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Guest Post: Gold Confiscation - Straws in the Wind

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by David Galland of Casey's Report

Gold Confiscation: Straws in the Wind

In the emails that our readers at Casey Research send our way, questions and concerns about the possibility of gold confiscation rank high.

My somewhat standard response is that, yes, it’s possible, but that we should see straws in the wind well before it happened… allowing us to take measures to protect ourselves.

While I don’t want to make too big a deal about it, there have been clear signs of late that the U.S. government is taking an unhealthy interest in your gold.

My recent article “I Smell a VAT” touched on one such straw. The relevant point being that, thanks to a regulation slipped into the healthcare legislation, coin dealers – and all businesses, for that matter – will have to begin reporting any purchases of $600 or more from anyone, including clients selling back their gold.

While I think the overriding intent is to pave the road for the implementation of a value-added tax (VAT), there’s no question that the legislation simultaneously paints a target on the back of the free trade of precious metals.

Then, a couple weeks ago a friend sent me a copy of Mother Jones, an a unapologetically “progressive” mouthpiece with a cover story titled “Glenn Beck’s Golden Fleece.”

And friend and correspondent Lowell sent along an article with an embedded video link to an lengthy ABC News “investigation” by Clintonista George Stephanopoulos that picks up on the Mother Jones story.

Now that you’ve watched the video – and if you don’t, some of what follows won’t make any sense – I’d like to share some observations based on personal experience.

About Coins

Years ago, I headed up the publishing division of a company (that will go unnamed) with a separate division selling coins. I was there when the coin business started, and while not involved, was impressed at its rapid growth in the heady days of the 1970s gold bull market.

Then something happened. While the founder was a strong advocate for hard money and sincere in his intent to do the right thing by his customers, as the coin business grew, he increasingly recruited “professional” managers to run the firm – hired guns whose sole focus was boosting the bottom line and, by so doing, their bonuses. And the business hired more and more “professional” salespeople – the sort of folks who know how to squeeze a client good and hard.

As the company’s sales soared, fueled by hard-hitting marketing, the founder’s good intentions began to weaken under the onrushing flood of cash that began to wash in. In time, the entire conversation at the coin division switched from “What’s good for the customer?” to “What coins can we sell with the biggest mark-up?”

On those occasions when I was invited to comment on what was going on, I did what I could to argue against the corporate culture that had developed, but my impassioned and increasingly angry fights with the managers of the coin division couldn’t win out over the millions in profits being made. As much as I enjoyed my job, the situation became so degraded, I had no choice but to resign.

Now, let me be clear. The company broke no laws and, in fact, did nothing that I suppose most businesses on to a good thing might not do; marketing was generating lots of prospects, and the sales force was selling.

The problem was that the product line had moved from selling highly liquid government-issued gold and silver bullion coins to selling illiquid “modern rarities,” an oxymoron if there ever was one. Whether “proof” Mexican silver dollars, “treasure” coins, or privately minted commemorative coins, the one thing you could be sure of was that the mark-ups were huge.

Which meant that, in the absence of an active collectors market – which, when it comes to “modern rarities,” just doesn’t exist, and never will – the coins were very unlikely to ever provide a reasonable return on investment, let alone be a good asset to preserve capital. Quite the opposite, they were almost certain losers.

Buyer Beware

In the ABC video, you’ll hear a sound bite from a client of Goldline who spent $5,000 on “collectible” coins, saying that he wanted to buy bullion, but that the sales guy “kinda, sorta talked me into buying these other coins.” Soon thereafter the buyer decided to sell those coins and, when he did, he took a 42% loss. Which, he points out, was a big hit to his net worth.

You can probably spot all the things wrong in that paragraph, but I’ll do it anyway. 

First, the disgruntled former client says he was looking to buy bullion coins, but the sales guy switched him to a “collectible.” Whose fault is it that he allowed himself to be swayed? Quoting Nancy Reagan, when dealing with a salesperson, often times the best thing to do is “just say no.”

Second, if taking a loss of about 42% on an investment of $5,000 really hurts his net worth – he shouldn’t have been buying illiquid coins in the first place.

Third, buying any “collectible,” or pretty much any asset, at full retail and then turning right around and selling it, is invariably a sure-fire ticket to a quick loss.

Finally, who is to say that the coin dealer that bought the coins off the client didn’t lowball him? That, too, is part of generating a profit in the coin business.

While I feel sorry for the former Goldline client, he really can’t blame anyone but himself for that loss. He didn’t do his homework or stick to his guns when the salesman tried to move him up to a higher-margin product line.

As for the company, I don’t know them, but I do know that they spend a lot on marketing and celebrity endorsements. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that money has to be recouped from somewhere – specifically, the clients. Which is why I strongly suspect that, yes, the company’s salesmen are especially aggressive. And that they try very hard to load their clients up with high-margin coins.

Let me recap some lessons from this article, and based on my own brush with the business.

First, if you’re going to become a coin collector, don’t think you can stumble into it and enjoy any measure of success. Do your homework – then do some more – before actually laying out your hard-earned cash. Fortunately, there are a lot of useful resources out there for you to rely on… pricing guides, auction results, and numismatic groups, to name just a few.

More important, however, is that if you are not going to be a collector, then stay away from anything but U.S. or Canada-minted bullion coins, or bullion bars issued by the widely acknowledged mints such as Johnson Matthey.

Will the bullion products be exempt from confiscation, should it come to pass? No. But trying to avoid confiscation by dealing yourself into a large loss right out of the box by overpaying for an illiquid pseudo-collectible is just silly… no matter what the sales person tells you.

What’s in the ABC Video That Should Concern You

While imminent confiscation isn’t really addressed in the ABC exposé of Goldline, there were some things that caught my eye as worthy of further reflection.

The first was the contention by the appropriately named NY congressman, Anthony Weiner, that it was ludicrous to suggest that the government could ever just confiscate a person’s gold. Excuse me? Deep breath. If the Weiner were to repeat that contention to my face, the conversation might roll out something like this…

“What!?! Did you actually just say what I think you said?”

“Why, yes, David, I did.”

“Are you kidding?”

“Why, no, David, I am not.”

“So, a government that can invade countries on false pretenses… arrest people and throw them into prison camps and hold them indefinitely without trial… whisk suspects off to foreign countries to be tortured… hit targets in sovereign nations on the other side of the globe with missiles fired from drones… declare imminent domain to take private property in order to give it to a hotel developer… confiscate homes because someone on the property, maybe not even the owner, is caught with a marijuana cigarette… freeze the bank accounts of anyone suspected of a crime, then not let them use their own money to defend themselves… offer known criminals, murderers even, ‘Get out of jail free’ cards if they testify against someone else… but they wouldn’t confiscate gold? Oh, and by the way, Roosevelt already did it once, you moron!”

