April 20, 2014

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Stanton Dodson’s Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Consider the Bakken

Bakken Stanton Dodson

Bakken Stanton Dodson

According to Great Dakota Energy CEO, Stanton Dodson, opportunities are abound in “the Bakken.” Here is his view:

1. The Bakken is the Most Significant Oil Boom in the US in Decades
…and, by official estimates, it looks like Bakken Basin’s massive oil reserve will stay for decades more. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) are both monitoring the development in the Bakken Basin. An April 2008 USGS report estimated the amount of technically recoverable oil using technology readily available at the end of 2007 within the Bakken Formation at 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels. Various other estimates place the total reserves, recoverable and non-recoverable with today’s technology, at up to 24 billion barrels. The most recent estimate places the figure at 18 billion barrels. With this massive reserve of shale oil, it’s little wonder that the Bakken is being touted as the biggest oil boom in decades following the 1970s peak and subsequent fall of US oil production.

Many industry players are optimistic that the Bakken Basin will free the US from oil importation – a burden which first started in the 1990s when the US imported almost two-thirds of its total oil consumption. The USGS is going to hold another survey of the area on 2012 to update their data collected from their 2008 survey. It is expected that with the advancements made in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the barrels of technically recoverable oil will rise. There are hundreds of companies currently  operating oil rigs in the Bakken Basin, and dozens of oil rigs continue to be  added every year.

2. Bakken Offers Numerous Opportunities
…and by that we mean opportunities both within the oil industry and many industries associated with it – one way or another –  via exploration & production, equipment, products and services. With the unprecedented growth in the Bakken Basin, it’s not an overstatement to say that there’s something for everyone.

There are thousands of jobs waiting to be filled. Companies offer wages considerably higher than the state’s minimum rate, although finding suitable accommodations is a significant deterrent for many who wish to call this home. For enterprising people, there are needs to fill and an assured market waiting to do business with – from construction to logistics, food and catering, and beyond.

3. The Bakken Offers  Exceptional Possibilities
With revenues multiplying at an unprecedented pace, opportunists are cashing in on the rapid growth in the Williston Basin.

One example are the companies that build and operate pipelines such as Kinder Morgan. From 2007 to 2010, the pipeline partnership gave their shareholders a 17.7 percent compound annual return. This is five times the annual return that major oil companies earn for their investors. With billions of revenue, Kinder Morgan announced in 2011 its $21 billion investment to acquire its competitor, El Paso Corporation.

At present, North Dakota – which covers part of the Bakken Basin – is one of the fastest growing states in the US. With unprecedented growth and development brought by the Bakken Basin, now is the right time to join the oil boom that will contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy.

This article is brought to you by Stanton Dodson and Dom Einhorn.



Ten Things You Should Know About Gold Plating

About Gold Plating

About Gold Plating

1. The method depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal is known as gold plating. Most often copper or silver are plated by a thin layer of gold. Chemical or electrochemical processes are usually used in this kind of gold plating.

2. In the electronics industry several types of gold plating are used. These are:

a. Soft, pure gold plating;
b. Bright hard gold on contacts;
c. Bright hard gold on printed circuit board;
d. Soft, pure gold plating by special electrolytes.


3. In the semiconductor industry, soft, pure gold plating is commonly used. The actual gold coating is very easily soldered as well as wire bonded. Its Knoop solidity ranges in between 60-85. The plating baths need to be kept free from contamination. Vibrant, hard precious metal on connections, with Knoop solidity between 120-300 as well as purity associated with 99. 7-99. 9% precious metal. This process contains a tiny bit of nickel and/or cobalt. Lower concentrations of gold are used in bright hard gold on printed circuit board. Advantage connectors, in many cases, are made through controlled-depth immersion associated with only the actual edge from the boards.

4. The term “Gold Plating Chemistry” is very important in the gold plating process. You will find five acknowledged classes associated with gold plating chemistry. These are:

a. Neutral gold cyanide;
b. Alkaline gold cyanide;
c. Acid gold plating;
d. Miscellaneous;
e. Non-cyanide, generally sulphite or chloride-based for gold and gold alloy plating.

