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Lost in the Rush!

Doug Talks

Doug Talks from Santa Fe...

Unnoticed: Lost in the silver and gold rush!!!

Economic whiplash and other forces are rapidly changing the America we have known. Headlines continue to tell the stories that have affected our lives these past few years, and few of us have escaped unscathed. Tales of unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure, business failures, and lives altered by all manner of situations related to the global financial condition, keep us aware that things are changing in a big way, with few solutions in sight.
Amidst this, the stock market struggles to regain what has been lost, and regardless of the gains and losses of common stocks, the startling rise in prices of gold and silver is noteworthy. Silver was averaging $4.95 in 2001, and today is almost $24.00 per ounce! In 2001, gold was $275.00, today’s price is $1333.50! Prices have risen well above all expectations or predictions by experts. Many experts are now predicting that prices could double or more from present highs, within the next couple of years!
Interestingly though, the impact of this rise has been little noticed or commented on as to how it affects or might affect, the people of New Mexico. Nowhere have I seen or heard mention of the fact that the New Mexico jewelry industry is suffering greatly due to these escalating prices. No public alarm is sounded about the possible ripple effects that could be felt in business closures, job loss, retail closures, tax revenue loss, reduced tourist appeal for our state, and the reduction and loss of an important traditional craft and lifestyle: Silversmithing in New Mexico.
Taken for granted, this segment of New Mexico’s craft market supports thousands of citizens of our state, both Native and non Native American. Revenues are generated at the jewelry supply level, large and small jewelry production shops, jewelry designers, independent silversmiths (and goldsmiths), and at the retail and wholesale levels. Sales of jewelry products created within our state, contribute to revenues being brought into our state (and nation), and along with their export goes the goodwill and advertising of the state of New Mexico.
Silver as well as turquoise, has long been a vital part of the very identity of New Mexico. It is iconic Americana in the eyes of the world. That identity is now being threatened, along with the people whose livelihoods make it happen. As with many other segments of our society, we are witnessing rapid cultural change. The continuing rise in precious metals prices will mean the end of much of the traditional silver jewelry business as we have known it. And loss of part of New Mexico’s soul.

Pop Art ... Bang Blam!!!

Pop Art ... Bang Blam!!!