Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gold and Silver Liberty Dollars May be Subject to Seizure

Gold and silver Liberty Dollars  held by collectors may be subject to seizure as contraband by federal law enforcement, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Secret Service said Aug. 24, reports Coin World.

Statements by officials for those two federal law enforcement agencies seem to reverse the position taken in comments released from the United States Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, N.C., and published in Coin World in April, that mere possession of Liberty Dollars did not constitute a violation of any federal statute.
Officials of the U.S. Secret Service — which would be the federal agency likely charged with executing any possible seizures — would not provide any definitive comments concerning under what circumstances Liberty Dollars would be seized, said Coin World.

Jill Rose, chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, N.C., told Coin World Aug. 24 that the Liberty Dollar medallions are confiscable as contraband regardless if they are being exhibited for educational purposes only.

Rose served as lead prosecutor in the Bernard von NotHaus case. Von NotHaus, creator of the Liberty Dollars, was convicted in federal court in March on multiple charges involving the alternative currency.
Rose said because von NotHaus’ conviction included violations of Sections 485 and 486 of Title 18 of the United States Code, the Liberty Dollar medallions were determined to be counterfeits, contraband and subject to seizure.


  1. Yet one more step down that terrible road to serfdom.

  2. Counterfeits of what? Counterfeit?

  3. These coins did bear a slight resemblance to US currency, with words like Liberty and "Trust in God" engraved on them. Still, this was a sham trial and a disgraceful crushing of a notable attempt to provide an alternative currency. Jill Rose belongs in jail.

  4. What a "medallion" is, is less clear than a "coin."

    According to

    Medallion (n.): anything resembling a medal in form, used as an ornament, in a design, etc.

    Coin (n.): is a piece of metal stamped and issued by the authority of a government for use as money.

    My contention is that because von NotHaus was calling his product, "Liberty **Dollars**" ("dollars" being the operative word), the attorneys construed his operation as a counterfeiting ring. The "dollar" is the official monetary unit of the U.S., and the U.S. Government has the solitary right to coin money in the U.S. (the court seemed to assume the government also has the solitary right to use "dollars" as the measurement unit on their "product"). If this is so, then von NotHaus was supposedly violating the rights of the U.S. government.

    I wonder what would have happened if von NotHaus stamped his product as, "Liberty Thalers" or even "Liberty Circulation Units" instead of "Liberty Dollars."

    It would be interesting to read the transcript of the court proceedings and judge's brief to see how the different terminology was being used.

  5. Dollar is a unit of weight of silver.

  6. If I had any (I don't), I'd just melt them down. Not ideal but better than losing the gold and silver.