5. Nowadays, in jewelry manufacturing, gold plating of silver is used. The gold-plated metallic article is generally a silver substrate along with layers associated with nickel, copper and precious metal deposited along with it.

6. Gold plating is often used in electronics for many reasons such as the production of corrosion-resistant layer on copper, providing electrically conductive layer in printed circuit boards, etc. Along with direct gold-on-copper plating, the copper mineral atoms often diffuse with the gold coating, causing tarnishing associated with its area and formation of the oxide and/or sulphide coating.

7. Another issue is soldering. Soldering gold-plated parts could be problematic because gold is actually soluble within solder. If more than 4-5% gold is in the solder then it will become brittle and the joint surface will look dull.

8. The precious metal gold reacts along with both container and lead within their liquid condition, forming brittle intermetallics. When eutectic 63% containers – 37% guide solder can be used, no lead-gold substances are created, because precious metal preferentially responds with container, forming the actual AuSn4 substance. Particles associated with AuSn4 disperse within the solder matrix, developing preferential cleavage airplanes, significantly decreasing the mechanized strength and for that reason reliability from the resulting solder important joints.

9. Cable bonding in between gold plated connections and aluminium wires, or even between aluminum contacts as well as gold cables under particular conditions evolves a brittle coating of gold-aluminium intermetallics, referred to as purple problem.

10. Mobile gold plating makes use of a solution known as 24 carat Difficult Gold that contains cobalt. Cobalt is a very difficult and steady metal and boosts the wear resistance from the 24c precious metal, ensuring client satisfaction.

Text courtesy of Stanton Dodson and Dom Einhorn.



New Gold: The Story Behind The Company

New Gold Mining

New Gold Mining

New Gold is one of the leading multinational gold producers in the United States, Australia and Mexico. The company is mining gold, silver, copper and polymetals. New Gold works to reduce risks and to meet its aggressive growth strategy, including both internal and external growth. It is due to this and to a dedicated Board of Directors that New Gold now not only has an influential financial position in these countries but is also engaging in exploration projects in Canada and Chile. New Gold’s global mineral reserves include an estimated 4.8 million ounces of gold, 54.7 million ounces of silver and 2.75 billion pounds of copper. The company is heading for major expansion.

The company’s operations since its establishment in 1980 are as follows:


1. New Gold first emerged as a financially strong producer when it merged with Metallica Resources and Peak Gold Ltd in 2008.

2. The company’s first exploration project was at the Peak Gold Mine, the success of which added about 514,000 ounces of gold and 76 million pounds of copper to the company’s mineral reserves.

3. In Chile, the El Morro copper-gold project is a joint venture with Xstrata Copper and is currently being planned for construction. New Gold’s funding requirement for the initial capital for the project is $225 million while the estimated annual metal production from El Morro is approximately 104 million pounds of copper and 94,000 ounces of gold.

4. The following year, the company took over Western Goldfields for $285 million and acquired the Mesquite Gold Mine in California, which now accounts for 45% of the company’s total production.

5. As 2010 commenced, New Gold sold the Amapari Mine, due to the depletion of natural resources, to an Australian miner, Beadell Resources Ltd. for $63 million.

6. The company’s mine in Mexico, Cerro San Pedro, is expected to produce 2.25 million ounces of silver and 80, 000 ounces of gold annually over nine years. It is estimated to contain mineral reserves of 52 million ounces of silver and 1.4 million ounces of gold.

7. New Gold began a gold exploration project in Alaska, Liberty Bell, expecting to earn 100% interest. However, the project’s operating costs could not be supported and after drilling results in 2010, exploration was discontinued.

8. The company, however, has major accomplishments in exploration. A significant project of New Gold is Rio Figueroa in Chile. The copper-gold project is located on land along the most abundant copper belts, covering 54 square kilometers.

9. Another on-going exploration project is Blackwater, in Colombia. The much inspiring future expansion project has been acquired recently, in June 2011. Active exploration has resulted in the discovery of extensive natural reserves of silver, lead, and zinc. Now that the company has achieved the expected drilling limit, it is looking forward to expand.

