NEWS 
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Everbank Offers Diversified Metals CDs

EverBankWhen it comes to interesting and innovative banking products, Everbank has always led the pack. With some banks you get the same vanilla options – checking, money market, savings, CDs. Reward checking is rare and “exotic” CDs are even rarer (how many banks offer one of the non-standard CDs?).

Recently I received an email from them about a 5-year diversified metals CD. The basic idea is that it’s a principal protected CD with a 5 year term that appreciates if the price of gold, silver and platinum increase. If there is no gain, you receive your principal back.

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 Government 
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Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar

2009 Louis Braille Silver Dollar - ProofAfter this morning’s post about cons, I thought I was getting conned when I started reading about the new 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar because I didn’t hear a single thing about it until today. Made me think of those Obama coins with a sticker on them! (don’t worry, these Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar coins are real)

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 General 
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How Much Is An Olympic Medal Worth?

2008 Beijing OlympicsIf you ask an Olympian, the answer is that the medal is priceless.

If you ask the governments of countries, the answer is in the millions.

If you ask someone who is interested only in the precious metals in the medals, the answer is a little more pedestrian.

While the gold, silver, and bronze medals of each Olympiad are unique in their design, the IOC has minimum standards for medal composition. The Beijing medals are 70mm in diameter and 6mm in thickness, which is 10mm wider and 3mm thicker than IOC requirements. The IOC requires that the gold medal be made of pure silver and gilded with at least 6 grams of gold. They also have a fair amount of jade integrated into the design. Since there are no reports as to the actual composition of the medal, with respect to jade versus the precious medals, for simplicity I’ll assume the medals are 700mm x 6mm of 92.5% silver and six grams of gold (for gold, and 100% silver for silver). It’s a bit inaccurate but I think we can make do!

Six grams of gold is worth approximately $160 at average prices today and the other 92.5% of the silver is worth at about $60, again assuming average prices. A total price for the gold at $220 puts it higher than previous years in sheer previous metal values.

Or we could cheat and read reports on China spending $1.24M on the six thousand medals, making them an average of $206.66 each. Telegraph.co.uk priced the cost of a gold medal at $393 though this probably includes design, manufacturing and shipping. Compare this to Athens in 2000 when each medal cost $155 and you see how much of an impact gold prices have been.

So pretty!

2008 Beijing Olympic Medals: Front w. Ribbon

2008 Beijing Olympic Medals: Back w. Ribbon

Medals of Beijing Olympic Games unveiled (with detailed photos of the medals) [Beijing 2008]


 General 
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Price of Olympic Medals

While the host city’s organizing committee is responsible for the design of the gold, silver, and bronze medals, the specifications of those medals must conform to the IOC’s specifications. All the medals have to be at least 60 millimeters in diameter and three millimeters thick. Gold and silver have to be made of 92.5% pure silver with the gold gilded with at least six grams of gold. So how much should one of these babies costs? My calculations put the minimum cost of the precious medals in an Olympic gold at $138.24 and for the Olympic silver at $25.60.

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