Precious Metals Prices Help Fuel Liberty Dollars Market
Government Confiscations before
founder's trial also increase interest By Mike Sussman
Rising Precious Metals Prices Help Fuel Liberty Dollars
Market: The Liberty Dollar is a privately manufactured currency
issued in gold and silver rounds and gold and silver certificates.
The certificates are “warehouse receipts” for
actual precious metals that are owned by the bearer. They
were issued by Bernard von NotHaus who was convicted in
the Western District of North Carolina in March 2011 of
conspiracy and counterfeiting charges. The first gold and
silver backed coins, called rounds, were struck in 1998
at a private mint in Idaho.
Until July 2009, Liberty Dollars were distributed by Liberty
Services, formerly known as NORFED of Evansville, Indiana.
Von NotHaus, founder of the Royal Hawaiian Mint Company,
was the principal of NORFED, which is an abbreviation of
“National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal
Reserve and the Internal Revenue Code.”
Since Liberty Dollars are made of gold, silver, platinum,
or copper, their current value fluctuates with the price
of these intrinsic metals’ values. The base value
of the Liberty Dollar was $20 Liberty Dollars to one ounce
of silver. When the operation closed, one ounce gold Liberty
Dollar pieces were denominated $1,000 with a charge of 10%
over the spot price with membership. The prior base values
were $10 silver ounce, $20 silver ounce, and $500 gold ounce.
Discounts for members ranged from 0% to 50% for short periods
of time. While not claiming to be legal tender, Liberty
Dollars have always been worth their intrinsic value in
The original value of the precious metal in the Liberty
Dollars was less than the dollar denomination printed on
them. A Liberty Dollar that is imprinted $20 might have
contained $15 worth of silver. Profit was made by selling
these coins for a small mark-up of, for example, $18. Merchants
made a profit by using the full face value of $20 in making
change. However, in times of great bullion appreciation,
all of this is moot because the actual value of the Liberty
Dollar is its precious metal content.
In the first part of 2008, the value of the metal in the
Liberty Dollars approached their face values as silver rose
to over $18 per ounce and gold to $1000. Presently silver
is about $35 per ounce and gold is $1777. The 1998 Liberty
Dollar is 1 ounce Sliver that is .999 fine. The $50 and
$100 of 2003/2006 are 5 ounces Silver and .999 fine.
In a much publicized trial in 2011, von NotHaus was convicted
of multiple charges including conspiracy against the United
States, that the Liberty Dollars are counterfeits, contraband,
and subject to seizure; von NotHaus was also labeled a domestic
terrorist by the United States FBI. As a result of this
trial, holders of Liberty Dollars might be concerned that
their pieces might be subject to seizure as well; however,
there is no indication from federal authorities that they
plan to confiscate privately held Liberty Dollars.
Liberty Dollars are currently available for sale on eBay
and other venues. A 2000 1 ounce gold piece with a $500
face value is listed at $2,500, and quarter ounce .999 fine
silver $5 round is offered at $25.65. A $10 one fifth ounce
silver 2008 Liberty Dollar is listed for $18.99. Clearly
if these pieces were purchased at a discount to their face
value or at face value, they have already appreciated or
have the potential to appreciate in value as the price of
the metals increase.