Coinage provided an easy-to-assess standard. It also presented a significant temptation for the fiscal authority.
2011 was remarkable in many ways for the precious metals markets. Gold soared to new highs in early September, hitting at an intraday record of $1,920/ounce on the fifth. Silver screamed to within a hair of $50 on April 28. Corrections ensued, and the metals ended the year on a disappointing note for silver and an underwhelming note for gold. Equities for the sector were down, to way down for junior ventures, logging their worst annual return since 2008.