Greek Scramble For Physical Brings Gold Price To $1,700 Per Ounce

Tyler Durden's picture

And there are those who wonder how Sprott's PHYS could have traded at "ludicrous" NAV premium of over 20%. reports that prices at which the Greek Central Bank is selling one ounce gold equivalents are as high as $1,700 (40% over spot), and prices on the black markets are even higher. The punchline, as Athens slowly returns to a forced gold standard: " A popular spot for street vendors to sell their coins is near the Athens Stock Exchange.  There the traders wait for citizens to bring payments received from unloading their paper assets like stocks and bonds." That's good - downtown Manhattan close to the NYSE has some free space for gold vendors to set up shop as well, they just need to push some of the frontrunning/collocation boxes off to the side. And in other rhetorical ruminations, is it safe to say that the last days of the fiat experiment are among us now that people themselves are bypassing the government and enforcing their own gold standard?

More from Coin Update:

The fear running through the Greek populace is that the nation’s government may default on some of its debts.

Since 1965, the Greek government has imposed restrictions on trading British Sovereign gold coins (gold content .2354 oz).  Despite those restrictions, the Bank of Greece reports that it is selling an average of more than 700 coins per day to worried Greeks.

In the first four months of 2010, the Greek central bank sold more than 50,000 sovereigns at its main downtown Athens office.  Bank officials estimate that at least 100,000 other coins changed hands on the black market.  The Bank of Greece has received as much as $409 per coin, which works out to a price of more than $1,700 per ounce of gold!  Prices paid on the black market are reckoned to be even higher.  A popular spot for street vendors to sell their coins is near the Athens Stock Exchange.  There the traders wait for citizens to bring payments received from unloading their paper assets like stocks and bonds.

The US government and some state governments such as California are in financial straits as bad as or even worse than Greece.  How long will it take before American buyers will have to wait in lines to pay outrageous premiums for what are now bullion-priced gold and silver coins?  More than one analyst thinks those days will come within a few months or sooner.

The article then goes on to discuss the well-known gold price supression schemes developed over the past 30 years by JPM, Goldman and the LBMA, which should by now not be news to any readers.

What should, is that if one could found a way to legally transfer 10 or so ounces to Athens, anyone could make $5 grand on the spot. With some patience the same return will be achievable in our very own US of A.

h/t Aaron

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Turd Ferguson's picture

Wait a second, does this mean the Comex is a manipulated, criminal market?




cougar_w's picture

These are not rich people. 700 coins is almost certainly close to 700 middle-class households.

A day.

A good sized town. Daily. Nothing like that happening around where I live, absolutely not.

bbbilly1326's picture

Wow, looks like Master Bates is back...........using both hands  :-)

jaybaybaker's picture

Thanks for proving that paranoia is not what drives you to buy gold.

MsCreant's picture

Why is Connan O'Brian your avatar?

Gold...Bitches's picture

because jaybay is as much of a hack as Conan.

akak's picture

JayGayBanger is as integrity-challenged as Conan is pigmentally-challenged.

george22's picture

Excellent stuff from you, man I’ve read your things before and you are just too awesome. I adore what you have got right here. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. This is truly a great blog thanks for sharing…


bbbilly1326's picture

ok, the JayBay posts I was responding to above have been removed....I was not commenting on cougar's post........

velobabe's picture

you need to give it up, babe.

shouldn't you be sleepin†

i have to stop laughing,

i am rippin my chest apart with your humor, you have to just stop†

plus. am i pimpin myself with this avatar? WW asked me this question.

i think clear, white reflective, radiant and light, NO!

nate, over at economic edge blog, me thinks wants me back, without my nasty.... nuff†





papaswamp's picture

your avatar is too distracting...I'm telling Larry Summers.

trav7777's picture

avatar's fine...just too small

velobabe's picture


finger in the left side of your,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

papaswamp's picture

wow thats hot!...say it again

trav7777's picture


The avatar picture is too small

velobabe's picture

perhaps, your too small†


  £   £



WaterWings's picture

And he thinks he saw footage of the first plane hitting WTC. But that's a disjointed subject; from another thread. And I think Trav means he wishes he could either zoom in or see you in full size. As I am sure many would!