New Gold is going to produce between 380,000 and 400,000 ounces of gold in 2011 from US, Mexico and Australia. Furthermore, New Gold is aiming to maximize shareholder value and projects expansion. There is a lot that can be expected from New Gold and the credit mostly goes to the excellent management.

This story is brought to you by Silver Scott Mines, a publicly traded (OTC: SILS) junior mining company. Silver Scott Mines is a development stage precious metals company that currently operates in Mexico through a wholly owned subsidiary, Minera Mystery S. de R.L. de C.V. The Mexico corporate office is in Hermosillo, Sonora, the state capital and industrial center for northwestern Mexico. Core projects for Silver Scott Mines are Quitovac in Sonora, Venturnia vein zone in Chihuahua, and the Virgin de Carmen vein zone in Sonora. Additional targets are being developed in six other areas.



A Glimpse Into British Columbia History: The Omineca Gold Rush

The Omineca Gold Rush

The Omineca Gold Rush

Gold was discovered in Omineca (a Northern Interior province of British Columbia) in the year 1861, but the gold rush started later in the year 1869. There are numerous routes to the gold mines starting from different places.

1. In the year 1861 gold was discovered by Edward Cary and William Cust who divided 60 ounces of gold between them.

2. The two individuals brought more people with them and some of them made discoveries of gold on a large scale.

3. Aside from Edward Cary and William Cust, many of the miners went home defeated as the discoveries grew scarce. John Giscome and Henry McDame made a discovery in the Cassiar district and had McDame‘s Creek named in their honor.


4. A silver creek was discovered by four miners in search of gold. This was an amalgam of mercury and silver. They later went back to gather funds for their discoveries.

5. The Peace River prospecting party left in may of 1869. The explorers discovered gold there on the first of June. The mountains this discovery was made on were named “Vital Mountains” and the creek “Vital Creek”.

6. The gold mines were not operational due to the snowfall and harsh weather conditions in January 1870.

7. RJ Lamont started delivering mail through the Omineca Express. One trip took him as long as six weeks. He discovered about 250 miners coming to the area consisting of a high percentage of white people and about one third Chinese people.

8. Roads were built to connect the areas from Takla Landing to Fall River. Improvements were also made to the rail track to aid easier traveling via train.

9. A salon, bakery and coffee house were built for the people in the Vital Creek area as its population grew to around 400 people.

10. People started moving to Germansen Creek from Vital Creek as everyone received around two ounces of gold every day for compensation, which was a huge number.

11. Rufus Sylvester made the sluice boxes, which increased the per person yield from two ounces to around ten ounces every day.

12. The people who had started living near Germansen Creek started calling it Germansen but it was later changed to Omineca City.

13. The yield grew day by day as two saw mills were constructed and every miner got his own sluice box.

Towns upon towns were built in no time after Manson Creek was discovered. In the year 1873, gold commissioner WH Fitzgerald had a seizure and passed away. The gold rush had almost reached its end. However, the lost creek still had a yield of about 90 to 200 ounces of gold weekly. In the year 1874, there were around 80 miners in the area producing a total yield of 5000 ounces of gold. Hydraulic mining was however continued even in the nineteenth century. The old gold rush towns no longer exist, but mining still continues in Omineca.

This story is brought to you by Silver Scott Mines, a publicly traded (OTC: SILS) junior mining company. Silver Scott Mines is a development stage precious metals company that currently operates in Mexico through a wholly owned subsidiary, Minera Mystery S. de R.L. de C.V. The Mexico corporate office is in Hermosillo, Sonora, the state capital and industrial center for northwestern Mexico. Core projects for Silver Scott Mines are Quitovac in Sonora, Venturnia vein zone in Chihuahua, and the Virgin de Carmen vein zone in Sonora. Additional targets are being developed in six other areas.



Royal Gold: The Story Behind The Company

Royal Gold, Inc.

Royal Gold, Inc.