“Who are you calling a moron? Security, we have a problem.”

Another deep breath. Pat hair back into place and resist urge to apply my forehead to the keyboard.

But enough of Mr. Weiner.

The second thing that should concern you – and the EVP of Goldline tossed Stephanopoulos a soft pitch down the middle on this one – was when he mentioned that his salesmen have instructions to “advise” their clients on the best sort of coins to buy. Paraphrasing Stephanopoulos, “But your people aren’t licensed as investment advisors, are they?”

No, but I suspect that, if this witch hunt continues, they may soon have to be.

Especially because a congressional committee has been set up to investigate this serious matter. Surprise, surprise, the co-sponsor of the committee is none other than Congressman Weiner. Apparently he was chosen for this particular bit of dirty work. While all of this may be nothing more than grand standing and bare-knuckle politicking, any time Congress gets involved, pretty much anything can happen; keep your eyes open for a fresh assault on the gold coin industry.

And, finally, the thing that probably concerns me most is that, whatever else he is, Glenn Beck is a highly visible and apparently effective critic of the current administration. Having failed to knock him off the air by unleashing a well-financed boycott that chased away many of his advertisers, it appears the Democrats are now pursuing their vendetta against Beck by attacking the business practices of the show’s largest sponsor. No matter what your opinion is of the man, this sort of determined government-backed assault should make your antenna go up.

Is Goldline an angel? Based on my experience with the industry, probably not. But in this case, I’m not sure that that matters as much as that they sponsor Beck’s show.

A Final Word – on Confiscation

Do I think confiscation is imminent? No.

But I do think that the straws in the wind point to yet more regulation. This could ultimately place gold dealers under the watchful eye of the SEC or some other Frankenaucracy that emerges out of the new financial reform legislation.

I am not a fan of regulation – even if it sounds like a good idea. For instance, to protect the ignorant from predatory salesmen. My rationale is that this is not a perfect world and never will be. Humans can and will find a way around every rule (witness the fact that Madoff, the former head of the NASDAQ, was able to scam billions off clients). Therefore, the sooner the citizenry learns that they have to rely on their own common sense – and actually educate themselves – before reaching for their wallets, the better. Having an implied government blessing over every transaction does nothing but create a false sense of security.

But that’s just my particular, and some think peculiar, world view. Back in the world we live in, any new regulations will, if nothing else, assure that any private transactions between you and your favorite coin dealer will become a thing of the past. The new reporting requirement on purchases of over $600 pretty much makes that a reality.

With this new layer of reporting in place, should the sovereignty come to the conclusion that it, versus you, should be in possession of your gold – they’ll know whose door to knock on.

Of course, we can’t know if and when such a thing might occur… but to pretend it can’t is to be naïve or, in the case of Weiner, disingenuous.

In my article, “I Smell a VAT,” I touched on some ideas for how you might protect yourself from a possible gold confiscation (none of which involved buying overpriced coins.

There is one other option I didn’t mention – expatriate. Many of the happiest people I have met in my life have their passport from one country, residency in another, and money/gold in a third.


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Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:37 | 581468 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

From my cold, dead hands Bitchez!

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:26 | 581617 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

This legislation is being repealed as we speak. Check the news on the IRS 1099 reporting.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:38 | 581769 Dantzler
Dantzler's picture

Not so fast, mate.

"Neither amendment achieved the 60 votes necessary to proceed to a final vote for possible inclusion in the “Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010,” which is still under consideration in the Senate."

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 21:59 | 582246 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

another reason to own gold and silver stocks.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:49 | 581494 UGrev
UGrev's picture

I swear to god; I said the same thing (in my head) that you posted. Only I had a clear picture of Heston in a Turkey bubble above mine :)

I don't think people will obey this time around. Anyone have any good info on how much resistance there was during the Gold Confiscation Act's employment? 

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:56 | 581520 Hansel
Hansel's picture

I agree there will be too much resistance this time.  For them to initially confiscate gold, then make it legal for people to own again, then confiscate it once again is too much.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:06 | 581555 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Gold nor Guns will be confiscated,talk about revolution.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 22:09 | 582265 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

there was no violent resistance.  probably much passive resistance/movement of assets beyond borders.  or refusal to turn the stuff in.  little was really "seized".  prosecutions were mostly the result of bank transactions.  they were few and all were guilty at trial, eventually (even if new legislation had to be passed).  hear tell it was all melted into ingots, still in knox or ny, but lower purity than will trade.  it may be most of what's left (or not).

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:34 | 581635 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

It wasn't really a confiscation, people were compelled to turn their gold in for FEDREZ notes.  It's estimated they got about half of the gold that was in circulation.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:00 | 581807 DosZap
DosZap's picture

They got less that 20 Tons total.

Where do you think the near UNLIMITED supply of Eagles and Libs came from in this country now?.

From Europeans, after the ban was lifted.They hoarded the crap out of them.

There are more availbale than anyone one person has FRN's.......anybody.

As for Gline, they love to push austrian corona  shit, and soverigns,(as valuable Non confiscatible collectibles, LOL.

Like other pm sellers, use scare tactics to sell the highest premium crap JUST like them.

The dude on T.V. in the interview, is a loon.

If he was that broke he should have bought silver.

I am sure he goes to a car dealer, and pays sticker or above, for his cars,without a flinch.

Call the Whine Line.



Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:55 | 581513 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Be careful you might just get what you wish for

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 08:20 | 581516 Translational Lift
Translational Lift's picture

The Gubment can arrange that...........Luckily....We outnumber them.............

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:01 | 581539 Rahm
Rahm's picture

Barter Bitzhez!

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:02 | 581545 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture


there will be a black market. count on it. no one is going to be trading a gold coin for tissue dollars.....or blithely paying a VAT....



Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:44 | 582128 thefatasswilly
thefatasswilly's picture

Yes, that's the plan. From your cold, dead hands.

Please, all of you, hoard as much gold as possible. It will do you much good against commando squads sponsored by the pentagon (and yours truly).

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 01:41 | 582641 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

I fart in your general direction, shmuck. Molon Labe, keyboard commando.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:38 | 581470 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

clear path to physical violence (not recommending - just saying)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:45 | 581484 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

Relatively speaking there are damn few physical gold owners.  Those who do have gold also are the people well-armed with plenty of ammo.  Let's take a low figure and say one million, all in different locations. Now Waco, Ruby Ridge, et al. were easy pickings for government thugs. Waco also showed what can happen to thugs who get too damn confident.

