News Article

A Fish with a Coin in its Mouth

Here we are saying goodbye to spring and knocking on summer’s door.  I always look forward to this time of year because that’s when Warren and I have our annual stockholder meeting. We’ve been having this meeting every year for the last thirty years, in an 18-foot boat with a 20-horsepower motor in the wilds of Ontario, in what’s called “The Canadian Shield”.  Warren is fun to fish with because he’s as good a fisherman as he is a numismatist so I get to learn a lot when we fish and talk coins.  We had a great trip this year and I can’t believe it has come and gone.  We’ve always tried to weave our interest in fishing with our coin business, so it’s not uncommon for us to ask a client about how the fishing is in their area.  Sometimes we strike gold (no pun intended) and the person not only has a pond or lives on a lake, but they invite us to come fishing and do a numismatic evaluation of their collection.  A win, win situation.

Years ago, we were invited to Thomasville, Georgia by the minister of a church group.  They had some coins that they had been given and they wanted to know their value and to build a nice numismatic portfolio.  As it turned out, the minister knew several plantation owners and he got permission to allow us to go fishing on their bass ponds.  Fishing these private ponds is awesome because these fish have never been fished for before.  We always catch and release, and if the size warrants it, we take pictures.  

We went to Thomasville many times over the years and developed a very close relationship with the minister.  He thought that our enthusiasm over coins and fishing was remarkable.  One day he said to us that he had been thinking about our logo, which is a coin with a rock formation called, “The Old Man of The Mountain”.  This rock formation was the New Hampshire state symbol until it collapsed about 15 years ago.  The minister said that he had been thinking about us and thought that an appropriate logo would be a fish with a coin in its mouth.  I knew he was referring to some pretty heavy symbolism and with some further investigation my thoughts were justified.  I always think about this when we’re having our annual meeting.

I just want to mention an observation that I’ve been making recently and it’s an observation that I haven’t made in about 7 or 8 years.  Friends and acquaintances of mine have been coming up to me and saying, “Hey Dave, what’s up with gold?”, “What’s all the talk about 90 to 1?” or “Is silver too cheap or is gold too expensive?” 

The last person that asked me a similar question about if it was a good time to buy gold prompted me to reach over and grab my copy of the Wall Street Journal. 

I said, “Look at this front page.”

It was riddled with articles about the escalating tensions between the US and Iran, crypto currencies being backed by major US companies, Washington embracing the US debt, and homebuyers who don’t know if a house has a history of flooding or not. 

“What do you think?” I asked. “Do headlines like this motivate you to seek some sort of protection like owning gold or is it just another day selling newspapers?” Most people think that it’s just the way the world is and there’s not a call of urgency.  I’m of the persuasion that it’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

The point of this observation is that when people that never show an interest in hard assets start asking me questions like, “what is 90 to 1”, and they don’t know what they’re talking about, means that something is brewing! 


David Carleton, a New Hampshire native was introduced to coin collecting by his father and Grandfather in the 50’s. Gold bullion speculation dominated the 70’s culminating in 1980 when focus on Numismatics returned. He became a life member of the ANA , met Warren Mills  (his coin Guru) and they cofounded RCNH in 1990.