Royal Gold, Inc. is a reputable precious metals company operating mines in more than 20 countries including America, Africa and extending to Western Europe and the Soviet Union. Gold, silver, copper and lead are some metals over which it exercises royalty claims or the rights to receive a certain part of the mine production. A senior executive management team with a extensive experience in geology, engineering, law and finance drives the company. The company ranked 10th in the Fortune Small Business magazine (FSB) 2009 edition amongst small businesses that have grown tremendously in the United States, showing a vast improvement comparing to 2008.

The following provides a glimpse of the company’s philosophy.


1. The purpose of investments in exercising royalty rights is to save on capital, operating costs and risks incurred in production, as well as not having to take up production responsibilities.

2. Royal Gold’s portfolio is extensive and of leading quality and it includes production, development, evaluation and exploration royalties in major gold regions in various parts of the world. When new reserves of gold are produced and exploration pays off, the company is at an advantage.

3. Royal Gold reaps strong cash flows and profit margins via a business model that guarantees success, owing to the low-cost component. Thus the company offers its shareholders low risk and high premium investments.

4. The company’s headquarters are located in Denver, Colorado and its stock is traded on on the NASDAQ Global Select Market as well as on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols “RGLD” and “RGL.”

5. In 2007, Royal Gold bought royalty claims in the Penasquito mine (Mexico), in which production began later in 2010. In January 2010 the company was able to acquire 75% of gold produced in Chile at the Andacolo copper mine from Teck Resources. The royalty claim amounted to a 50% sum after a 33% deduction and hence the company received 910,000 ounces of gold as a royalty.

6. In February 2010, Royal Gold acquired another royalty company: International Royalty Company (IRC) with claims in Chile (Pascua Lama). Canada’s Voisey Bay made a hasty decision in accepting the $702 million deal from Royal Gold after it had tried to take IRC over.

7. Royal Gold gave Seabridge Gold C$160 million in the Summer of 2011 for a 2% net smelter return royalty claim on the KSM gold-copper-silver-molybdenum property located in northern British Columbia.

8. The company was conveniently receiving royalty payments from 34 mines by the end of the 2010 fiscal year.

9. The royalties of Royal Gold are bought in two ways. They are either paid to obtain a sure shot fixed share of gold production at Mount Milligan as in the case of Thompson Creek Metals $311.5 million in October 2010, or they are acquired by the means of project financing.

10. Wolverine Yukon (9.445% of gold and silver) and Pine Cove, Newfoundland (7.5% of gold) are the developmental projects in which Royal Gold’s royalty claims are the highest. There are two molybdenum properties, in Saskatchewan (Allan carrying out production) and in British Columbia (Schaft Creek).

Over a short period of time, Royal Gold’s business has become as international as diverse. For example, in the year 2010, 60% of its revenue was attributed to overseas operations in comparison to 44% in the previous year. The source of 40% of the revenue was in the United States while only 79% of the revenue came from US operations in 2008; Canada sourced down to 4% from 27% in 2008, but a large portion of assets in Canada were still in development.

This story is brought to you by Silver Scott Mines, a publicly traded (OTC: SILS) junior mining company. Silver Scott Mines is a development stage precious metals company that currently operates in Mexico through a wholly owned subsidiary, Minera Mystery S. de R.L. de C.V. The Mexico corporate office is in Hermosillo, Sonora, the state capital and industrial center for northwestern Mexico. Core projects for Silver Scott Mines are Quitovac in Sonora, Venturnia vein zone in Chihuahua, and the Virgin de Carmen vein zone in Sonora. Additional targets are being developed in six other areas.



10 Things You Need To Know About The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

About The Canadian Gold Maple

About The Canadian Gold Maple

The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is the official bullion gold coin of Canada and is manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Following are the ten most interesting and important facts about the coin that should be aware of.

1. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, a creation of Walter Ott, is one of the purest gold regular-issue coins in the world. It has a gold content of .9999 millesimal fineness (24 carats), with some special editions of the coin being .99999 fine. Such an acute degree of precision means that the coin is made completely out of gold from mines in Canada and contains almost no base metals.