So one must ask, what would be the benefit to the government to go after these relatively few people, most having gold, but in small stashes.  The real gold in quantity already being held by TPTB, even if Fort Knox is empty.

It would be in the best interest of the government to just let these gold owners become the new Middle Class in the aftermath.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:08 | 581558 traderjoe
Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:25 | 581613 bronzie
bronzie's picture

there are a number of big stashes - they are called ETFs

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:36 | 581643 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

We are discussing physical gold IN YOU POSSESSION.  It is doubtful that ETFs have anywhere near the physical gold claimed.  I have always said that ETFs serve two purposes:  1) To take demand away from the physical market and into paper

2) To have physical, in whatever quantities, in one place for easy confiscation.

Attempting to confiscate small stashes in MILLIONS of well-armed locations would be pure stupidity.  Just let those become the new Middle Class.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:46 | 581661 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You are right that there are few gold owners -- anywhere.  I've seen fence-sitters waiting for a "reasonable entry point" for the last 10 years.  Losers.

I hesitate to post the entire article, but David Ganz has a nice treatment of the last gold confiscation, and the possibilities of another one.   Ganz is an attorney and is well known by any coin collector and has been in the business all his life.  I am a coin dealer as well so I have to stay on top of this topic.  Below are a few excerpts from his article which appeared in Numismatic News on Sept 9th, as well as a link to the original.

A Florida reader has asked about whether possible gold  seizure actions by the U.S. government, which some say is in the offing, make out a case for investing in gold coins of foreign countries, and asks as an ancillary question whether or not those who strongly believe in gold ought to consider holding some (or all) of their gold outside the United States. one who is contemplating this has shown me the text of the proposed Presidential Finding and Declaration that would be most likely to be necessary in order to force the surrender of bullion, hallmarked items and coins. But I can guess what it will have to say (“national emergency”) and several other key lines of verbiage based on past action.

Just how successful the program of turning in gold was has not been fully explored. I took my collection of Mint reports that go back to 1867 and put a spreadsheet together. See the chart below.

Here’s what these statistics mean: the government’s “voluntary” gold coin retirement program actually took in and melted 125 million gold coins of 351 million gold coins ever produced by the United States from 1795-1933. That constitutes melting 39 percent of all the double eagles struck, 47 percent of all the $10 coins manufactured, and about a third of the $5 gold coins that were produced by the U.S. Mints. Most of this took place 1933-1939 under the “voluntary” recall.

Quite besides the $1 to $20 gold pieces melted, foreign gold coin was also turned in. According to the 1934 Mint report, between 1870 and 1934, the U.S. was a net exporter of gold coin to the extent of about $1,651 million ($1.6 billion, valued at $35 an ounce (or about 45.7 million troy ounces of gold.

However, saved from the melting pot were collector coins. During the 1933 gold recall, citizens were permitted to retain “rare and unusual coin,” as much because the constitution prohibits a taking without just compensation, as because even in 1934, coin collectors and the general public understood that coins had a value that exceed face value or metal content.

The coins that were ultimately declared “collectible” were all U.S. gold coins made prior to 1933; later, all foreign gold coins minted before 1960 were in the equation. Specifically, the law and regulations allowed up to five of each date and mintmark to be held.

That is, for a $20 gold piece, $100 face value in gold coin for each date and mintmark. There are over 190 double eagles and that would allow a collector to acquire 950 gold double eagles at a minimum), which amounts to about 919 ounces of gold worth at current gold price (about $1.1 million). The $10 gold coin set has over 336 eagles in it or about 1,680 coins.

In context, the value at melt is about 806 troy ounces or another $967,000. What the heck: the $5 gold piece collection has over 225 dates and mintmarks from 1839 to 1908, alone (1,125 coins) (another 288 ounces, or about $345,000).

Completely forgetting numismatic value, the gold content of that collection alone would be around $2.5 million (and we haven’t gotten to quarter eagles yet). That should be enough to shield most people from seizure of their gold assets.

There follows a chart showing the makeup of a nice, safe gold holding.  In many cases the collector premiums are very small -- and besides, collecting coins is fun!


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:06 | 581822 boiow
boiow's picture

good article.   i'm sure i speak for a lot of people here in valueing your ZH contributions.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:18 | 581845 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Thank you.  I guess I get frustrated over the number of instant experts on every subject, stirring a pot of some sort all the time and displaying ignorance.  I try to reserve my comments to 2 areas.  1. Topics upon which I have real world or career experience.  2. Totally irritating snark.  Otherwise, I keep my trap shut.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:43 | 581914 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

LOL.  I always enjoy your posts, Rocky.  I didn't think that last one was snarky at all... ;)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:46 | 581917 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Even RR's snark is usually filled with some wisdom and insight.

Then again, you'd expect someone who's 96 years old to have a few nuggets of Gold to pass around. :>)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 19:29 | 581999 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Thats one old Coon. I hope I am alive when I am 96!

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 13:26 | 583504 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Rummaging in garbage cans has its advantages.

And messing with the family dog:

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:47 | 581918 amusedobserver
amusedobserver's picture

Most people don't realize:

1.  The "national emergency" that FDR deemed to exist 1934, in justification for his gold confiscation, was World War I in 1917.  (Go ahead, google his executive order and read it, it's not that long.)


2.  The price of gold from the founding of the Republic thru the time of the confiscation was set at $20.67 the ounce.  Nine months after the confiscation, FDR devalued the dollar 40% to $35 the ounce.  That is, if you wanted to buy an imported item from a country still on the gold standard it would cost 69% more dollars.  So he not only took in everyone's gold, he then creamed their wealth for good measure.


3.  Anyone who thinks FDR is a great man and one of our best presidents is an ignorant jackass.  He was nothing more than a premeditated thief.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 22:30 | 582304 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

i don't know about premeditated; he seems to have been making up most of it as he went along.  still, four elections.  excellent point about ww1; it gets neglected in this.  another reason to avoid wars: they generate such bad legislation (fdr's other world class crime: the japanese internment in ww2).

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:57 | 582160 thefatasswilly
thefatasswilly's picture

Government will be much more aggressive this time around; this depression is far more severe.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:47 | 582139 thefatasswilly
thefatasswilly's picture

You have assault rifles. Government has small, specially trained squads with nightvision, grenades, and most importantly, superior numbers/teamwork. Pentagon is probably collecting information on you as I type this, because you have revealed yourself to be a gold hoarder. Thank Confucius for the internet.

Thus, in response to your comment, LOL. LOLOLOLOOLSJAFOADL

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 01:44 | 582645 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

You really are a douche. Come get me first, sarge. The only rifle you've held was white with a Nintendo logo.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 10:19 | 583070 thefatasswilly
thefatasswilly's picture

Rather be a douche than be a dimwit who is incapable of reading comprehension.

