The Elephant Wearing a Silver Necklace

It’s no secret that demand for the U.S. Mint silver eagles coin has been unprecedented. It is a walk back through memory lane following the 1986 confirmation of the growing (exponential) popularity of the legal tender coin program.

Many are left these days scratching their heads about who is buying all these coins. Retail demand seems soft at best, with stable coin premiums relative to times of relative shortage.

Speculation has ranged from steady domestic demand to JPM Morgan or some other large entity quietly or surreptitiously stockpiling silver eagles.

However, the real  elephant   in   the   room  for silver demand may be the oldest form of silver – the demand for silver jewelry.

Various reports confirm that silver jewelry demand has experienced its fifth year of growth. Indeed, one survey published earlier this year published that 73% of silver jewelry wholesaler report increase sales.

At just over 40 million ounces in 2013 (and a record pace this year) the silver eagle program as a percentage of overall physical silver demand is actually quite small.

Compared to the approximately 40 million ounces sold by the silver eagle program, the 200 million ounces used for fabrication demand is a massive footprint that should not be overlooked.

Is (increasing) jewelry demand more important than coin demand? Perhaps.

 In  the aftermath of two conflicting silver market reports, both sponsored directly by those  in  the best position to profit from the paper market (thus, by definition, making them politically influenced to the point of uselessness), we can look back to the Jewelry Association’s report earlier this year.

 In  an interview with me earlier this year, silver analyst, David Morgan, pointed out the potential impact of silver jewelry demand versus the well publicized demand for the U.S. silver eagles product.

That interview can be accessed here.

 In  essence, jewelry demand is the proverbial  elephant   in   the   room .

It’s easy to blame higher silver jewelry sales as a reflection of the underlying economy.

What should immediately stand out for observers is that physical demand across all categories rose considerably in the past year, despite considerable lower prices. Maybe artificially induced deflation in the silver market will save the world economy?

The silver users have pulled one over on us again. Cheaper silver costs go straight to the bottom line, much like cheaper energy prices.

Why the shift to silver jewelry?

Mainstream industry spokespersons are quick to point out improving economic conditions as the primary reason for this. That would be fine – if it were true. But a cursory review of any all real economic indicators shows that the world organic economy is barely alive under the refuge of massive finance.

Partially, the switch could be an effect of a declining economy and, therefore, a cheaper alternative to gold. Fashion is nearly a necessity in perhaps a similar way as that of food and energy.

The resurgence of the victory garden is a welcome breath of fresh air in a culture that takes so much for granted, but especially where food comes from. When economically strapped, combined with a desire to change dietary standards, a return to the earth is fueled, regardless of the difficulty for many. This is especially true for those who live in urban centers to produce enough of a percentage to make major differences.

The small car (and to a certain degree) the hybrid/electric car movement has been motivated by saving on energy costs. In turn, and for better or worse, these vehicles become a social statement for the drivers, regardless of the actual savings or contribution.

Regardless of the truth behind these movements or whether they spring from natural phenomenon, they create a social wake – or an awakening of sorts.

No one denies the beauty of the white metal, so it should come as no surprise that it would be re-adopted so quickly.

What is interesting is how it becomes incorporated into the wholesale to retail marketing matrix. If silver wasn’t so far below normal price based on real supply and demand, it would almost seem natural.

As Ted Butler has pointed out over the last few years, inventory movements in and out of COMEX warehouses have been furious.

This is most likely the off-take from just in time inventory practices stretched to the point of snapping.

These unsuspecting recipients of silver charm bracelets will some day surely find that the gift grows in value as well as sentiment.

And for the long term bullion investor, jewelry has always been another way to diversify the monetary emergency kit. Old gold or silver jewelry could be used for smaller, incremental barter, so long as sentimental value is neutral.

But it’s bigger than that. Fashion follows necessity, where form follows function. The switch to silver jewelry may actually reflect an unconscious aspect of physical demand. Jewelry consumers could become the original stackers.

Simple Living Room Decorating

When it comes to decorating your home the main focus should be the living room. The living room is the main gathering area and therefore the highlight of every home. Your goal should be to want your living room to be accepting of visitors and not too stand off-ish. This is where friends and family come to socialize and enjoy each others company. Why not make it a comfortable and inviting living room.

The first thing to consider when beginning such a project is the amount of natural lighting and the atmosphere you would like to create with the color of the walls. If you would like a soothing and relaxing atmosphere a darker tone would be suitable. Whereas if you would prefer a more bright and lively atmosphere a light or vibrant tone will do wonders.

Now take a step back and try to picture where you would like to see the furniture. Look at your walls and choose a pattern or color or even wood type that coordinates well with the color or colors you’ve chosen. Try to picture a seating area which forces people to face each other. This way it creates a scene that encourages every one to interact and enjoy each others company more. When everything is simply facing the television, for example, the room becomes simply a small theater full of zombies and couch potatoes.