2. The coin was introduced in 1979. The coin’s design features a trio of maple leaves, taking a hint from the light design that has adorned Canada’s one-cent circulation coin since 1937. Using the maple leaf makes sense since it is a symbol that immediately says “Canadian” to people all over the world.

3. Each coin is enclosed and presented in a maple wooden box, which is lined with flock and secured by a modified sleeve.

4. The coins enjoy legal tender status in Canada for their face values ($1, $5, $10, $20 and $50), according to the Canadian Currency Act and the Royal Canadian Mint Act. Although classified as ‘non-circulating bullion coins’ in the Mint Act, these coins are still legal tender under the jurisdiction of the Currency Act.

5. Some dealers have criticized the production quality of the Gold Maples. The pliability and softness of 24 carat gold along with the Gold Maples’ refined edge, clear field around the Queen and the tube storage supplied means that the coins are easily damaged by handling and usually show marks. This is a typical problem with pure gold.

6. On May 3, 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint showcased a Gold Maple Leaf coin with a face value of $1 million. However, it is valued at $2 million in terms of gold. Weighing 100kgs (220lbs) and designed by Stanley Witten, it has a purity of 99.999%. Initially the coin was meant to be a marketing product for the mint, but after several buyers expressed interest, the mint decided to manufacture these coins on order and so far five orders have been placed.

7. The Maple Leaf is not only manufactured in gold but also in silver, platinum and palladium.

This story is brought to you by Silver Scott Mines, a publicly traded (OTC: SILS) junior mining company. Silver Scott Mines is a development stage precious metals company that currently operates in Mexico through a wholly owned subsidiary, Minera Mystery S. de R.L. de C.V. The Mexico corporate office is in Hermosillo, Sonora, the state capital and industrial center for northwestern Mexico. Core projects for Silver Scott Mines are Quitovac in Sonora, Venturnia vein zone in Chihuahua, and the Virgin de Carmen vein zone in Sonora. Additional targets are being developed in six other areas.



Centerra Gold: The Story Behind The Company

About Centerra Gold

About Centerra Gold

Centerra Gold is a Canadian gold mining company. The company has its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. In 2004 Centerra Gold was formed and went public, when Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco Corporation spun off its gold mining assets previously held by its 100%-owned subsidiary, Cameco Gold. In June 2004, Centerra became a publicly listed company after its Initial Public Offering listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “CG”.

Cameco Corporation, formerly Centerra’s largest shareholder, an explorer of uranium and gold prospects in the Kyrgyz Republic, accepted an opportunity to follow up on a 1978 gold discovery at Kumtor that took place when the Kyrgyz Republic was part of the former Soviet Union back in 1992. In 1994, a final agreement for the project development was finalized with the Kyrgyz Republic according to which Cameco acquired a one-third interest in the Kumtor Gold Company. In late 1994, the project construction began and in the second quarter of 1997 commercial production started. Since its beginning, the mine has produced between 300,000 and 750,000 ounces of gold annually.


Cameco Gold acquired an initial 52% interest in Australian gold company AGR Limited in March 2002. AGR Limited owned 95% of the Boroo gold mine in Mongolia, and as part of the transaction transferred a 61% interest in the Gatsuurt exploration property, also in Mongolia, to AGR. Soon after the acquisition of its initial interest in AGR, Cameco Gold increased its interest in AGR to 56% by funding $3 million of additional exploration activities at the Boroo and Gatsuurt properties. The remaining interest in AGR was acquired by the company during June 2004. A $70 million loan from Cameco Gold had financed the development of the Boroo mine. On March 1, 2004 the Boroo mine started commercial operations and produced 245,000 ounces of gold in 2004.

Through its wholly owned Cameco Gold Inc, Cameco continued to manage these assets. Cameco Corporation and the Kyrgyz Republic announced their agreement to transfer all of Kumtor Gold Company to a new jointly owned Canadian company called Centerra Gold Inc. on January 5, 2004. This agreement included 100% of Cameco Gold’s assets.

