was a champion of freedom, a modern day hero. He owned Camino
Coin in Burlingame, CA, which he sold about a year or two
was a long-time friend of recent presidential candidate, and freedom
champion, Ron Paul, who also once owned Camino Coin.
was also the publisher of LewRockwell.com.
I first met
Burt Blumert when I needed to sell some silver back around 2004
for a stock deal. Burt was the only dealer I could find who could
give me a wire transfer the same day for the size of silver that
I wanted to sell.
Burt became one of my top suppliers, and also a good friend. For
a while, I did not know how important and influential Burt was
to the freedom movement. Part of that must have been due to his
wry humor that was lost on me. I once suggested to him that he
should write, and he quipped, "Who has time for writing?"
when I knew so little about who he was, and so much that he has
written. I thought he was serious. I was clueless.
To get a
glimpse into the man let me tell you a few stories.
I was visiting his Coin Shop, waiting patiently to talk to him
as I was waiting to do one of my typically large deals, he was
on the phone for a long time trying to convince a man to not buy
just a single ounce of gold, because the shipping cost would be
an excessive premium on the cost of the gold, as shipping would
cost too much for shipping and insurance for a single piece of
gold, which is an exorbitant percentage, and thus, it would make
far more sense to gather a group of friends together to buy at
least 10 ounces, so as to save money on the shipping, and pay
less of a percentage. Burt went around and around with this man,
saying he would be happy to ship one gold coin if he insisted,
but he passionately tried to talk him out of it, as Burt honestly
thought that shipping only one coin would be a bad deal.
I was amazed
and touched by several things. First, I was touched by the obvious
love that Burt has for all of his customers, whether small or
large. I was also astounded that he would spend so much time on
one customer, particularly a small customer, when I was waiting
right there, when my own purchase was so much bigger. I was also
astounded that he was actually, and passionately, trying to talk
the man out of the sale, for his customer's sake!
it also revealed something about Burt's attitude towards where
the gold price was headed. After all, I reasoned at the time that
a 10% premium would be counted as next to nothing if the gold
price were headed upwards of several 100% over the next few years.
learned that Burt published LewRockwell.com.
felt like Burt knew more about me than I did about him. Once he
quipped, "Yeah, it's been a while since we've had any of
those heavy hitting stock traders buy silver, and when they start
buying, you know it's time to sell." I thought I should have
reminded him that I was a large stock trader, and then launch
into all the reasons why one should buy silver, but I just kept
quiet. I suppose he probably knew that about me and was just teasing
me. The humor of these bullion dealers, you have to watch out.
A few years
after I met him, I finally attended one of Burt's freedom conferences
in Burlingame, CA. It was unlike many of the other mining shows
I've been to in Canada. The only thing that is similar is the
annual "Freedom Fest" in Vegas in the summer.
At the second
freedom show I attended, I brought my brother Terbo
Ted, who later was inspired to run for congress.
"It's funny, all my friends are so passionate about freedom
and are so against government corruption, but all these old guys
know so much more about it on an intellectual level, and they
are all so cool, because they can express "down with the
man" so much more eloquently! Our dad would have loved to
know about these guys!"
had good things to say about us, as ignorant as we are, he remarked
about us, "It's good to see young people like Jason and Ted
here, you guys are the future."
a few serious conversations with Burt, too. I once asked him about
the guys at GATA.org, who are doing all they can to reveal the
market manipulation in the gold price. I have high respect for
both GATA and Burt, so of course, I wanted to know what he thought.
me that he has been a gold dealer since 1959, and that it was
outright illegal to own gold bullion until after 1975, so compared
to back then, today we have a free market in gold. To him, the
"young fellows" over at GATA should not be so surprised
that governments make war on gold, as "it's always been that
me one of his essays in which he says GATA deserves to win the
"Freedom Futility Award," in his essay: "The
King Doesn't Like Gold, Never Has, Never Will Unlike Mr.
it's always been that way during Burt's lifetime, but not in all
of human history. At times, governments rise up in support of
gold, as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine
Empire's gold standard lasted over 600 years.
people today just don't know as much as men like Burt Blumert
does. Part of the problem with being so smart is that you can
be out of touch with what the common man knows.
often think that the U.S. government has the gold to back the
currency in Fort Knox, not knowing that the U.S. government has
only 261 million ounces of gold or less, which, even if they had
the full amount is not enough to back even 1% of the money in
to my point about the Byzantine Empire with:
I want to
focus on that first story I told you about Burt. Think of how
important it is to convince a customer to convince a few of his
friends to buy gold, too.
I did some
more thinking about that. The U.S. Mint only has 1015 direct
distributors. All mints work that way, with so few direct buyers.
In turn those distributors can only handle a limited customer
flow. In turn, their dealers can handle a limited customer flow,
and so on.
Coin Shop, we handle about 50 customers a day, in a busy day,
and being open 6 days a week means we can handle about 300 people
per week, as, of course, many are repeat visitors. But the city
of Rocklin is 50,000 people. To serve so many people nearly half
of our customers, 166 of them, would have to open up their own
coin shop, each serving another 300 customers, to serve the whole
needs a whole lot more Burt Blumerts, and we will sorely miss