold items.

Gold & Silver Legal Tender Legislation Status by State

According to Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

However, when was the last time you paid for anything in gold or silver?  This table shows the current status of states that have passed or proposed laws to make gold and silver legal tender.

Arizona Passed in Senate April 2013 and the House on April 8, 2013. SB 1439, the Constitutional Tender Act, which allows businesses and the state government to accept payments in gold or silver was eventually vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer.

On February 14, 2014 a new bill (SB1096) passed the Senate by a vote of 18-12 and is awaiting a vote by the House.

Colorado Senate Bill 12-137 killed by Senate democrats in March 2012.
Georgia Introduced February 17, 2009.
Idaho Passed April 2012.
Indiana Introduced January 2013.
Iowa Cited in the news but cannot confirm.
Minnesota Introduced May 2011.
Missouri Passed April 2012.
Montana Rejected by 20 Republicans and  32 Democrats in March 2011.
New Hampshire Introduced January 2011.
North Carolina Introduced March 2011.
Oklahoma Passed in the state Senate on March 11, 2014 by a vote of 37 to 4. Senate Bill 862 (SB862) is now waiting to be voted on by the House.
South Carolina Passed April 2012.
Tennessee Introduced February 2011.
Utah Passed March 2011.
Vermont Introduced January 2013.
Virgina Introduced January 2011.
Washington Introduced January 2012.

Updated April 9, 2013.

Everything You Know Is Wrong

Weird Al YankovicWe are bombarded by a constant stream of propaganda and talking points every day.  They are taught in the schools, repeated in all media, and parroted by the masses.  You can’t even enjoy a sitcom on TV without being re-educated by government-approved talking points.  You probably  argue against these points (fallacies, lies, myths) frequently, and if you’re like me, you’ve found that over the years, there are some misconceptions that come up over and over.  For example, how many times have you heard someone blame something on capitalism, when you know capitalism doesn’t even exist?

This post is a collection of facts that counter many common misconceptions that are repeated ad nauseum by the main-stream media (MSM) and the propaganda machine.  I will update this list routinely.

  • Capitalism and free markets do not exist.  The US does not practice capitalism, and there is no free market. 9 federal cabinet departments and over 100 federal agencies and commissions control the economy.  The Federal Register alone contains over 81,000 pages of detailed government regulations. Over 40% of the national output is appropriated by the government.  Interest rates are artificially manipulated by a secretive, private bank with a monopoly on fiat money. Banks and large corporations deemed “too big to fail” (TBTF) are given money to survive, at taxpayer expense, instead going bankrupt, so mismanaged companies are rewarded, while the hard-working are left to fend for themselves. Instead of offering better products and services, large corporations lobby the government to pass laws that hurt their competition. There is absolutely nothing free or capitalistic about it.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank is not federal.  The Federal Reserve Bank, also known as the Fed, is not a government institution.  In fact, it is a private corporation which the government has given monopoly powers to create money as debt.  The Federal Reserve’s shareholders are private banks. 100% of its shareholders are private banks. None of its stock is owned by the government.  The Fed pretends it is accountable to Congress, but decisions made by the Fed do not have to be ratified by the president or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government.
  • Inflation statistics do not include food and energy prices.  Whenever you hear the MSM talk about inflation, they’re almost always referring to the core CPI which does not include food and energy prices. This gives the misleading impression that inflation is lower than it actually is.  Even the core numbers are manipulated lower using techniques of hedonics and substitution.  You should also be aware that the government using the fake inflation numbers to determine social security payments, so lower inflation means the government pays out less to SS.
  • War is not good for the economy and it did not end the Great Depression.  War is the ultimate example of the broken-window fallacy.
  • The dollar is not backed by gold.  Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who think the dollar is backed by something.  In fact, it’s backed by nothing.  The dollar is money because the government says so.  This is what we call fiat money.  The dollar has not been backed by gold since President Nixon closed the gold window on 1971.
  • Inflation is not good; not even a little.  How many times have you heard the talking heads say a little inflation is good?  Inflation is not good.  What is good about having your money disappear little by little?  Inflation is theft.  It’s a hidden tax.  When governments print more money, they decrease your purchasing power, which is the same as stealing your money.  The only difference is that most people don’t notice it too much, unless inflation is really high.  Some argue that inflation is necessary for the money supply to grow, so there is enough money for everyone.  That’s a lie too.  Prices change all the time, and they can go down (preserving your savings) just as easily as they can go up (destroying your savings).
  • Every federal income tax dollar you pay goes to the Federal Reserve. The Federal government borrows its entire budget from the Fed and uses you as collateral to pay back the loan.  We are all tax slaves.
  • There is no freedom of speech.  Permits are required to protest and speak publicly, and Washington DC has “free speech” zones. In fact, the entire Constitution is largely ignored, unless you want to abort a baby. Apparently abortion is protected by the 14th Amendment because Democrats want to prevent 50% of blacks from being born.
  • Lincoln started the civil war. It’s almost mainstream now, that the civil war was not about slavery, but they still won’t tell you that President Lincoln was a racist tyrant who forced the South into war.  If it’s not ironic enough that the “great emancipator” enslaved the entire South, who wanted to leave the union peacefully, here’s what Lincoln had to say about black people:

    I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races—that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

  • Bill Clinton did not reduce the deficit, and he didn’t balance the budget either. Firstly, people need to understand the difference between the deficit and the annual budget.  You can make more than you spend in one year, but that doesn’t mean that you paid off all the debt you owed. But Clinton didn’t balance the budget or pay off the deficit.  You can check the numbers yourself at the treasury.
National Debt Deficit
FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411488 trillion
FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692749 trillion $281.26 billion
FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973982 trillion $281.23 billion
FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224810 trillion $250.83 billion
FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413146 trillion $188.34 billion
FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526193 trillion $113.05 billion
FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656270 trillion $130.08 billion
FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674178 trillion $17.91 billion
FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807463 trillion $133.29 billion

So how do politicians appear to balance the budget? They promise spend less in the future as a percentage of GDP.  They don’t actually cut anything; they just promise to spend less in the future.  Of course they break that promise and we don’t make the GDP targets either.  This is the same technique Obama used during the last debt-ceiling crisis. The government promised to reduce X-hundred billion a year over the next 10 years, based on 6% GDP growth every year.  Everyone cheered, the debt continued to pile up, and nothing changed.

  • Gun control does not prevent violent crime. Note Norway in the chart below. Norway had a massacre in in 2011, which claimed 77 lives, in spite of strict gun control.
  • Health care in America was socialized long before Obamacare.  America spends more federal tax dollars per capita on health care than Europe, and that money comes with strings attached- strings called regulation and control.  Health care is the most heavily regulated industry in the US. In fact, only 10% of US hospitals are private, whereas the other 90% are controlled by the government. Compare to 60 years ago, when the opposite was true- 90% were private and 10% were federal. Back then, health care was affordable, and you only needed insurance for extreme cases. Now you need insurance to get your foot in the door. How can this be?  Because of wage controls implemented by the government in the early 40s, it became standard operating procedure for businesses to offer health insurance as a perk. So insurance became the norm and grew into the monster it is today.
  • Free healthcare is not free, and it’s not universal either.  Canadians, Europeans, et al. pay excessive taxes to receive mediocre health care.  For example, 70% of the average Swede’s income goes to taxes.  How can you claim something is free when 70% of your income is used to pay for it?  They can also be denied treatment for any number of reasons, so it’s not universal.  In some areas of Sweden, patients go to the vet for x-rays because the wait at the hospital is too long.  You can also question why 80% of Swedes have private health insurance in addition to their “free” health care. By the way, how much of your labor has to be taxed before you are considered a slave?  Apparently Swedes accept 70% slavery.
  • Obamacare was written behind closed doors by insurance corporations.  Obamacare, a.k.a The Affordable Health Care Act, was branded as low-cost health care for everyone and free health care for the poor, but in reality, it only forces people to buy health insurance, and health care costs have continued to rise since its enactment.
    As of March 19, 2013, healthcare premiums have risen 39%-56% after Obamacare became law.
  • Using paper is good for the environment.  An order for more paper is an order for more trees to be planted.  Trees absorb the most CO2 in the beginning of their lives when they grow the most.
  • The Department of Education is a useless waste of money.  If you’ve ever say that in public, many people will think you hate children and are anti-education.  But most people don’t realize that the DOE is an unnecessary federal bureaucracy sitting on top of already existing state bureaucracies.  Each state is perfectly capable of managing its own public education without the DOE draining its resources. Furthermore, the quality and results of public education have deteriorated greatly since the inception of the DOE, so what exactly are we paying them for?
  • The EPA does not protect you or the environment.  It is a tool that corporations use to lobby against competitors and the government uses to control you.  Don’t believe me?  After the Fukushima meltdown (which is still spewing radiation 2 years later), the EPA raised safety levels for nuclear radiation in drinking water and soil. Drinking water safety levels, for example, include:
    • A nearly 1000-fold increase in strontium-90
    • A 3000 to 100,000-fold increase for iodine-131
    • An almost 25,000 rise for nickel-63

    In the weeks immediately after the Fukushima disaster, the EPA announced that there was nothing to fear because iodine isotopes have a half-life of 8 days. The EPA conveniently forget to mention the other isotopes in use in the mox plutonium at Fukushima, which have half-lifes up to 2.14 million years.  Is this the behavior you expect from an organization that is supposed to protect the environment?  The EPA should’ve been lobbying the world from day one to get Fukushima under control.  Instead, however, Obama went on tour in the US promoting new nuclear power construction, which would be built by Tepco, the same corporation that built Fukushima.

 Everything You Know Is Wrong