On April 24, 2009 a New Terms Agreement was negotiated by Centerra between Centerra, Cameco Corporation, and the government of the Krygyz Republic. On June 2009, this Agreement was signed and Centerra announced that, as part of the closing, it would issue from treasury 18,232,615 common shares of Centerra to the government of the Kyrgyz Republic, which brought the total shares issued and outstanding for Centerra to 234,772,566. Cameco also agreed to transfer to the government of the Kyrgyz Republic between 14.1 and 25.3 million common shares of Centerra.

On December 8, 2009, Cameco announced that it intended to dispose of all its 113,918,472 common shares in Centerra. It would execute this by selling 88,618,472 common shares of Centerra through a group of underwriters led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, in an agreement entered into with a syndicate of underwriters as a bought deal. Simultaneously with the closing of this offering it would also transfer 25,300,000 common shares of Centerra to Kyrgyzaltyn JSC. Two of Centerra’s mines had produced over 676,000 ounces (18,200 kg) of gold in 2009. As of December 31, 2009 the company’s proven and probable reserves stood at 7.3 million ounces (220,000 kg).

This story is brought to you by Silver Scott Mines, a publicly traded (OTC: SILS) junior mining company. Silver Scott Mines is a development stage precious metals company that currently operates in Mexico through a wholly owned subsidiary, Minera Mystery S. de R.L. de C.V. The Mexico corporate office is in Hermosillo, Sonora, the state capital and industrial center for northwestern Mexico. Core projects for Silver Scott Mines are Quitovac in Sonora, Venturnia vein zone in Chihuahua, and the Virgin de Carmen vein zone in Sonora. Additional targets are being developed in six other areas.



Alternative Investment Strategies For Crazy Markets

Alternative Investment Strategies

Alternative Investment Strategies

During the economic crisis of the past decade, markets and industries crashed and hundreds of companies and millions of people were caught with their pants down. This ordeal has taught everyone the value of security during uncertain times. One of the surest ways to buffer yourself from economic crunches is by making sound investments. While there are traditional investment strategies available to first-time investors, alternative investments are rapidly gaining momentum, and for good reason.

Alternative Investments: The Basics

Alternative investments refer to investment strategies that go beyond traditional investments like stocks, bonds, cash, or property. Popular financial assets in the alternative investment category are:

  • Hedge Funds
  • Private Equities
  • Financial Derivatives
  • Venture Capital
  • Commodities

They also include several tangible assets including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Wine
  • Antiques
  • Stamps
  • Art
  • Coins

Characteristics of Alternative Investments


Unlike traditional investment strategies, alternative investments are not direct fixed-income or equity claim on the assets of an issuing body. They are complex in nature, so most of these assets are held by accredited, high net-worth individuals. They also tend to lack liquidity and have a low correlation to traditional financial investments such as shares of stock in a company. This low correlation adds to its appeal, especially with investors who are looking to diversify their investment portfolio (the low correlation coefficient will be discussed in depth in a later section).

Also, compared with more common investments like mutual funds, alternative investments have higher minimum investment requirements and fee structures. The cost of purchase and sale is relatively high. In addition, they are subject to less regulation. While this may be good on one hand, it also has the effect of limiting opportunities to publish verifiable performance data. Hence, historical data on risk and returns may be limited. This data could be useful in promoting an alternative investment to potential investors.

Because current market values of some forms of assets are difficult to determine at the least, it is imperative for investors looking to invest in alternative investments to conduct proper due diligence. This especially applies to tangible assets like artworks and wine.

Some investors consider alternative investments as a good means to diversify their portfolio, thereby reducing overall investment risk. However, this is not the only reason why more and more investors are now looking into expanding their financial prospects via alternative channels.

The Appeal of Alternative Investments: Low Correlation, Absolute Return

Although there are a number of alternative assets presently being offered in the marketplace, a common characteristic among these numerous options is their low correlation coefficients with both fixed income and equities. Low correlation is considered important when choosing assets for inclusion in a portfolio, primarily because assets that are relatively uncorrelated with both bonds and stocks tend to have minimal exposure to systematic market risk factors. Absolute Return Strategies – strategies that seek a low correlation to systematic risks in the market, make it their objective to attain relative independence from the underlying equity or fixed-income market benchmarks’ overall performance.