I'm not the pentagon, you fucking idiot. Don't post, ever again.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 16:53 | 584080 The Rogue Economist
The Rogue Economist's picture


"It would be in the best interest of the government to just let these gold owners become the new Middle Class in the aftermath." I think that this mostly sums it up. What most people don't realize is that the government doesn' have to come into your house to confiscate your physically held gold. All they have to do is to set an incredibly high tax rate on the profits of any sale with an assumed 100% profit without documentation. This wouldn't affect the highly wealthy that much, as they would be able to use their larger stores of gold as collateral in loans, which would then be used to scoop up assets at pennies on the dollar in a crisis. I always find it interesting how some coin vendors tout collectables as a way to avoid confiscation, all the while missing or avoiding two key points: 1). Any president who even mentioned the words "wedding ring" in a confiscation order, no matter how bad the crisis, would be committing political suicide. 2). A look into countries with a black market in gold, but no nearby natural source (gold mine) reveals that if you want to trade your gold for a bag of rice, they're going to give you the going rate for 10k jewelry, even if you have pure 24k bullion. In a hyperinflation situation, not only is it dangerous to flash a full gold coin in front of others, they probably won't have enough goods to give you full value. This means that you'll have to shave coins, which renders their pedigree and gold purity stamping useless. If the government is smart when TSHTF, they'll make special dispensations through government approved vendors while sympathizing with the people having to snip up their wedding rings to eat. That way they'll get midt of the gold, and it will be turned in gratefully. Bullion and coins are good, but use 10k gold to survive, then use the bullion to secure loans once the banks restabalize. Collectables are for collectors, not survivalists. (my apologies for any typos. I'm replying on a cell phone keyboard.)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:51 | 581490 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

The people of America where in a 100x better position 80 years ago to defend their gold and they didnt, I kind sorta think that today the government would get away with this sorta thing even more easily, most people like 60% think that only 'fat cats' own gold and would very likely support a confiscation

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:51 | 581499 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

They were given gold-backed dollars back then. Get a clue!

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:49 | 581678 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

actually, I don't think so.

1934: The obligation is changed. The bill is no longer redeemable in gold, but rather in "lawful currency". This is due to the U.S. being taken off of the gold standard. "Lawful currency" in this case means silver.

The Gold confiscation act was April 5, 1933.

So in a sense they took your gold and gave you paper. Oh yeah...nice trade.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:25 | 581745 MarketTruth
MarketTruth's picture

More USA gold confiscations talk... and China is asking their citizens to buy gold, which is VERY WIDELY available as was there a few months back and you could easily buy gold bars in malls, jewelry stores, at many banks, etc.

So ask yourself why China is asking their citizens to buy gold and it is wodely available yet within the USA you must seek it out and virtually all banks do not sell gold. What is the USA afraid of?


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:54 | 582152 thefatasswilly
thefatasswilly's picture

Prob responding to a rhetorical question, but: loss of status as world reserve currency, and thus subsequent collapse (from such a loss and many other factors).

U.S. is trying to stall economically until it can enter WWIII, at which time it will use its only source of remaining power.

Many countries will side against the United States (whose capitol is located in the middle east nowadays), for two reasons: its currency reserve status and subsequent ludicrious economic behavior.

This war will be spectacular. "Win" or "lose," zhong guo will profit most.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:03 | 581546 Slartebartfast
Slartebartfast's picture

Everything I have read states that only a very tiny percentage of ordinary folks surrendered their gold.  There was also a black market for some time.  There was also selling it outside the country.  Anything but obeying like a good slave.  Then or now.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:11 | 581568 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

I read that they gave people a lot of notice, and most people with substantial holdings moved their gold to Europe...

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:47 | 581670 RockyRacoon
Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:54 | 581684 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

No the "average person" was not given much advance notice at all.

The executive order was issued on April 5, 1933 and all Gold had to be delivered by May 1, 1933. A little less than a month. Not much time at all.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 01:47 | 582646 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

And everyone was entitled to keep 5 ozt personal stash. So, aren't you also holding for your "extended" family?

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:14 | 581580 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

America has 1 weekness all of you people who think themselves patriots(to America not its governmnet) well there are just as many if not more people who think of themselves as Patiots serving the Government or on government dole, its like during the Civil War the south and north both thought of themselves as the 'good guys' the biggest carnage in the history of your country happened because you fought a 'Patriotic War' people can be made to do the stiupidest and evil things in the name of Patriotism and Religion and no doubt the next war will be a 'Patriotic war' or 'Religious war' (aren't they all btw?)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:26 | 581615 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.


                              Dr. Samuel Johnson

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:22 | 581605 bronzie
bronzie's picture

those people 80 years ago were far more compliant than people are today

those people of yorn also trusted their government and believed that the govt had their best interests at heart

anyone today who believes the govt has their best interests at heart is delusional


I read a lot about the precious metals but I have never seen any numbers for how much gold was actually turned in in 1934 - I inherited some of the gold that DIDN'T get turned in which makes me wonder if compliance was really all that high even 80 years ago


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:51 | 581675 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Numbers on that here:

Here is a small part of the article:

...the government’s “voluntary” gold coin retirement program actually took in and melted 125 million gold coins of 351 million gold coins ever produced by the United States from 1795-1933. That constitutes melting 39 percent of all the double eagles struck, 47 percent of all the $10 coins manufactured, and about a third of the $5 gold coins that were produced by the U.S. Mints. Most of this took place 1933-1939 under the “voluntary” recall.

Quite besides the $1 to $20 gold pieces melted, foreign gold coin was also turned in. According to the 1934 Mint report, between 1870 and 1934, the U.S. was a net exporter of gold coin to the extent of about $1,651 million ($1.6 billion, valued at $35 an ounce (or about 45.7 million troy ounces of gold.

However, saved from the melting pot were collector coins. During the 1933 gold recall, citizens were permitted to retain “rare and unusual coin,” as much because the constitution prohibits a taking without just compensation, as because even in 1934, coin collectors and the general public understood that coins had a value that exceed face value or metal content.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:05 | 581712 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I love the "voluntary" part. Quite funny. And what would happen if you didn't "volunteer" your Gold?


Normally, those are not the types of options I associate with "voluntary".

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:11 | 581830 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

There was 1 prosecution for not exchanging gold under the act of 1933.  Only 1.

