Goldline, a company that sells gold coins, has an important announcement: coin collectors made out well in the 1930s and were protected from “the whims and vagaries of a spendthrift government.”
So why should anybody care about this now?
One reason is that gold prices are hitting record highs, so sellers of the precious metal are shifting their marketing into high gear. While we’re not about to tell you whether or not gold is a good investment (we’re sure you’ll tell us in the coments, though), we’re pretty confident of one thing: The government is not about to come and confiscate your bullion.
Goldline shares this history lesson:
Times were very good for many Americans in the mid- to late-1920s: the stock market had grown exponentially — driven, in part, by a frenzy of investing which sent stock prices well beyond their true value. In 1929, the frenzy ended. Black Tuesday started a stock market crash which ultimately led to the Great Depression. By 1933, the demoralized nation looked to Washington, D.C. and President Franklin D. Roosevelt for salvation. Seeking to inflate the dollar in an effort to combat the depression, the United States government issued an order confiscating gold bullion from American citizens under threat of fines or imprisonment. There were certain limited exceptions. One of the most notable exceptions was that Americans could continue to own: “gold coins having a recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.”
For the most part, though, the law was never enforced, and was later overturned. Today, Americans can own as much gold as they can fit in their hidden book safes, safe deposit boxes, or buried backyard bunkers.
But never mind that. According to Goldline, “the events of the 1930s and the decades that followed help to prove the importance of owning collectible gold coins.” Goldline customers can even get a free copy of Executive Order 6102 printed on faux parchment. We really want to say something about this not being worth the paper it’s printed on, but we’re sure Goldline has already beaten us to it.
Government Confiscation of Gold in 1933 [Goldline International]