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Since we were here last... and thoughts on anti-counterfeiting measures



Here's the brief run-down on the last 10 months, and some thoughts on what I've been seeing lately in silver bars.

I posted in early June 2015, a couple of months away from graduating, still looking for a job, etc. I found out about 6 weeks later that my wife was pregnant in mid-July, still didn't have a job offer at that point.

As graduation approached I agreed to take a post-doc position for a while and teach a class in the Fall semester. It wasn't really where I wanted to be and while the pay was better it wasn't what I knew I could make, but I needed income and needed to be able to save up some money so I took it.

I finally got a job offer from a company for I job I thought would be really good for me, but it came three weeks after I committed to teaching the course, so I had to stick it out with the class -- it wouldn't have been right to leave before December at that point. They still took me though with a start date of January 4th. So I spent the Fall of 2015 teaching industrial safety engineering, handed in my notice and spent Christmas technically unemployed for the first time in about 7 years.

My wife jokes about the fact that when she met me I was a bum grad student that slept until noon half the time, wore pajamas all day when I wanted to and just kind of did what I wanted -- I'm honestly not entirely sure why she found this attractive, but what do I know? Now I have the doctorate and get up at 6 AM every day and go to work in polos and khakis.

The new job was 85 miles away and my wife was initially staying in her job to keep earning money as long as possible until it was time to go on maternity leave. So the first 2 months of this year were full of driving 3 hours a day to and from work, and moving back to our home city with a pregnant wife. Just when things were calming down I got a corneal abrasion on my right eye and I was effectively blind for a week while I was healing.

I'm earning enough now that she's able to stay at home with the baby. It means less money for buying shiny things but it's totally worth it for both of us.

I've been buying 10-30 ounces of silver each month since around August. If I hadn't been expecting a baby I could have racked up more it was important to build up the savings accounts for buying a crib and other baby items. It's been interesting in that she hadn't been with me at a time when I'd been actively trying to collect coins, stack silver or anything else, so she started seeing a different (mildly OCD perhaps) aspect to my personality and having fun teasing me about it - more on that later though.

I'm amazed by some of the security features that are being incorporated into some of the bullion rounds and bars now, like the UV coatings on Geiger bars or the MintMarkSI feature on the V2 Sunshine Mining bars and rounds. They're making those companies look a little forward-thinking now that fake one ounce bars, rounds and ASEs are starting to show up with increasing frequency. It mirrors the increasing complexity of paper currency. I'm wondering if we're going to see things like this showing up in other brands or even with the government-issued silver coins as they try to defend their products and brands against the counterfeiters. Of course, it seems that right now the counterfeiters are content to target the brands without these features, but if such security features start to become more common I'm sure the counterfeiters will try to rise to the challenge and it'll be endless, just like it has been for the paper currency and even with the NGC and PCGS slabs, which are also in turn becoming more complex over time to fight fakes.

It would seem that there's no limit to the amount of effort that some people will put into making money by deceiving and cheating the rest of us.

I'm not worried about my rounds or bullion being fake really because I buy from well-established dealers for the most part, but I'm sure that this is going to make life harder if and when it comes time to sell.

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