VB, how can I put this...ahhhhh, the female form. The thing I enjoy most on this sphere. It was a half-joke. But whew! what a form you have.

I know that a lot of Christian/otherwise devout readers follow these forums (some people think, **** 'em; we do what we want on ZH), and I hate censorship, and I feel that many seeking enlightenment might be turned off and not return for the gulps of truth and fresh air that is freely available. God save the [Tyler et al]!

But you will not hear complaints from me! ;-)

papaswamp's picture

That is the most awesome poster....there is no equal.

web dizajn's picture

i'm not really into lolpics but that one just cracked me up :D web dizajn

Internet Tough Guy's picture

I shouldn't answer a troll isn't about global production amounts. If it was, the greeks wouldn't be paying such a high premium. They are paying it because when you can't trust the currency you just want out, at any price. It could be 1700 today or 2700 tomorrow; the price depends on the availability and if I will only sell to you at 2800, then the price is 2800, unless you can find someone else.

Carry on, troll.


Internet Tough Guy's picture

Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. LOL.

Cheeky Bastard's picture

It is ZH after all; everyone agrees and disagrees with everyone else at least once. Probability distribution makes foes out of friends, and friends out of foes.

dark pools of soros's picture

that should be quoted on the header....

saulysw's picture

I disagree with your hypothesis! (And you are now my enemy)


Reminds me of this scene :

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Ah, probability distributions.  When I was younger and my brain could handle it better, I used to love probability...

Rick64's picture

If this panic keeps up, do you think the pace will stay the same?and only be confined to Greece and Europe?

Spitzer's picture

How dumb are you ? If there is enough money so far to fund US bond auctions then there is indeed enough money around to buy the gold.

jomama's picture

what i don't understand is why do gold bugs bother you so much?  or maybe you just feel like you've got to be mr. righteous and tell everyone how things really are to save them from their own stupidity?

Hulk's picture

Gold bulls, jomama, Gold bulls.

Gold...Bitches's picture

what i don't understand is why do gold bugs bother you so much?

because they've been right for ten years running.  And he hasnt been in it at all over that time.  Waaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!

akak's picture

"What i don't understand is why do gold bugs bother you so much?"

"Because gold is honest money, it is disliked by dishonest men."

(Ron Paul, The Case for Gold)

Hephasteus's picture

I'm a gold bug for the entertainment value alone. I mean look at how many servants we got working for us already. We got Master Bates working overtime trying to convince us how stupid we are. We got JW trying to promise us ASS pain and heartbreak if we don't sell our gold at the top. We got the oh the government will confiscate it crowd.

I guess that Katherine Fitts Austin lady is right. Just a few gold bugs completely cashing out of the system is enough to cause huge massive responses. Maybe we aren't so powerless after all.

Well gotta go practice removing nuts with a claw hammer in case that gold confiscation thing really happens. Talk to you all later.

SWRichmond's picture

Just a few gold bugs completely cashing out of the system is enough to cause huge massive responses. Maybe we aren't so powerless after all.

I am also fascinated by the deep, broad and coordinated response.  It's another "tell".  Keep it coming, boys!  Lapping it up here.

omi's picture

Don't worry man, plenty of paranoid idiots ready to burry comments. Too bad there's no up/down vote, only down-vote, but this is ZH

dorksgetlaid2's picture

Based on the 165,000 tons that wikipedia says have been mined up to 2009...

This equals 5,913,000,000 ounces. 

There are 6,823,400,000 people in the world.  I'm getting at the actual demand (based on 1 oz/per person).  All you pirates out there, don't laugh. 

How many fiats are in circulation!?!  M3 has gone up 10X since 1970, even though the population in 1970 was around 4 billion.  The world has added 2 billion people since 1970, which would be a 50% increase.

And what is the gold production per year?  Wikipedia says 2415 tonnes a year, around 86 million ounces. 

How many people does the world add?  134 million a year.  Still, even if you wanted to give every newborn on earth an ounce of gold, we're reproducing faster than gold is being mined. 

I would be willing to bet that the 134 million people born each year is nowhere near enough to hold demand for fiats....especially once devaluation/inflation comes into play.  Inflation aside, humans aren't reproducing enough to keep pace with the printing presses.  1 fiat printed/per person...LOL.     

