It's not only gun sales that spiked after Election Day. So did the sale of Gold Eagles from the U.S. Mint.
While Eagle sales hardly set a 'record' last month, as touted at the Drudge Report, they did turn in the best number since July 2010, and the best November since 1998. The final figures out this morning from the Mint indicate 136,500 ounces.
'There is a huge influx of new high-net-worth individuals that are buying a lot of gold, and they are taking physical possession of it,' David Beahm tells Reuters: He ought to know: He's vice president at bullion retailer Blanchard & Co. 'This quarter,' he adds, 'is shaping up to be one of the best since the last quarter of 2008.'
Hmmm, we seem to recall something about the world coming to an end back then...
The rolling 30-day average of sales, measured in dollars, does indeed look impressive on a chart going back to February of this year and likely prompted Drudge's careless headline...
Anonymous 'analysts' reaching for explanations are chalking it up to 'political uncertainty due to a heated U.S. presidential race and $600 billion automatic cuts in government spending and tax increases early next year,' according to Reuters.
Ah, yes, the fiscal cliff - the handy explanation for everything from growing gold sales to an epidemic of nail fungus...
On the other side of the world, a new catalyst for gold is taking shape in China. Banks there can trade gold among themselves over the counter, starting today.
'From a government perspective, gold is seen as currency, and the government is slowly releasing the controls on currency. We expect the [gold] market will be opened up to more foreign banks,' Standard Chartered global chief of metals trading Jeremy East tells The Wall Street Journal.
Indeed, Mr. East says China aims to build up Shanghai into a competitor with London as a major gold trading center.
Next step: the development of a gold ETF to trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Dave Gonigam for The Daily Reckoning Australia