Absolute return does not come without its challenges, however. There are potential constraints on the upside. To illustrate, when broader stock markets are picking up, investors with low-correlation alternatives may see their portfolios performing weaker in relation to those with traditional assets. This somehow implies that absolute returns can be maximized in negative market climates and tend to underperform during positive economic climates.

The Economic Atmosphere for Alternative Investments

It would not be an understatement to say that alternative investments were, for the longest time, reserved mostly to high net-worth investors. The broader retail market finds the field of alternative investments difficult to penetrate because of reasons mentioned earlier in this article:

  • High minimum investment sizes;
  • High minimum fee structures; and
  • Assets with no liquidity.

Recent years show a change – an evolution – in the economic atmosphere, where alternative investments are concerned. Progress in global financial markets has developed and provided greater opportunities and a wider range of products through which more investors can enrich their portfolios with alternative assets. Directional alternative assets like commodities, real estate and foreign currencies, as well as hedge strategies like buy-write become accessible to more investors through exchange-traded funds (ETFs), exchange-traded notes (ETNs), and mutual funds.

These options were not available until recently. With increasing entry points into alternative investments, investors now find themselves able to participate in innovative investment approaches that promise increased profits. If alternative investments appeal to you, now would be the best time to start investing in alternative assets.

This story is brought to you by Silver Scott Mines, a publicly traded (OTC: SILS) junior mining company. Silver Scott Mines is a development stage precious metals company that currently operates in Mexico through a wholly owned subsidiary, Minera Mystery S. de R.L. de C.V. The Mexico corporate office is in Hermosillo, Sonora, the state capital and industrial center for northwestern Mexico. Core projects for Silver Scott Mines are Quitovac in Sonora, Venturnia vein zone in Chihuahua, and the Virgin de Carmen vein zone in Sonora. Additional targets are being developed in six other areas.



The Islamic Gold Dinar: History And Significance

Islamic Gold Dinar

Islamic Gold Dinar

Coins that can be dated back to the first Muslim coins are copies of the silver dirham of the Sassanian Yezdigird III, struck during the Khalifate of Uthman, radiy’allahu anhu. The only difference between these coins and the original ones is that in the original coins, an Arabic inscription normally reading “in the name of Allah” is found on the obverse margins. Since that time, the practice of writing “the name of Allah” and parts of the Quran in all minting made by the Muslims became a common custom.

Khalifah Abdalmalik ordered Al-Hajjaj to mint the first dirham in the year 75, thus he officially established the standard of Umar Ibn al-Khattab. In the following year he ordered the minting of dirham in all the regions of the Dar al-Islam. He ordered to get the coins stamped with the sentences saying “Allah is Unique, Allah is Eternal”. In addition, he also ordered the removal of human and animal figures from the coins and replaced them with letters.


Khalifah Abdalmalik had also established the standard relationship between the dinar and the dirham based on their weights, i.e. 7 dinars must be equivalent (in weight) to 10 dirham. The official weights of the dinar and the dirham according to Islamic law are as follows: the Islamic dinar is a coin of pure gold weighing 4.25 grams, and the Islamic dirham is a coin of pure silver weighting 2.975 grams.

Throughout the history of Islam this command of Khalifah Abdalmalik was followed. The shape of the dinar and the dirham was round, and the writing on these coins was stamped in concentric circles. On one side of the coin was written “la ilaha ill’Allah” and “alhamdulillah” and on the other side the name of the Amir and the date were written. Soon after, it became a common practice to stamp the blessings of the Holy Prophet, salla’llahu alayhi wa sallam, and sometimes, ayats of the Qur’an as writings on the coins.

Until the fall of the Khilafat, gold and silver coins remained the official currency. After that, a variety of different paper currencies were made in each of the new postcolonial states created from the dismemberment of Daral-Islam.

