Today, I am honored to be interviewing Michael from Market Harmony LLC. As you know from my review of The Copper Cave and the pictures of the copper bars I have purchased from The Copper Cave, I am about the biggest fan of Market Harmony copper bars out there. Let's just be honest, I'm not just a fan, I'm obsessed with Market Harmony's products. I cannot get enough of them. In addition to hoarding their copper bullion bars, I'm now accumulating silver bars as well. Get ready everyone for perhaps the most interesting article yet on Gold Why, our exclusive interview with Michael, the owner of Market Harmony. (Also, when you're done with this interview, make sure to check out new pictures of my Market Harmony bullion bars.)
Gold Why: Michael, a huge thank you for doing this interview. It really means a lot to me and the Gold Why readers. I am so excited about it!
Market Harmony: Honestly, the pleasure is all mine. You give your readers a great resource for coin and bullion investing on a personal level, and I feel privileged just to be a part of it. I can tell that we both love what we do.
Gold Why: Thought it would be great to start out with a general overview for those who are not familiar with Market Harmony. What is Market Harmony LLC and what are some of the products you offer?
Market Harmony: We are a source of targeted products and services that help to bring balance to client's health, wealth, and happiness. That sounds like a lot, and it is, so we are working on development as opportunities present themselves. At this time, we are really focusing efforts to balance portfolios with a reasonable percentage allocation of precious metal and base metal bullion products. Due to the current worldwide economic conditions, we feel commodities should be a part of everyone's portfolio, and we are offering gold, silver, and copper bullion products for investors and collectors.
Gold Why: As you know I'm extremely fascinated with your products and the overall history behind your business. How did you get started producing bullion bars? Did you know from the beginning that you would be selling the bars online or was it more of a hobby turning into a business?
Market Harmony: Like all journeys in life, it has been a long road; and it's so nice to hear about satisfied customers along the way. Current bullion operations have evolved from an idea spawned by someone I personally admire the most, my father. Better than a textbook or any internet website, his practical knowledge has educated me on life, and specifically on the value of real money. When Market Harmony first began producing bullion, it was based upon his comments of the copper market, his experiences in China, and his views of what might be in store for people in years to come. I found it feasible to incorporate the ideas he gave me into a business model. The first foray into bullion production started with an old dental lab furnace and a graphite brick. Neither of which is used today, so you can say that it has been a learning and growing process. The growth since then required a dynamic approach in order to continue meeting the needs of clients. I almost forgot to mention how much fun it is! Doesn't the kid in all of us want to play with molten metal?
Gold Why: In some of our conversations, you mentioned that there was a lot of trial and error in the early days, all of the stories being quite amazing. How have things changed over time? How did you start out originally and how has this morphed into your current production process?
Market Harmony: When casting first began, the end products would come out in a very raw state - dirty, malformed, and ugly. Methods were researched and innovated which tried to solve these problems - sometimes with disastrous and painful results. New equipment had to be acquired to improve the process and safety. Today, casting is fairly smooth, and final products are much cleaner, consistent, and attractive. Stamping our products with weight, purity of metal, and our makers mark has only begun since the start of 2009. Now, the focus of innovation is to improve capacity, expand the product line, and continuously improve the appearance.
Gold Why: One of the things that really interests me is just how distinct your bars are from the other copper bullion producers. Standing out the most is how your bars are each very unique "works of art." Could you please go into some of the main things that make your bars different?
Market Harmony: Not only do we offer some exclusive and unique forms, but every bullion product is hand produced. There is not one bit of automated equipment in the production process. Each bar or ingot develops a unique character along the way, from casting to applying the final stamp. We also package our products with an individual serial number for future referencing. Even if the style of bar or ingot is the same, no two Market Harmony bullion products are ever alike.
Gold Why: Start to finish, how long does it take to make the average copper bullion bar? What are some of the steps involved?
Market Harmony: On a good day, one person can only make about 200 ounces of copper ingots from start to finish. Silver and gold would be a multitude higher. This includes processing scrap, melting, casting, cleaning, stamping, packaging, and inventory recording of 10 ounce ingots. But to say that 200 ounces per day is the capacity would be wrong as there are so many processes that are better handled one at time which actually reduce the total time, and thus increase production rates by a small amount.
Gold Why: Recently, I noticed that you started offering silver and gold bars. I actually just purchased a three ounce silver bullion bar. I'm infinitely impressed and could you please give an overview of your silver and gold lineup? How did you decide to diversify your product lineup including copper, silver, and gold?
Market Harmony: First of all, thank you for choosing Market Harmony to add to your silver collection. The silver lineup currently includes silver bars and ingots of various shapes, weights, and purities. Some investors and collectors like small, medium, or large weights; or they like to diversify into different forms. With the exception of the really big ingots, there is something for every type of investor or collector. Gold products are only available in small weights, but we can process into larger sizes if required. Silver and gold have higher stores of wealth per weight than copper, so diversifying into these commodities corresponds with some investors' strategies.
Gold Why: How has the response been to your silver and gold bars so far? In the future, do you plan to offer other metals as well such as aluminum, brass, bronze, or nickel?
