Behind the Front Covers
Here we focus on some of the iconic Alchemist front covers and explain the stories behind them.
ISSUE 5 | October 1996
Howard Davies, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, highlights two issues. First of all IMF gold sales but secondly, and of relevance to today, the implications for the gold market/LBMA members if the UK joined EMU. Wind the clock on 25 years and now we're wondering about the implications of exiting the EU.
ISSUE 12 | June 1998
The new LBMA logo was launched, reflecting the early chemical symbols for gold (the sun) and silver (the crescent moon).
ISSUE 13 | November 1998
From the moment you wake up until you fall asleep, silver plays an essential role in your everyday life. The cast of pure 9999 silver above, destined for fuse wire, will be drawn down to less than the thickness of a human hair, as explained in the article by Susanne Capano on page 16. The first colour photograph appeared on the cover of Alchemist 13.
ISSUE 19 | April 2000
Ten tola bars – the preferred gold sold in Dubai – marking the first ever LBMA Conference, which was held in Dubai (19-21 February 2000), interestingly with a cocktail reception on Saturday followed by two days of plenary sessions on Sunday and Monday. Read the article by Susanne Capano, ‘Dubai 2000’, on page 6.
ISSUE 31 | June 2003
Philip Klapwijk looks back at the impact of the first Central Bank Gold Agreement of 1999. Not only did the CBGA head off a likely plunge below $250, but the shock it provided also triggered important structural changes – the two key being reduced short selling by funds (sound familiar?) and, above all, an about turn by producer hedgers.
ISSUE 56 | October 2009
‘Fireworks over Edinburgh’ – gold prices sky rocket as LBMA heads for its tenth Annual Conference in the Scottish capital. Originally planned to take place in Lima, the Conference was switched following the ongoing fallout from the 2008 financial crisis. Edel Tully previews the Conference proceedings on page 10.
ISSUE 61 | January 2011
The Hoxne Hoard was discovered in Suffolk in 1992. This hoard of gold and silver coins, jewellery and tableware was buried during the collapse of Roman rule in Britain. Although we will never know exactly why, one of the theories advanced is that it was concealed as a bulwark against the uncertain times. Do physical buyers today have similar motivations?
ISSUE 67 | July 2012
The London 2012 Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals, which were exclusively produced for the games by The Royal Mint.
ISSUE 79 | October 2015
“O Richard! O my king! Thou art by all forgot, Through the wide world I sadly sing lamenting thy drear lot.” As the LBMA Annual Conference heads for Vienna, the coins, from the Austrian Mint collection, depict the legend behind the capture of Richard the Lionheart near Vienna. Read the preview of the Conference in the Editorial by David Jollie on page 26.
ISSUE 81 | April 2016
On page 5, Adrian Ash explores the monetary and economic satire underlying the children’s classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, featuring the United States’ 1896 political battle over following the Yellow Brick Road of a Gold Standard, plus the moral it offers US voters and gold investors.
ISSUE 86 | August 2017
In this edition, LBMA publishes for the first time the amount of gold and silver held in the London vaults. As at 31 March 2017, there were 7,449 tonnes of gold, valued at $298 billion, and 32,078 tonnes of silver, valued at $19 billion. This equates to approximately 762,939 gold bars and 1,120,283 silver bars. Read the article by Neil Harby and Joni Teves on page 3.
The latest data for end December 2020 shows that there was an all-time record high of 9,537 tonnes of gold, valued at a record high of $578.8 billion. There were also 33,608 tonnes of silver, valued at $28.6 billion.
ISSUE 95 | October 2019
Ruth Crowell, LBMA CEO, in the Bank of England gold vaults. The feature item of this edition was Ruth’s interview with Victoria Cleland (pictured together in the vaults), Director of Banking & Payments at the Bank of England.