The modern Islamic Gold Dinar, referred to as the Gold Dinar or Islamic dinar, is a gold coin bullion made from 4.25 grams of 22 carat (k) gold. It represents a revival of the historical gold dinar. Recently the dinar and dirham supporters have started using Facebook as a medium to educate people about Sunnah Money. This Facebook group has about 13,000 members to date, and new members are joining the group every hour.

Kelantan became the first Muslim state to launch gold dinar coins named “The Dinar Emas Kelantan” on September 20th 2006. These coins are very similar to the original dinar in weight and purity of gold used. Some of the common uses of the Gold Dinar are as follows:

- Merchandise purchase from outlets.
- Keeping accounts and receiving and making payments as with any other medium of exchange.
- Saving these dinars, as gold in it represents “wealth”.
- Payment of dower and zakat as established by the Islamic law.

This story is brought to you by Silver Scott Mines, a publicly traded (OTC: SILS) junior mining company. Silver Scott Mines is a development stage precious metals company that currently operates in Mexico through a wholly owned subsidiary, Minera Mystery S. de R.L. de C.V. The Mexico corporate office is in Hermosillo, Sonora, the state capital and industrial center for northwestern Mexico. Core projects for Silver Scott Mines are Quitovac in Sonora, Venturnia vein zone in Chihuahua, and the Virgin de Carmen vein zone in Sonora. Additional targets are being developed in six other areas.



The German Gold Mark: History And Significance

The German Gold Mark

The German Gold Mark

Germany originally had consisted of a large number of states, some small and some big, for many centuries with the power resting in the hands of the lords of each state. An attempt to unify Germany was made by Habsburgs, ending the 30 year war of 1618-1648. This resulted in the devastation of the German economy and the creation of 1800 separate states. Bismarck was a German statesman and an influential figure in world affairs. He oversaw the unification of Germany from 1862 to 1890 as Minister President of Prussia.

WHAT IS THE GERMAN GOLD MARK?

The German Gold Mark was the currency used in German Empire from 1873 to 1914. Different German states issued a variety of different coins before unification. Most of these were not even linked to the Vereinsthaler, a common standard silver coin used in the German states and the Austrian empire prior to the years of the German unification. This coin contained 16⅔ grams of pure silver. The Gulden was used in Southern Germany as a standard unit of account; it was worth 4⁄7 of a Vereinsthaler. Bremen had used the Thaler, and Hamburg had used its own Mark.


From 1876 onwards , the Mark had become the legal tender, a medium of payment recognized by the legal system valid to meet a financial obligation. The name Mark was changed to Gold Mark in order to differentiate it from the paper mark, which had suffered a massive loss in value due to the hyperinflation following World War 1. The standard of the Gold Mark was based on gold, with 2790 mark being equal to 1 kilogram of pure gold. Later, from the 1900 to 1933, the United States had also started following the gold standard, with the price of a dollar being fixed at a price of one-twentieth ounce of gold. This gave the Gold Mark a value of approximately US $0.25.

The Deutsche Mark had been the official currency of the currency of West Germany (1948-1990), and Germany (1990-2002). It was issued in 1948 replacing the Reichsmark, and served as the official currency of the Federal Republic of Germany until 1999, when it was replaced by the euro. The Mark’s coins and banknotes, defined in terms of euro, remained in circulation and were accepted as official forms of payment until early 2002, when the euro notes and coins were introduced. For all those carrying the Deutsche Mark currency, the Deutsche Bundesbank guaranteed that all German Mark in cash may be changed to euros by just visiting any branch of the bank in Germany. Even the banknotes could be sent to the bank by mail for change.

As Prussia was the largest and the richest of the provinces of the Prussian Empire; the significance of the 20 Marks of Prussia in particular is that they still remain interesting coins to collect, for their history, as well as for investment purposes. Also the front and reverse side of the 20 Marks are identical, showing the Eagle and the Heads of the Emperors as listed below:

- Prussia: Wilhelm I, Frederic III, Wilhelm II, Wilhelm II
- Baden: Frederic I
- Hamburg: coat of arms
- Saxony: George of Saxony
- Bavaria: Louis II
- Württemberg: Wilhelm II

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