Market Harmony: As with all of our products, we have been blessed with some very nice reviews by our clients. At this time, gold, silver, and copper are our core products. Diversifying beyond these will need to examined.
Gold Why: You offer such an interesting portfolio of products, ranging from traditional bullion bars to pyramids of copper and silver bullion? What are some of your top selling products?
Market Harmony: Our hottest sellers are the medium and large copper ingots. A previous silver pyramid ingot client used his bullion as a card weight in the World Series of Poker. So, that has been one of the most interesting sales. The medium silver ingots, like the one you recently purchased are really hot items now that the price of silver is rising.
Gold Why: In 2009, what are some of the things we should keep an eye out for? Any big changes or new products?
Market Harmony: The website is in dire need of upgrading and our clients deserve better than what is currently in place. As time permits, changes will be made. Maybe not all at once, but I would like to implement these as soon as possible. Product development will be in the form of final appearance, but I am also keeping my eyes open for some new molds to cast special shapes.
Gold Why: Browsing through your website, I can see that quite a bit of attention has been given to your company name, logo, and philosophy. This is something I truly admire. Collecting and investing in metals is a spiritual and financial experience for myself. Could you please go into some detail about your personal philosophy?
Market Harmony: Personally, I am a positive person. For every bad, there must be a good. And, balancing these in our lives is a constant struggle that I see throughout the world. Achieving this balance is harmony, and that's what I wanted to bring to the marketplace. Naming my company was quite easy. Metals are a way to balance the inflationary cycles that are detrimental to wealth, so it really fits well into the philosophy. Coming up with the logo happened by chance, but it is perfectly harmonious as well. The M and H on top of each other within a circle forms lines and reference points that can be used to make eight equal pie-shaped pieces.
Gold Why: Always fun to get to know the person behind the operation. What are some of your other hobbies and interests?
Market Harmony: I do a considerable amount of travel to Asia and Australia. I am very interested in the cultures, foods, and philosophies of people around the world. I find it very interesting to hear how people everywhere are influenced by world events as well as their own personal experiences.
Gold Why: Taking a look at the overall metals market, we have seen a lot of volatility lately, especially in copper bullion. Longer term, what are your forecasts for the market? Where do you see things heading?
Market Harmony: That's a really big question. I think volumes can be written on attempting to answer it, and never actually reach a firm conclusion. However, there are some major trends happening now that can be seen throughout history. Maybe the circumstances are a little different each occurrence, but anytime that a currency is devalued it causes commodity prices to rise relative to that currency. Massive printing of federal reserve notes will most likely cause the US dollar to become devalued. In the long run, I can't judge the magnitude of this effect, but the anticipated result will be higher prices for consumer goods. Copper is used in just about everything: from your mobile phone to the computer screen on which you're reading this. So I think that as a raw material to so many products, copper has good potential to increase in price. If anyone is investing in copper for this purpose, there is a long term trend in their favor.
Gold Why: Collecting gold and silver coins is a huge hobby and investment for many people worldwide. Copper bullion, however, is a newer market. What are some of your thoughts behind this? Where is the business headed? For someone new to copper bullion, what is your overall advice?
Market Harmony: I never knew just how big "the hobby of kings" was until I threw myself into it. It really is a huge and exciting industry. Copper bullion has recently gained a lot of attention as copper reached $4 a pound in 2008. Since its price retrenchment, the interest has waned, but the smart buyers are accumulating now. When price stability occurs, there will be more producers that will come into the market and expand the hobby. Now is a time where the grass roots of a copper investment movement are taking place. It only has upside potential. For new collectors and investors of copper bullion, I would suggest to first make a decision as to why they want do it. And then let good judgment and general interest guide their buying decisions.
Gold Why: Always a fun question, what is your least favorite part about running Market Harmony?
Market Harmony: Hmmm, dealing with the issues of safety... I'm not a fan of hospital bills.
Gold Why: What is the best part of running Market Harmony?
Market Harmony: Playing with all that metal is a lot of fun. If I could be casting all day, I would. But, what gives me the best feeling is hearing back from a happy customer. Having something made by my hands, and it being appreciated by someone else is really indescribable.
Gold Why: As a closing thought, what is the one thing that everyone should know about Market Harmony?
Market Harmony: We are small... for now!
Gold Why: Well, Michael, it has been a huge pleasure and privilege to interview you. I truly thank you and wish you great success. You know it for sure, I will be a customer for life.
Market Harmony: Thank you very much. I am so glad to hear that you like our products. It's been a great experience to do this interview. I appreciate the thoughtful questions and I look forward to many years of serving the needs of all bullion investors.
Gold Why: Everyone, I give Market Harmony my highest rating and highly recommend you check them out and buy some of their copper, silver, and gold bullion bars. They are truly unique and amazing. After your first order, you will be hooked like myself. There are several easy ways to buy Market Harmony products: their website, The Copper Cave by Susquehanna Hobbies, and their eBay store. Whether you are new to copper bullion or an old time veteran like myself, you owe it to yourself to own several Market Harmony bullion bars in your portfolio! Check out pictures of my Market Harmony silver and copper collection.
Additional Market Harmony Contact Information:
PO BOX 13
Natrona Heights, PA 15065-0013
michael <<at>> marketharmony <<dot>> net
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