This is the battleground, the hearts and minds.  The masses don't believe that paper is worthless.  Imagine that.  Until something happens to wake them up, starvation, revolution, etc.  Fiats will remain the means of exchange.  

How many dollars do you think are printed into existence a year?  More than that 86 million ounces of gold mined per year? 

Shit, 86 million ounces of gold at $1200...103 billion...

How much was the Euro Bailout Again? 



The question is if the sheeple can learn.



Jack H Barnes's picture

I think the Sheeple are speaking with their savings...

akak's picture

"Chart 1: EUR against USD; Annus horribilis!

Once the Congress passes all their upcoming "financial reforms" and the inevitable onerous new taxes that they are already just itching to impose, the rest of us are going to be suffering from anus horribilis!

Joe Sixpack's picture

The amount of gold or silver produced per year per capita in the world is slightly higher now than it was in 1903. This means that if gold/silver money were possible in 1903 (which it was) than it is possible now. See this article:

What Do Silver and Gold Buy?

By John Q. Public

johan404's picture

What you mean to say is that we're now producing more gold than we've ever produced before?

You forgot to mention one thing though, according to Barrick Gold, gold production is in terminal decline as ore becomes harder to find. Peak Gold anyone?

Joe Sixpack's picture

The facts don't bear that out. At least as of 2008, the gold production per capita in the world was higher than in 1903. Same with silver. If there is demand, they will find it at a cost. Long term, I cannot say.

johan404's picture

Someone else is buying it, that's why they're producing it. Why would gold mining corporations have 94% surplus production? Your post makes absolutely no sense when taking into account reality. Have you been sniffing glue again?

AUD's picture

Interestingly enough, forward spreads on COMEX gold have widened rapidly in the last couple of months.

I'm not convinced paper gold is finished yet. Maybe the last of the US Treasury treasure is being 'loaned'?

DeeDeeTwo's picture

Small gold coins sell at a huge premiums all the time, baby. People overpay for all manner of things all the time. A 20% premium for small coins *** on the street *** at Ground Zero of the EU Meltdown in panicking, corrupt-to-core Greece is hardly news... or translatable to the USA... but tasty red meat to get the Gold Zombies thru another day of Faux Apocalypse.

How much is the premium for firearms on the street in Greece? Perhaps a new Greek index tracking the street price of AK47s in gold... would be helpful in making major life decisions here in America, my friends.


AllSingingAllDancingCrapof theworld's picture

Go fuck yourself. No coin, even that numismatic shit, sells 40% over spot.

Sorry your boys in Washington and Wall Street can't put your Humpty-Dumpty statist dream back together.

Hey, just enjoy Avy Scott's comeback and leave the rest of us non-wankers alone.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

I agree 100% with the fact that all the Washington horses and all the Wall Street ass can't put the rigged-market crony capitalistic egg shell back together again.  Quite frankly I look forward to its demise.  Our saviors in Washington and Wall Street are the ones that are creating the restrictions of this abundant little marble of abundance.  While the transition of wealth between the current, the ones that have created these restrictions, and the ones that are providing the wealth, at the end of a loaded legislative pen, way well indeed be a horrific sight of violence and death to behold, what is coming out of that realignment will be phenomenal. 

I just have one point of contention and please take it for what it is worth.  Numismatic shit coins are currently selling in Amerika for 70% over spot -

I am not saying these are the most educated buyers on the market, but the market is yielding this sort of mark-up RIGHT NOW.  Now we are just talking about the Fox News/Glenn Beck/I Would Rather Trust the TV and Do What IT Tells Me Group.  Just imagine when the reality sets into the rest of the 401K/IRA crowd sees what happens when the Fed needs to double the money supply again in order to compensate for this derivative induced debt coma of deflation.  Spot price is already irrelevant to some people as evident from the YouTube link above.

Hell, I screwed myself when I bought from one dealer at 5% over spot and then sold it back to the same dealer at 2% under spot.  I know, I’m an idiot and they arbitraged my ass while I pulled together a 59% profit in just over a year (including my shipping for the transactions.  We all need to learn somewhere, but the point is Amerikans are already spending 70% over spot, ignorantly, but still showing a price point in the market. 

This are getting curiouser and curiouser indeed. 


aaronvelasquez's picture

I think we are seeing a decoupling of the paper and physical gold markets now.