Burt Blumert died of cancer today. He was 80 years old.
I first met him, I think, in 1965. He was a close friend of R. J. Rushdoony, who had been on the staff of the Center for American Studies, an extension of the William Volker Fund. The Volker Fund was in Burlingame, California. So was Burt’s coin store, the Camino Coin Company. Rushdoony began buying gold coins from him sometime around 1964.
The Camino Coin Company has been a fixture in the hard money movement for four decades. Burt retired in 2008, transferring ownership to an old customer. The store was never big. It had only a handful of salesmen. He knew that the hard money movement was not huge, because he knew so many of the people who actually bought coins for their gold content.
We met at a 1965 meeting that Rushdoony held at San Marino, California, an upscale suburb of Los Angeles. Rushdoony had asked Burt to bring coins to sell. Burt did. He sold a lot of coins that day. Overnight, he became the largest volume coin dealer in the West Coast. There were not many non-collector coin buyers in 1965.
I had been brought in to speak, as I recall. I had been working with Rushdoony, on and off, since the summer of 1963. I was in graduate school.
Burt and I hit it off from the beginning. That was true of everyone who knew Burt, as far as I ever knew. He was truly gregarious. He was not a high-pressure salesman. He always had a new joke to tell. They were clean jokes. They weren’t great jokes, but they were in endless supply.
He knew more about the day-to-day coin markets than anyone I ever met. He had no grandiose theory of why metals prices went down or up on any given day or month. But he believed that the Federal Reserve would eventually resort to inflation to keep the system going. He was amazed at the longevity of the fiat money system.