1936 when the safe deposit box of Zelik Josefowitz, who was not a U.S. citizen, containing over 10,000 troy ounces (310 kg) of gold was seized with a search warrant as part of a tax evasion prosecution.[7] In 1933 approximately 500 tonnes of gold were turned in to the Treasury "voluntarily" at the exchange rate of $20.67 per troy ounce.[8]

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:23 | 581859 DosZap
DosZap's picture


Thanks for the correction, an article I read was 20 Tons.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:47 | 582136 mrgneiss
mrgneiss's picture

Great info RR!

I'm sure as gold keeps rising the threat of confiscation will be one of the bears last bullets; its nice to see its probably unfounded.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:34 | 581892 DosZap
DosZap's picture

1936 when the safe deposit box


WHO in their right mind would store that much at the Bank, at risk of confication?.A Jew, who was smart enough to get the hell out of Germany,wasn't smart enough to keep any of this?.

Makes you want to cry,poor SOB.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 19:29 | 582000 weinerdog43
weinerdog43's picture

And he beat the rap.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 22:40 | 582343 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

but lost the gold.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:22 | 581857 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Is that like the IRS?.A Voluntary Program, until you do not volunteer?. (:>

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:39 | 581903 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Here’s what happened last time the President and the secretary of the Treasury got together and decided that there was an economic crisis. William Woodin, the Treasury chief, was a long-standing coin collector. (The Adams-Woodin book on patterns used for 50 years before Dr, Judd wrote his book, shows the extent of his interest).

Woodin found the crisis, FDR decreed it, and it became a patriotic obligation to turn coins in. Some argue that this was a voluntary act (Maurice Rosen, in his numismatic advisory letter, as well as in a conversation in Boston at his year’s American Numismatic Association convention), reminded me that there was but one criminal prosecution for failing to turn coins in.

Disobeying the request by FDR and Woodin was in the face of a cash penalty of $5,000 fine and/or five years in jail, or both. So to the extent that storm troopers did not round up the holders of gold, and ransack houses – yes, the entire program was voluntarily undertaken. But some people knew that it did stink.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:42 | 581912 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Dual citizenship, bitchez!

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:28 | 582094 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

The list of countries that are both worth being citizens of, and would allow Americans in, is short.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:39 | 582119 nmewn
nmewn's picture

LOL...there was never any doubt for me ;-)

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 04:43 | 582719 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Few attractive countries will let you immigrate unless you are gloriously rich or marry a legal resident.  However.  You might be able to buy a long term visa from a bureaucrat.  When I was a young scruffy backpacker I got turned away from a large Mexican Border station.  The guy told me to cross at a small town down the Rio Grande, where I paid ten bucks for a visa.  Canada and Chile are the only countries I would trust.  We make fun of Canadian socialism, but we are just as bad already.  Canada is far more decentralized.  But we now have a good (maybe our last) chance to restore constitutional government in the USA.  Despite ACORN and others, the ballot box is still a very effective tool to keep this country the best in the world.  I expect it will take three election cycles to root out the club members and the stranglehold of seniority privileges.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:16 | 581726 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Those days, hyperinflation and loss of purchasing power was an uknown concept.

They figured: "We are getting paid for it, no big deal."

After the devaluation of the dollar, they realized that they were snookered never to trust government again.

It can not happen today and they know it.

Move on.   

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:18 | 581850 DosZap
DosZap's picture

The American people this would affect are a lot more independent, and knowledgeable that the average bear in '33.Also, they were more ignorant of the the corruption of their Political process, and their politicians.

They were because of this more patriotic, had a diferent set of mores,and values.

Today's Americans,basicaly are sick of gooberment of any kind,have witnessed fascist tendencies, and the ignoring ot the Const & BOR's.

You want citizens to obey the Law?.They will if the Law makers are not crooks,and are not wanton law breakers themselves.

I wouldn't piss on 90% of any of them if they were on fire, much less follow illegal laws,passed by degenerates............

If they expect J6P to obey their laws, then they should have been leading by example...........

No, this time will not be anything like the last time.

I have lived too long,seen to many things, have lived / seen their agenda,I understand it, and know where my line in the sand is drawn.

Like you said in an  earlier post,"Be careful what you wish for you just might get it", that's a two way street brother.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 22:43 | 582350 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

vote ron paul.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:49 | 581492 Segestan
Segestan's picture

No confiscation... a repeat of the Gold Rush of the 1860's... Federal land will be opened. Much more peaceful and enriching for the treasury.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:42 | 581908 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Nope, Gvt has seized all the lands that have Gold on them, that they know of....Idaho, right now, major gold finds all over.......guess who owns 90% of Idaho?.

Remember '94, when Clintion did his big hulabaloo, on declaring 100's of thousands of acres off ,limits to even 4 wheeler, motorcycles?.

This was not to preserve the Enviroment, it was special favor to Sen Barbara Boxer, who's multi millionaire hubby,just so happened to be in the mining bidness, and guess who got EXCLUSIVE rights for exploration?

Uh Huh..........

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 21:34 | 582201 Segestan
Segestan's picture

That may be, but big mining won't stand for an exculsion, nor will the public... big money in providing machinery, labor and infrastructure.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 22:50 | 582380 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

more detail on boxer's '94 husband please.  current is a workman's comp attorney and i can't find a former marriage (didn't look hard).

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:50 | 581495 mikhail kalashnikov
mikhail kalashnikov's picture

gold confiscation will make the prices of lead and copper skyrocket.

perhaps this is the play the gubmint will use to keep the price of gold controlled,

making it illegal to hold gold makes the value drop?

make it unusable for the common man?

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:51 | 581498 Ragnarok
Ragnarok's picture

IF the gov't ever confiscated gold it would go after large soft targets like bullion banks and miners.  No one cares what you have in your sock drawer.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:03 | 581544 LMAO
LMAO's picture

I respectfully disagree. Why should the bankers and financial industry who run the show give their sock-puppets (gov't and the fine citizens of USA) any of their wealth stored in Gold?


I just can't see that happen.



Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:09 | 581561 Ragnarok
Ragnarok's picture

TPTB don't keep their gold in the US, and if they do then it is in private vaults that will be overlooked.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:24 | 581612 LMAO
LMAO's picture

Are you suggesting there is going to be a case of class justice?

No way, that's preposterous.....We are talking about the Fcuking US of AAA man.

The declaration of independance: "we are all created equal" and all that shit.



Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:12 | 581569 midtowng
midtowng's picture

We won't see gold confiscation because if the government felt it necessary to do that they would by default have to admit that gold was money. In doing so it would destroy the value of the fiat currency.

Thus the only way the government would ever confiscate gold was AFTER a crash in the value of fiat currency.

Therefore, even if you knew ahead of time that the government was about to confiscates gold because the value of paper dollars was going to zero, do you really want to hold those paper dollars because you are scared of confiscation?

