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The Facts on Gold & Silver

15% Rule

In the summer of 1984 Congress passed a new law that distinguished between bullion and numismatic gold and silver. Please read this carefully as it could be used in the future as another standard to define what is exempt from confiscation. The law on the books 1933 stated that gold or silver coins must have a recognized collector value above the basic metal spot price at the time of the sell back to qualify as a collectible other than as bullion. This is generally accepted to be a 15% or greater than the basic metal cost. Why would they possibly make such a distinction, unless they planned at some future date, to recall bullion?

Frantz Pick feared confiscation offered advice on the subject. He said: "I am afraid one day the government will indeed call gold in. Gold bullion will be subject to confiscation. This is one big advantage to numismatic gold such as Double Eagles. It’s an idiosyncrasy of governments that although they may prohibit ownership of gold in any form, they are reluctant to touch collections of numismatic gold coins."

Today there are some 49 countries which forbid ownership of gold by their citizens, but do allow holding gold coins for numismatic gold coins. For these are the only gold holdings that could be kept in your safety deposit box without fear of confiscation."

Why did Roosevelt exempt gold coins, having recognized a special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins? His executive order did, after all, call for the confiscation of "all gold coins. Look at the wondering here; Exempt from the surrender requirement were not the "owners" of rare gold coins, nor the holders of them, nor persons who possessed" them nor even "investors". On the contrary, the order specifically focused on individual's motives for having rare gold coins, exempting just one classification; "Collectors".

A clear distinction was made between the “Collector" and the "investors”. A collectors primary interest in rare coins is enjoyment. It's for historical, aesthetic or cultural reasons. An investor’s interest in rare coins is for financial—to make a profit. Roosevelt clearly intended to exclude only the collector.

Subsequent Treasury Legislation added the original Executive Order an amendment stating "gold coins" made prior to 1934 are considered to be recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.