Tables and lighting should be your next concern. I for one prefer to have one kind of table or another readily available from nearly every seat in the room. As well as personal lighting. This way every one can be as comfortable as they wish. Not everybody can go this route and they don’t have to. The perfect placement of just a couple pieces can make all the difference in the world.

Once you have all of the major components in place it is time to really have fun. It is time to add your special personal touch with various decorations throughout the room. For the walls you can hang pictures, sconces, trophies, or any number of available wall hangings. You can now also add some little trinkets, figurines, bowls, or any number of other decorative items. Just remember, as in most scenarios, less is more. Try to hold off from having too many items around because then it begins to look cluttered. So keep it simple and you’ll be much happier with the overall appearance and flow of your now newly decorated living room. Enjoy!

Can Color Therapy Heal? Color and Body Associations

Conventional Medicine and Color

Conventional medicine does not dispute the fact that light is important to health. We need to be exposed to full spectrum sunlight, which contains all colors, on a regular basis to stay healthy. Even conventional medical practitioners use specific colors to treat illness. For example, ultraviolet light is directed to the affected area in the treatment of acne and psoriasis. And a premature baby with the liver condition, hyperbiliruminemia, is treated with blue light.

How Does Color Therapy Work?

Albert Einstein said that “All forms of matter are really light waves in motion.” The field of color therapy believes that colors with their different frequencies and vibrations affect different areas of our body and that our organs and tissues need the same energy frequencies as contained in those colors to stay healthy. If there is disease or injury, the vibrations and energy from that area of your body will be disturbed. When colored light enters our eyes, color therapy says that it will trigger the production of specific hormones which are in control of our body’s biochemical system. Applying the color with the correct frequency may give your body the help it needs to restore health. Color cannot heal you. But color may enable the body to heal itself!

Even our emotions may be influenced by color. Studies have indicated that red light, for example, can excite you while blue light has a calming effect.

Color and Body Associations

According to the field of color therapy, this is a summary of each color’s related body area.

RED: Adrenal Glands, Lymph System, Lower Extremities, Prostate Gland (men), Elimination System, Bladder, Teeth, Skeleton System, Sacral Plexus

ORANGE: Gonads, Reproductive System, Lumbar Plexus, Sexual Organs

YELLOW: Pancreas, Solar Plexus, Stomach, Large Intestines, Liver, Muscular System, Skin

GREEN: Thymus Gland (controls the immune system), Heart, Lungs, Circulatory System, Chest

BLUE: Thyroid Gland, Neck, Throat, Hands, Arms, Brachial or Cervical Plexus

INDIGO: Pituitary Gland, Temples, Carotids, Forehead

VIOLET: Pineal Gland, Brain, Nervous System

Color Therapy Glasses

A simple, convenient and inexpensive way to treat your body to color therapy is to wear color therapy glasses. While wearing them, light entering through your eyes is concentrated at a certain frequency, depending on the color of the lens, and may help your body to balance the appropriate area as described above.

Time For a Tough Talk?

Even when things are going extra well, there are times when a problem or issue must be taken head on and tough talking is essential. Delivering tough and sometimes unpopular messages effectively is not only about what you say, but also how you say it.

Here are some tips to help when it’s time to tackle a tough problem and talk through problems which many would rather avoid – whether internally with your team members, or with a valued client.

First focus on objective facts. Put it plainly, without commentary, opinion, value judgements, and sentiment.

Dimension the problem.  Measure the situation and describe its impact so that it is widely understood and appreciated.

Numbers speak for themselves. If you have numbers, let them talk for you.

Be clear and forthright about the biggest and most serious issues. Don’t beat around the bush, pussy-foot about, or avoid it.

Deal with the “  elephant   in   the   room “. Don’t leave folk wondering, guessing, or hanging on for the real agenda.

Succinctly present key facts. Simplify into bullet points, headline statistics, graphs, and diagrams to communicate clearly.

Present your action plan. Even if the final solution isn’t apparent, articulate a plan. Be clear about what will happen next and further steps in your plan.

Say what you expect or need to progress to a solution. Remove any ambiguity about what you want from each person so each understands the part they play in resolving the problem.

This formula does not mean that you or anyone else will enjoy a tough talk, but rather that what you have to say is more likely to hit its target.

Kitchen Remedies – Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) has a colorful history of healing. The ancient Greeks thought that putting Rosemary garlands on their heads would help them learn, this has not been proven to be true, but of course it couldn’t hurt.

Rosemary has been long used as a preservative, especially for meats. This is true, the antioxidants protects fats from being attacked by oxygen. This fact could save many picnics, by mixing a generous amount of crushed leaves into your hamburger and adding it to your pasta and potato salads. Rosemary compares favorably with BHA and BHT as a preservative.