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:15 | 581586 Ragnarok
Ragnarok's picture

No argument here, I agree.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:44 | 581663 LMAO
LMAO's picture

"if you knew ahead of time that the government was about to confiscates gold because the value of paper dollars was going to zero, do you really want to hold those paper dollars because you are scared of confiscation"


I don't quite follow the logic of your statement.

If you know ahead of time that the value of paper dollars was going to zero there would be absolutely no reason not to buy Gold even though it could be confiscated.

Sure it's always better to take your chances holding something of value and hoping to get away with it contra holding worthless paper.




Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:10 | 581832 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Your signature interrupts the flow of reading comments.  Just sayin. 

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:54 | 581511 LMAO
LMAO's picture

It will happen America.


They have confiscated your rights, money and dignity.

The confiscation of your Gold, if necessary will be quite easy.

By the time things go ape-shit they will convince you it's a good idea to give it all up.



Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:12 | 581573 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

My greater concern would be the unprepared ones would turn on the prepared ones. 

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:52 | 581681 LMAO
LMAO's picture

I really don't see a problem there.

I guess the prepared will simply shoot the unprepared.


(Lol, yeah I know, that was in bad taste. Just be really prepared! is all I want to say to you)


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:55 | 581691 BlackChicken
BlackChicken's picture

The unprepared, might find themselves once again unprepared, for what has been prepared for...them.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:21 | 581855 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

At this point, the "unprepared" that will get any sympathy from me will be few.

Unless you have simply been struggling ass poor and cursed with piss-poor karma...there isn't a lot of excuse.

If you haven't been held hostage in a bubble for the last forty years with no communication with the outside world...there isn't a lot of excuse.

This could go on forever like some bad Jeff Foxworthy, "you might be a pathetic soul deserving of help" routine, but long story short:

I have spent the last couple of years trying to tell my friends, and family that things are gonna get dark.  These are not stupid people.  Yet they insist in finding it easier to keep their heads in the sand and take hits off the hopium bong.  As things get more and more obvious, I get less and less patient.  At this point, FUCK 'EM WHERE THEY SIT DOWN. 


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:59 | 581515 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

Or assassinate US citizens.  If they can kill you without a trial, they sure as shit can take your gold.

And for the record, Glen Beck is a douchebag.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 13:54 | 583549 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

Junk as you will - Glen Buck is a fucktard.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:05 | 581517 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

They dont even need to confiscate gold this time around, they can for example make gold illegal to hold(like marichuana) and force the people to sell, than make gold trade illegal that would have the same effect as confiscation. They for sure can find a 'good reason' that the sheeple(who dont own gold) will believe in(another 9/11 with WMDs?) and turn them against ever1 that has gold/guns/ammo youll see this will be a civil war not a war against them and us only between us, you dont think they are stupid enough to expose themselves and their plans. The guy comming for your gold wont be some Blackwatter mercenary it will be your neighbours son from the National Guard, will you shoot him ?

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:28 | 581624 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Of course.  The neighbors too. 

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:56 | 581692 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:14 | 581843 minus dog
minus dog's picture

"it will be your neighbours son from the National Guard, will you shoot him"

Fuckin' a right I would.

Everyone who puts on the uniform understands the oath.  Break the first damn section of it and you have no right to complain when you end up as dog food.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:50 | 581926 DosZap
DosZap's picture


In order for them to confiscate, they(neighbors) would have to know what you have.Here, I know the ZH'ers are not that stupid.

Even if they didn't come after it themselves, they would rat your ass out,for not sharing.

At this point only you and the one/s you want to have it IF something happens to you,should even know you have squat, and not until you dead, should the GPS co-ords be given.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 01:56 | 582651 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

People here have some weird fantasies about the effectiveness of the Gubmint machine. The so-called war on drugs gives a shining example of how effective confiscation of contraband is, and that is dealing with some of the dimmer bulbs out there. Serious gold holders aren't stupid, but they can play as dumb as necessary.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 08:05 | 582837 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I don't think they really want to win the "war on drugs." I think the war itself is good for business and an opportunity to constantly flex and keep the rest of us in line. I don't think they want to "win" any of these wars they are fighting or they would. But then we would have to be honest with ourselves about who we are and what we are up to. Can't have that.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 12:31 | 583402 Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture


ABC journo can find Osucka Bin Fartin and conduct long-winded interview on camera, but 12 years later US Gubment is 'still lookin'. Right.

Now. Let some average Joe Shmuckatelli stop paying taxes and go on the run, and see how long it takes for them to find him.

Like Ms said, they find who they want to find. The rest are left alone in order to continue serving as necessary 'boogeymen'.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 03:41 | 582703 mamba-mamba
mamba-mamba's picture

I'm not one of the people who junked you, but if they ban the ownership and trading of gold, that is pretty-much tantamount to confiscation, so I agree with that part. But I also think that if such a ban is enacted, the price of gold (relative to goods you may wish to own) will increase dramatically at the same time that all such trading will be forced into a black market.



Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:57 | 581518 Goldenballs
Goldenballs's picture

I care what I have in my sock drawer.Confiscation would be the end game.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:56 | 581519 digalert
digalert's picture

I will use the black market.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:15 | 581582 goldmiddelfinger
goldmiddelfinger's picture


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 15:57 | 581526 mtguy
mtguy's picture

"I'm the government and I'm here to help"

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:12 | 581572 goldmiddelfinger
goldmiddelfinger's picture

In other words, you're from Kenya.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:07 | 581554 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

How would the government know if someone owns physical?

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:15 | 581587 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:34 | 581637 iota
iota's picture

How's that work?

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:06 | 581644 iota
iota's picture


Wed, 09/15/2010 - 04:50 | 582726 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

They would confiscate files from the dealers.  

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:08 | 581556 Slartebartfast
Slartebartfast's picture

The whole point of holding gold and silver is to maintain some form of wealth after the corpgov criminals fade away into history, leaving only bad memories and a period of unhappy chaos.  It's coming.  Max Keiser even predicts a good number of them will see the guillotine.  That would be entertaining and just, but wouldn't solve our problems.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:30 | 581627 cossack55
cossack55's picture

No, but it would be a wonderful opportunity to finish knitting those sweaters I started.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:33 | 581882 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

.... a good number of them will see the guillotine.  That would be entertaining and just, but wouldn't solve our problems.


It would solve a hell of a lot of mine.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 23:06 | 582413 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

better hope not.  the rule of law beats the rule of men.  not every time but that's the way to bet it.  often the revolution kills those first to revolt.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:08 | 581557 michael.suede
michael.suede's picture

In a hyper-inflation situation, no one is going to give a flying crap about the numismatic value of a coin.

