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Rare Coin Market Update #28 (Archives)

James DiGeorgia Speaks Numismatics

by Bocamag.com 2015-05-13 15:19:58

"James DiGeorgia's expertise in numismatics—the study of currency—dates back to age 7, when he evaded a babysitter, sneaked into his father's dresser drawers and discovered a 1922 peace dollar. His mother, a registered nurse, wanted her son to be a doctor; his father, a Juilliard trained musician, wanted him to enter the arts. But DiGeorgia was more interested in the rare coins he would be rewarded for every hour he played the piano. Growing up in New York City and then Danbury, Conn., DiGeorgia's entrepreneurial spirit started early, and it centered on rare coins. Coin collecting "went from a hobby into a vocation and then eventually a career," he recalls. He opened his first rare-coin business, Gem Coins, while he was a junior in high school, and he was a self-made millionaire before he turned 21. He's spent upward of $400,000 on single coins.

He expanded his purview to cover precious metals as well, and in the early 1990s he moved to Boca Raton, where he soon became editor of the Silver & Gold Report, a precious metals newsletter that would kick-start his second career as a financial analyst. These days, DiGeorgia, 54, writes books, appears as a pundit on cable networks and publishes high-end newsletters for the financial services industry. He also runs a health products company that sells supplements via direct mail— plus, he owns black belts in jujitsu and judo. The bookish polymath—a dyed-in-the wool liberal, who could just as easily host a political talk show as bestow investment advice or discuss coins from czarist Russia— shared a few nuggets of insight and advice with Boca Raton.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE AREAS OF NUMISMATICS IS ANCIENTS. To hold a coin that was struck during the lifetime of Alexander the Great, with Apollo on the  obverse, and the decorative signature from the Mint and the ruler it was struck under on the reverse, just grabs you.

 Gold has been a longtime tool for conservative investors who are worried about inflating debt, rapid monetary growth, and excesses in the systems. I often tell people that gold is your insurance against the stupidity and greed of politicians.... On the left, I would say that you don't need economic disaster, you don't need the dollar to be debased, and you don't need terror and chaos for gold to appreciate in value. If you believe the world is going to grow economically, and that new inventions and new technologies are going to drive the next decade, then ... gold should be a part of your portfolio.

I don't think there's a day when the dollar will collapse. I see the United States re-emerging as the center of technology, the center of thought, the center of creativity. I'm very bullish on this country, and I wouldn't be surprised, in the next three to five years, if we see the stock market hit 25,000. I wouldn't be surprised that the disparity between the 1 percent and the 99 percent starts to contract instead of being at an all-time wide disparity. 

I think that the potential of this country is unbounded.

I don't see the wisdom of following people who believe in superstition. They call it religion;  I call it superstition. What did a person know when Constantine invited all the religious leaders to Constantinople to establish what later became the Catholic Church?  Did they know about electricity?  Did they have any idea what the modern world was?

In the next 10 years, technology is going to accelerate; what we would have discovered in 100 years will happen in 10 years. Apple is going to start selling mini supercomputers. It's just the very start.

There's an age of science and technology that no matter what right-wing fanatics decide to do with voter suppression, denying women rights, fighting immigration ... nothing is going to stop what's coming. There are kids all over this country, from Hoboken to Anchorage, that are growing up with computers mat are going to get infinitely more powerful—computers that actually think.

I could care less what anybody else thinks of my politics