During the middle ages, the English began incorporating Rosemary into their wedding ceremonies and funerals. For weddings it was thought to be a symbol of fidelity and in funerals it was for remembering the deceased. Rumor has it that by the 16th century Rosemary planted around the house meant that the woman was “in charge” so husbands began tearing up the plants to prove they ran their homes.

According to legend in 1235, Queen Elizabeth of Hungary was paralyzed. A local healer soaked Rosemary in wine and rubbed it on her legs and she was healed. Even today the use of “Hungary Water” is prevalent.

Several studies have shown that in lab animals Rosemary as an oil or seasoning can reduce the risk of several cancers by 1/2. It has not been proven to work on humans, but it seems to be worth trying in my book. The cancers that it works on in animals are colon, lung and breast. In some studies the oil has been rubbed on the skin and in others it was fed to the animals. Either way having Rosemary as a regular in your diet is an easy preventative.

Rosemary is most often currently used as a stimulate for the circulatory system, used for headaches, indigestion, a gargle for bad breath and in baths for relaxation. It is said that a cup of Rosemary tea is as effective as an aspirin.

To make rosemary tea, use 1 teaspoon crushed leaves to 1 cup boiling water and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. You may drink up to 3 cups per day.

Rosemary will also relieve nasal congestion due to flu, colds or allergy. Rosemary will strengthen your heart and reduce blood pressure.

As an after dinner drink it will ease indigestion.

Rosemary will also ease menstruation pain. It should not be used by women who are pregnant as it will also relax the womb.

Externally it works as a wonderful hair rinse to strengthen your hair, reduce dandruff and stop premature balding.

The oil used externally will help ease the pain of stiff and inflamed joints. It is a wonderful addition to a foot bath to relax and ease sore feet.

Rosemary is a wonderful ground cover in your garden and grows in light sandy soil with full sun. To much watering will cause root rot. That makes it a perfect plant for someone who does not get around to watering often. It should be started as a plant as seed is difficult to germinate. It will withstand zero weather without any care. If you live in an area where the temperature drops well below that, mulching in the fall will keep the plant over winter.

Studies have shown that it really doesn’t take a lot of Rosemary for it to work. It is a wonderful flavoring for meat, potatoes and vegetables and even a teaspoon a day will have therapeutic effect.

For more information on herbs and home remedies please visit me at

Self Improvement And Motivation – Who Do You Think You Are?

The need for self improvement and motivation is often one of the big starting points in the whole business of “how to change your life”. But, before we go any further with the subject of self improvement and motivation, let’s pause and reflect for a moment.

What is really implied here?

Firstly that “I have a self”, and that this “self” that I have is incomplete, not fully functional, or in some way in need of improvement.

Secondly, that I need motivating to improve myself and change my life, and this is often because there is a part of me (or maybe several parts of me) that don’t actually want to see any “self improvement” and are actually quite happy with how things are right now thank you very much!

Let’s briefly deal with second point, why do you need help on how to motivate yourself? Why can’t you just decide to do something and then just do it? What’s stopping you?

There is an “elephant in the room”!

The internet is awash with “self-help” materials – articles, books and courses on “how to motivate yourself”. Endless advice, tips, tricks and lists of “self motivation tips”.

However in my view, and based on my own direct lived and observed experience, most of this completely misses the point.

Who and how do you think you are (and why)?

Let’s look a little more closely at the “self” bit of this business of self improvement and motivation.

If you were able to dedicate sufficient time to the enquiry of: “Who am I?” – or if you don’t have the time but are prepared to take the word of those who have pursued this enquiry – at least as a working hypothesis – what you would find is that ultimately there is no separate “I” in the sense of an ego as a “stand alone entity” that is distinct from everything and everyone else.

I have been down this line of enquiry myself – as a by product of some extremely testing situations that have persisted over many months and years – and it is quite scary (but ultimately liberating) to see all the layers of who “I” am peeled away.

So if I asked you right now: “Who are you?” What would immediately pop into your head: “mother of”, “wife of”, “ex-husband of”, “manager at”, “director of”, “free thinker”, “free spirit” etc?

The thing is, if you persist with this and look deep enough in your never ending quest to try to “find yourself” (does this sound familiar?) all you will find is a large amount of ideas about me, thoughts that I have, concepts, ideas and images of me – all the stuff that makes up “how I see myself” and that defines “my self image”.

At the crustacean rock bottom sea-bed level of your THINKING mind, what you will find is that there is nothing there except an “operating system” of largely automatically pre-programmed thoughts and responses that runs the bag of bones that we like to THINK of as “me”.

There is no thought based self to improve!

There is just a large bunch of software that we can upgrade, tweak and re-install!

As with any computing system it is very useful to have some degree of insight and understanding into how the hardware side of things functions, how the software runs and also some understanding of the operating environment.

Or to put it in more conventional language, it is helpful and resourceful to have cognitive insight and to become informed and educated about the processes and mechanisms of “how to change your life”, and to have access to some transformational tools and processes that can facilitate that change.