Common sense dictates one should stick to bullion or coins with no numismatic value.


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:31 | 581629 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I hedge always.  50/50 bullion/numismatic.  Just in case and no real losses either way.  Win/win

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:11 | 581563 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Desperate men do desperate things. Regarding the power elite (politicians, banksters, corporations, wealthy etc) given the choice of watching their power evaporate and their world crumble down around them or chasing the idea that Gold confiscation will buy them another few weeks/months/years/whatever, I'm putting my money on Gold confiscation.

For those who say "It" will never happen, pick up a few books describing the social and political conditions in Germany, Italy and Japan leading up to their "fascism period" as well as during world war 2. Many people who said "It" would never happen were quite surprised.

"It" always can happen and unless and until we Americans grow a backbone, "it" will eventually happen. I don't wish this to happen. But I all out of hopium folks.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:17 | 581594 hamurobby
hamurobby's picture

Considering that 99% of the population does not own gold, and we live under mob rule instead of a Republic, you have a valid point.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:41 | 581653 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

absolutely.  and 99% of the people don't understand anything about what goes on in the financial world.  someone earlier posted that most probably think gold and silver is owned by the wealthy only and thus would either support confiscation or at the very least be indifferent to it.  i agree.  that would leave the other 1% open for the media blitz categorizing PM owners as loony militia types and so begin the alienation.

not saying it will happen - but certainly not putting it past them.  i don't realistically see how anyone can completely discount the possibility.  it's not like they haven't done it before - and its not like they are any less greedy or power hungry today than ever.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 02:01 | 582655 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Who gives a rats ass. When you are dealing with survival, it behooves one to take reasonable care. Would the Government try to set up honeypot stings to catch black market metals dealings? Probably. Would they be that good at it? Probably not.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:59 | 581941 DosZap
DosZap's picture


Pls, do not be glum.There are milllions out there, that are not sheeple,and have plenty of backbone, been there, done that, and will stand to the last man.The military would have to get involved to even make it close.

And I do not see them doing so.............esp if it involves illegal orders.

They are first and foremost sworn to Protect & Defend the Constituton of the US of A.

POTUS #2............

If the orders do not follow the Oath, they stand down, or at best join the people, because they ARE the people.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:15 | 581567 hamurobby
hamurobby's picture

When talking about confiscation, that might happen. When gold was "collected" and made illegal to hoard, you were paid your $20.70 or so per ounce and then they revalued gold to $35. They have already started printing with no hint of collection, not much to worry about, they will take your guns before your gold. I say your, because I dont got none, me? no sir! nope, never seen eny.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:34 | 581634 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Had some.  Fell out of the Cessna last time I was skydiving over the Rockies.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:42 | 581656 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Had some. Fell out of the Cessna last time I was skydiving over the Rockies.

D. B. Cooper

Are you still looking for that money you lost in the woods? Wouldn't it had made sense to hijack the damn plane in daylight if you were planing on jumping out the back with the ransom? Serves you right. :>)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:19 | 581849 minus dog
minus dog's picture

Yeah, I lost all my gold in a tragic boating accident.  I have since replaced it all with yummy foil-covered chocolate coins.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 23:12 | 582431 MrPalladium
MrPalladium's picture

Same here! Guns? What Guns? I haven't seen any guns around here!

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:13 | 581577 Fascist Dictator
Fascist Dictator's picture

There will always be collectors willing to pay extra for gold coinage.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:13 | 581579 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

When gold was made legal to own, a law was also passed that specifically forbade confiscation.  So there is no gray area for abuse here anymore.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:54 | 581685 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Gray area:  Pass another law.   There is always an escape route for the gov't.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 02:03 | 582657 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

This current crew would make it retroactive...

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:25 | 581864 Blano
Blano's picture

You've never heard of a law being reversed??

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:42 | 581910 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

That would require too much research.  It's easier to just stack laws up like cord wood and let SCOTUS sort it out.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:48 | 581925 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

By the time it makes it to the Supreme Court, the confiscation will have been done, the Gold melted down and the debasement complete. The SCOTUS will rule it unlawful but not reversible.


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:14 | 581581 DonnieD
DonnieD's picture

Slick Rick and LL Cool J should be worried.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:15 | 581584 BGO
BGO's picture

It's surprising to see that an article on gold confiscation includes...

"More important, however, is that if you are not going to be a collector, then stay away from anything but U.S. or Canada-minted bullion coins,..."

Taken in context, that advice is confusing. If you are worried about the government taking your gold, US and Canadian coins should be the very LAST bullion you purchase.

By law, dealers are required to report ALL US and Canadian bullion sales to the US government. The reason dealers are required to report these sales is because US and Canadian minted bullion coins are linked to futures contracts. The US government knows and has a record of every single American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf you've ever purchased from a dealer. (Obviously if you purchase the bullion on the street, through a friend, whatever, the same rule does not apply.)

If you don't want the US government to know how much gold/silver bullion you are holding, invest in Austrian minted bullion. Austrian minted coins are NOT linked to any futures contracts. Dealers of Austrian minted are NOT required to report sales of gold and/or silver bullion to the US govt. The market maker for Austrian bullion is based in the US. The market maker is also the largest retail precious metals dealer in the US.

Contact the market maker @






Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:35 | 581641 bronzie
bronzie's picture

this is the second time I have seen you trying to scare people about gold purchases being reported - is it just a coincidence that both times you have provided a link to some website? you don't have a personal interest in that website do you?  wouldn't that make you pretty much like the slick sales people being referred to in the article?

people are required to show a driver's license when purchasing/selling gold or silver at the coin shop - the shop owner is not required to report the purchase to the government although the govt could certainly obtain the records from the shop owner if desired

there are reporting requirements when you sell gold/silver - if you go over the reporting limits the shop owner is required to get your SSN and issue a 1099

you are suggesting that people purchase their precious metals online - like THAT won't generate any records - Big Brother is watching!




Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:01 | 581706 BGO
BGO's picture

If you would have clicked the link before making a bunch of crazy accusations, you would have saved yourself a bunch of time. And Im not trying to scare anybody. Call any of the big retail dealers, ask them if what I wrote is true, ask them if the main reason knowledgeable investors buy Austrian bullion is because of the privacy issue.  The website in my original post doesnt sell gold any more than zero hedge sells gold. Again, if you clicked the link, you'd know that. If you want to argue opinions, fine. If you want to argue facts, pick one you know something about.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 20:56 | 582156 mrgneiss
mrgneiss's picture

And I refuted your claim last time as well.

