Friday, 31 October 2014

Has The Gold In Fort Knox Disappeared?

The United States Bullion Depository Fort Knox, Kentucky.
• Amount of present gold holdings: 147.3 million ounces.
• The only gold removed has been very small quantities used to test the purity of gold during regularly scheduled audits. Except for these samples, no gold has been transferred to or from the Depository for many years.
• The gold is held as an asset of the United States at book value of $42.22 per ounce.
• The Depository opened in 1937; the first gold was moved to the depository in January that year.
• Highest gold holdings this century: 649.6 million ounces (December 31, 1941).
• Size of a standard gold bar: 7 inches x 3 and 5/8 inches x 1 and 3/4 inches.
• Weight of a standard gold bar: approximately 400 ounces or 27.5 pounds.
• Construction of the depository:
Building materials used included 16,000 cubic feet of granite, 4,200 cubic yards of concrete, 750 tons of reinforcing steel, and 670 tons of structural steel. The cost of construction was $560,000 and the building was completed in December 1936.
• The Depository is a classified facility. No visitors are permitted, and no exceptions are made.
In 1950 the US owned about 20,000 metric tons of gold – approximately 640,000,000 troy ounces. By August 15, 1971 when President Nixon “temporarily” closed the “gold window” that hoard had decreased to about 8,100 tons.
1974 file photo gold bars are seen at the U.S. Depository in Ft. Knox, Ky.
President Nixon had a choice – default on the US promise to redeem dollars with gold, or reduce spending. Like any prominent politician he chose to continue spending and to blame the problem on someone else – the “international money speculators” but it might as well have been the Russians, Democrats, the French, Communists, an ethnic group, or the weather.
The US government spends roughly $3.5 Trillion per year and adds nearly $1 Trillion each year to the national debt. The official 260,000,000 ounces of gold are currently valued at about $340 Billion. The President and Congress would burn through the market value of that gold in slightly more than a month.

The Federal Reserve has “printed” well over $3,000,000,000,000 since the financial crisis of 2008 – about ten times the current market value of all the gold that the US supposedly still has in its vaults. Global annual gold production is about 2,500 tons, about 80,000,000 ounces or about $105,000,000,000. One hundred five billion dollars in global gold production is produced through the considerable efforts of the global gold mining community. But the Fed chose to “crank up the printing presses” and effortlessly created over $3 Trillion in new digital dollars since 2008.
The biggest question mark of all has been why no one has been able to see the gold for almost 40 years now. The last time anyone had access to inspect the deposits was on September 23, 1974. Members of Congress and news media were allowed access on that date and pictures were taken of the vaults with the gold deposits intact.
Ever since that day, there has not been anyone allowed access to confirm the gold amounts that are supposedly stored at the Fort.

Recently a team of Congressmen from several key states have been trying to gain access to Fort Knox for a visual inspection and confirmation of the gold reserves stored there. According to several of the Congressmen, they are having a difficult time even getting responses out of the United States Treasury and Mint departments and when they do, they are denied immediately.
THE CONSPIRACY THEORISTS fear that Ft. Knox is emptied, a process that started 50 years ago. Some gold bugs go even further, claiming that Ft. Knox's gold bars have been replaced with fakes filled with super-dense tungsten.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes

The Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes was a frigate belonging to the Spanish Armada, which was launched at the port of Havana 1786 and was part of the convoy that covered the trade route between the American colonies and Spain. On 5 October 1804 at the Battle of Cape Santa Maria, Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, commanded by José Manuel de Goicoa and Labart, was sunk in waters near the Strait of Gibraltar.

While sailing back from South America with more than 200 people on board, the ship was intercepted by British ships. Spain was a neutral country at the time, but had been showing signs of declaring war in alliance with Napoleonic France. The galleon was ordered to change course towards England, but its senior Spanish officer refused and opened fire on the British.

Tales recount that the Mercedes broke 'like an egg, dumping her yolk into the deep'. After the attack most of the survivors were rescued from one or two small boats. The English Prize Office removed 4,773,153 gold and silver pesos from three captured ships, 1,307,634 of which belonged to the king of Spain. After the incident, Spain declared war on England.
In late 2012 a treasure haul was salvaged and displayed. The loot had been at the center of a five-year legal battle between a U.S. salvage company and Spain. US firm Odyssey Marine Exploration found the lost treasure off Portugal's Atlantic coast in 2007.

At the time, the treasure was estimated to be worth $500m (£316m).
International treaties generally hold that warships sunk in battle are protected from treasure seekers. Odyssey lost every round in federal courts as the Spanish government painted the company as modern-day pirates.

The company has said in earnings statements that it has spent $2.6 million salvaging, transporting, storing and conserving the treasure.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Cheapside Hoard Revisited

The Museum of London has concluded a major exhibition investigating the secrets of the Cheapside Hoard.
The Cheapside Hoard is a hoard of late 16th and early 17th century jewellery discovered by workmen using a pickaxe to excavate in a cellar near Cheapside in London in 1912.

They found a buried wooden box containing over 400 pieces of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery, including rings, brooches and chains, with bright coloured gemstones and enamelled settings.
The hoard of almost 500 pieces was a 17th-century goldsmith's stock – worth a king's ransom then and priceless now.

"Nothing in the world comes close," said Museum of London curator Hazel Forsyth.

She has spent years studying the brooches and necklaces, rings and chains, pearls and rubies, scent bottles and fan holders, two carved gems which date back 1,300 years to Byzantium – and a watch set into a hollow carved out of one stupendous emerald which was originally the size of an apple.

Gold bow pendant set with rose-cut and step-cut foil-backed rubies and table-cut diamonds

Gold and enamel pendant set with two sapphires and an irregular polished spinel.