Letter to Thai friend, who had been very quiet
A penpal who had not written for a while
…but who responded to my light touch via a ‘hello, how are things’ letter recently.
Works in the big local Tourism industry - heavily impacted by the complete freeze in international travel since the early months of this year.
This friend had been silent, months since the last letter came; or went. I decided to extend a hand and sent a light letter. Something to say ‘hello friend, write back if you like’, but not a heavier, in depth letter like I so many times write.
The friend replied, and this was my reply, mentioning some of the topics they touched on. I like it, and thought it opportune to share with others. No personal info or privacy is exposed, and by making it into a web magazine format (for blog publication), I think it reaches more readers and could inform and entertain others too.
Hope you enjoy reading it.
And thank you for your letter, I am glad to hear that you are well and healthy – and even running 4 times a week, 5 kilometers each time? well done.
I am sending you this letter with the new ‘First Bucket of Gold’ stamp, in honour of your dedication of accumulating some for your retirement. Gold and silver are good, specially in times of conflict and uncertainty. I did buy silver coins back in 2008, during that financial crisis, when we were on the brink of a break down in the whole world financial system.
Silver, for me, is the prettiest, it goes well with my skin tone. And I love the shine and the metal colour. Silver coins are also fun since they produce a nice crystalline sound when you shake them in your pocket. I bought a bunch of older Canadian silver coins, until 1966 they were made with 80% silver content, and also some American ones, which had a higher 90% silver, until 1965.
I am glad you salary is simply reduced – as a lot of people lost their jobs completely. Tourism and Travel are big industries and all over the world they are down to very low levels. I haven’t travelled for a while, and it is best to stay put, safer that way. In Europe numbers are high as you mentioned, and in the US probably even higher. The border between US and Canada has been almost closed (emergency travel only) since mid March or so.
I have been writing, reading and working in the computer. I have been an active user in a Forum for Slowly app at Reddit, and since mid July, the moderator there. It’s been fun as things have been improving, getting prettier and better, more content for people to read and learn.
Have also been writing some blog pages recently, and I am happy for that - it had been a while since I posted the last one. My Blog for Slowly and pen pal related topics is here
…and you can take a look if you have the time and interest.
Yes, we need to keep in mind to avoid stresses, they just make life more difficult. We are into the Fall season here now, and it’s getting colder and darker.
I hope to continue the writing, as it occupies me and makes me happy and satisfied.
Time to send, till next time, T.!
All the best, peace and health for you and the family.
Older Silver coins as an investment
A point mentioned in the letter, which I included a couple of reference links to but that also deserves more clarification.
Precious metals like silver and gold are considered good investments, having been reserves of value for thousands of years now. Specially in times of turbulence, crisis, wars, having some of those in hand is a good thing.
Silver is less expensive than gold, by far, and so easier to purchase in smaller quantities. Silver bullion, the investment type of the metal, can come in coins, bars, with various sizes and weights.
They usually sell for the day’s Spot price for the metal, which varies hour by hour in the international market, and also an added premium - to cover the cost of minting the item. That can be up to 5 or 6% of the bullion value.
Lower cost bullion exists
And one of the best ways to acquire it with less costs is via purchasing older silver coinage, sometimes called ‘junk silver’, specially in the US market. They had 90% pure silver coinage circulating there until 1965, in huge quantities, so there is a lot available, selling for the silver content value in the spot for the day, maybe a small dealer commission added.
Canadian Silver coinage
Canadian silver coins up to 1967 also were silver, usually 80% pure, the rest being copper. The higher purity of the US coins makes them lighter colour, and certainly more desirable - but what you can find in your local market will vary.
We are not talking about numismatic, collector’s value, but simply of the net precious metal content in a coin. Those are well known, and there are even online calculators which can show you the day’s value for any given silver coin - American or Canadian.
When a Quarter Dollar is worth 13 times face value
The face value and purity are guaranteed by them being a Government issued coin, recognized and acceptable everywhere in their countries.
Using the CoinApps Canadian Coinage Calculator, a single Canadian quarter, minted and with a face value of $0.25 CAD, is currently worth $4.55 CAD, since it contains 0.14995 Troy ounce of pure silver.
A Canadian Dollar (1920 to 1967) is worth $13.921 CAD, since it contains 0.6006 Troy ounce of pure silver. That’s almost 14 times its original face value.
American ones, worth more yet
With their higher 90% silver content, the US coinage is very close to the Sterling Silver grade normally used for Jewellery, which is .925, or 92.5% purity.
These coins have a bright appearance and a delightful sound when jingling in a pocket - silver bells produce equally nice, crystalline sounds.
Today’s value for US quarters are $5.4996 CAD, or $4.1993 USD.
Those older coins are wonderful as a low cost way to acquire some precious metal assets. And they could come in handy in a dystopian situation, if things break down – Gold and Silver have always shined in those times.
Famous Last Words
Special Thank You to the folks behind this wonderful app – all the hard working people at Slowly Communications.
Letters we share, with pen pals all over the World, via the magic of the Slowly App. A modern day take in the traditional penpal experience.
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