I have been making mostly purchases of silver one ounce maple leafs (usually can lower the premium if you buy at least 100) and 10 ounce bars, the occasional gold ounce for several years now, from a mid-size coin dealer in Southern Ontario, always under $10K, I use cash, I just use my first name and they ask me for NO OTHER INFO.

But don't take it from me, take it from RR who is an actual coin dealer.  Are you a coin dealer?

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 18:26 | 581693 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I can say, as a coin dealer for over 20 years, that you are flat WRONG.

By law, dealers are required to report ALL US and Canadian bullion sales to the US government.

If you can quote that law I'd be amazed.   There is normal reporting of any transaction of a certain amount, but no law reserved for ALL bullion metal sales.

And, your "website" quoted:

Buying Gold Online Featured Dealer:  Monex Precious Metals

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 05:02 | 582732 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

I use Monex.  They don't pitch anything.  Just take your order.  Their premiums were very competitive.  I asked why Austrian Phils were cheaper, they said they got a deal on volume, and the lower price means they sell a lot.  Now I like Maple Leafs .

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:46 | 581785 Sabremesh
Sabremesh's picture

Why the obsession with Austrian coins? Forget Austrian coins, buy AUSTRALIAN coins instead, they're absolutely super.

Oh, by the way, I junked yo' ass, because you're clearly just here to promote your website.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 02:16 | 582662 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture


Wed, 09/15/2010 - 02:14 | 582664 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture


Wed, 09/15/2010 - 02:14 | 582666 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Actually the Roos have a higher premium than Phils, but I love 'em both. This is actually a stupid argument starting here - bullion is bullion, except Libertys and Krugs have hardeners. I prefer the straight 9's. If I had to get creative with my MAPP torch, I know how my pure coins would react. 

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 03:49 | 582705 mamba-mamba
mamba-mamba's picture

I recently bought a gold eagle at a coin shop. Paid cash. The receipt was hand written in pen, and the guy never even asked my name. I call BS on your whole premise.

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 13:32 | 583515 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Anecdotal evidence like yours is useful as well.  The reporting requirement(s) he cites are nonexistent.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:15 | 581585 What_Me_Worry
What_Me_Worry's picture

Is a gold confiscation on the horizon, absolutely not, no chance!  

Well, unless our crooked government gets into a lot of trouble and can figure out a way to do confiscate profitably while not inciting the general public too much in the process.  In that case, then absolutely they will, without a doubt.

Give the bully your lunch money once without a fight and he will certainly think of you the next time he is in a pinch.

Yes, I know they can pry it from everyone's dead cold hands.  However, just the decree itself would send a lot of people to the government-sponsored "paper for gold" program.  If they just restrict to 5 ounces again that would exclude probably upwards of 99.5% of the population(probably even higher?).

They would probably just confiscate the low hanging fruit just gathered in various bullion vaults around the country and ask for the rest "voluntarily".

Anything can, and will, happen.  History teaches us that over and over again.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:02 | 581698 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Here’s what happened last time the President and the secretary of the Treasury got together and decided that there was an economic crisis. William Woodin, the Treasury chief, was a long-standing coin collector. (The Adams-Woodin book on patterns used for 50 years before Dr, Judd wrote his book, shows the extent of his interest).

Woodin found the crisis, FDR decreed it, and it became a patriotic obligation to turn coins in. Some argue that this was a voluntary act (Maurice Rosen, in his numismatic advisory letter, as well as in a conversation in Boston at his year’s American Numismatic Association convention), reminded me that there was but one criminal prosecution for failing to turn coins in.

Disobeying the request by FDR and Woodin was in the face of a cash penalty of $5,000 fine and/or five years in jail, or both. So to the extent that storm troopers did not round up the holders of gold, and ransack houses – yes, the entire program was voluntarily undertaken. But some people knew that it did stink.

Of special note:

During the 1933 gold recall, citizens were permitted to retain “rare and unusual coin,” as much because the constitution prohibits a taking without just compensation, as because even in 1934, coin collectors and the general public understood that coins had a value that exceed face value or metal content.

Today you would have to be compensated according to the "market value" of your gold.

That was then -- this is now.   There is no gold-backed currency so the price you will be paid for your gold under a confiscation would be drastically different.

Your retirement account is a much more accessible and lucrative target.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:23 | 581591 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

This subject seems to sexually excite gold bugs.

We are in a TOTALLY different dynamic this time. 

Unlike the Roosevelt Admin, Au has not been used as coinage for 78 years.  NOR do we owe other nations the exchange of Au for our FRNs; Nixon took care of that.

Hunkered-down American collectors are an irrelevent minority to TPTB.

Much of our wealth has already been confiscated, and unless one takes serious personal action, will continue to be confiscated from the majority of peeps - via electronic monitoring, surveillance, taxation, ballooning money supply, sending intelligence and jobs to other countries, et cetera. 

The logistics of confisc would be a Fed nightmare and a Survivalist wet dream.

In short, like the U.S.A. expressly defaulting on its debt (as opposed to implicitly), there is no way confiscation will expressly happen. 

They will get what they want from the great majority, without going door-to-door or sealing safe deposit boxes.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:30 | 581626 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Yes if they for example ban gold trade and ownership without demanding that you hand it over to them, they can make your gold 'worthless' as very few people will be willing to go to jail for trading in gold, it will be a stealth assasination all of you who wish to go out with a bang will be dissapointed all gold holders will go down with a wimper this way. They have done this systematically for the past decade(since 9/11 isnt that convienient?) they have taken away 1 right after another all in small incremental steps, no there wont be a 'gold war' they are not maniacs they are very sophisticated and intelligent and have been making plans for decades this will end with a firecracker size explosion not an atomic 1, and after its over you wont know what hit you

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:34 | 581638 Shiznit Diggity
Shiznit Diggity's picture

I must agree. I think this time the Feds are much more likely to confiscate paper to feed Ben's printing presses. It will be like Mao's Great Leap Forward when everyone in China was forced to scavenge for scrap metal to meet Mao's steel production target, except that in our case it will be paper instead of metal. I predict that, like the Arabs, we'll all be wiping our arses with our bare hands for want of TP.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:37 | 581640 Shiznit Diggity
Shiznit Diggity's picture


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 16:38 | 581642 Shiznit Diggity
Shiznit Diggity's picture


Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:06 | 581714 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

And then there is the question of silver!  Would they take that as well?

Not bloody likely.   Silver coinage is available by the ton, and it already has a denomination on it -- U. S. coinage prior to 1965.  Just as good for money as anything else and better than most.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 17:16 | 581731 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Silver has industrial applications I would be damn hard to ban/controll it

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