Making Your Own Coinage.

kurtak

Well-known member
***
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
2,470
Location
John Day Oregon
18 U.S. Code § 486
this law pertains to the criminal acts of counterfeiting forgery &/or fraud concerning money in particular (making money without authorization by/from the government)
- Uttering coins of gold, silver or other metal
to utter means to declare, express, denote
"Whoever, except as authorized by law, makes or utters or passes, or attempts to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver or other metal, or alloys of metals, intended for use as current money,
per the bold print that means you can not make a coin with a dollar value stamped on it for that would be declaring/expressing/denoting that the coin has a dollar value - as current money - stamped on it
whether in the resemblance of coins of the United States or of foreign countries, or of original design, shall be fined under this title  or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."
per the bold print - even if it is of your own design

In other words - if you tried stamping out $20 gold eagles (without being a licensed/authorized mint) you would be guilty of counterfeiting (U. S. government patent/design)

or if you made your own (design) coin - & put a dollar value on it (declare (utter) it to have a dollar value) you would be guilty of forgery (making your own money)

on the other hand - gold & silver are commodities that are traded everyday on the up & down value they have as a commodity --- they only become currency if you declare (utter) them to have a dollar value (stamp them with a dollar value)

So - by law - as long as you ONLY stamp it with the weight & how fine it is you are only declaring it's commodity value in the up & down market as you are not declaring it to have a dollar (currency) value

so in the case of ONLY stamping it with it's weight & how fine the metal content is you are not committing any crime - as long as the weight & how fine it is are true - if the weight & how fine it is are not true you would then be guilty of fraud

there is no law against identifying &/or trading a commodity as long as the commodity is true as identified

Kurt
 

justinhcase

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,473
Location
Exeter ,Devon ,U.K.

justinhcase

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,473
Location
Exeter ,Devon ,U.K.
 

kurtak

Well-known member
***
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
2,470
Location
John Day Oregon
The title of this thread is - "Making Your Own Coinage"

for the sake of clarification there is a difference between coins & bullion

Coin(age) = coins differ from bullion in that they’re government-issued, have a face value, are legal tender, and are guaranteed by the country of issuance.

Per the bold print - face value - that is the "dollar" value stamped on the "coin" making it "legal tender" to be traded on it's face value - (I take a "coin" stamped with a "face value" of $5 to the store & trade it for a $5 loaf of bread) --- I can't make "coins" because ONLY the government can issue them & the government guarantees there trade value as legal tender of the face value (money)

Bullion = has a value that closely tracks the spot price of the metal (gold silver copper etc.) bullion is based almost entirely on its weight and metal content - bullion can be made as ether bars or rounds

So if you stamp out "rounds" with ONLY the weight & metal content (like the guy with the guillotine) you are making bullion (a tradable commodity) & not making coins (money with a face value)

For what it worth

Kurt
 

cosmetal

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
386
Location
Sacramento, CA USA
Of course, you can also make some Billon. No, billon is not a synonym for a billion bullions. But, you can use your billon to make some Shibuichi so you can repair the guard on your favorite Katana.

Always glad when I can add to the confusion. o_O

James
 

justinhcase

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,473
Location
Exeter ,Devon ,U.K.
Hum interesting.
A sovereign has a one pound face value as a coin but is worth £340 as a "Bullion Coin"
And a Krugerrand has no face value at all.
The Oxford Dictionary only says it is
1.coins collectively."the volume of coinage in circulation"
the action or process of producing coins from metal."the controller of the coinage of tin"
A system or type of coins in use. Plural noun: coinages "decimal coinage"
2.the invention of a new word or phrase."the word is of Derrida's own coinage"

But then we have a great number of countries that have all concocted some sort of internal legislation to control their production.
Some like China allow just about anything to be produced as long as you class it as a novelty, the UK and US have some quite stringent penalty for producing anything intended to deceive others.
But as long as you make them, so they can not be mistaken for an original, you can make copies of out of circulation coinage.
Obviously, forging any present currency would likely have you hunted down by the Secret Service.
I think the question is can you have a flat disc or piece of metal and call it a coin without an official stamp.
Does a coin need to be used as money to be considered a coin, and is there a difference between a coin and token?
In the UK the smallest amount of gold that can be sold legally as gold without the needed to hallmark is one gram, So I have considered producing a small personal struck round in twenty-two karat with a one gram gold content.
Its value would be its content.
I think most people naturally would call that a small gold coin, but it would depend on the court and authority whether we could legally consider it so.
 
Last edited:

kurtak

Well-known member
***
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
2,470
Location
John Day Oregon
But as long as you make them, so they can not be mistaken for an original, you can make copies of out of circulation coinage.
per the bold print - that is true - but (at least here in the U. S.) they MUST have the word "copy" stamped on them (example - a 1939 silver walking liberty half dollar) you can stamp them out exactly as the original but they MUST have the word copy stamped on them otherwise you would be guilty of counterfeiting &/or forgery

I have seen a number of such coins over the years (at yard sales) are made of a nickel/copper alloy with no silver

also - there is a difference between actual (gold/silver) coins minted when we were still on the gold/silver standard & new modern day bullion coins

Actual coins were coins minted by the government with a legal tender face value (dime, quarter, half dollar, $1, $5, $10, $20) & date of minting as well as the governments patented image(s) --- (walking liberty etc.) - they had no metal weight/ content stamped on them --- they were government issued legal tender (face value) based on the gold/silver standard

Bullion coins - are government authorized "copies" of original coins (the government gives authorization to a mint like the golden state mint to copy the original coin (images - walking liberty etc.) as well as there original face value - thereby making them a coin which in turn makes them "legal tender" --- BUT --- they are "also" stamped with the metal weight/content as well as the "current" minting date (1986 - 2022)

So they are both legal tender with a face value (authorized by the government) as well as bullion due to metal weight/content being stamped on them

As a mint (like the golden state mint) you must be authorized by the government to mint bullion coins because though have a bullion value they also have a face (legal tender) value


So as long as you are not stamping them with a (dollar) face value you are not coining money (which would be counterfeiting &/or forgery)

As long as you are stamping them only with there metal weight/content they are not coins (or bullion coins) they are simply bullion whether stamped as rounds or bars

Kurt
 

Noggin

Active member
**
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
34
Location
Illinois
trading coined metal for its intrinsic value is considered barter in most situations. I think that gaming tokens are marked not legal tender because its implied value is greater than the intrinsic?
 
Last edited:

justinhcase

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,473
Location
Exeter ,Devon ,U.K.
per the bold print - that is true - but (at least here in the U. S.) they MUST have the word "copy" stamped on them (example - a 1939 silver walking liberty half dollar) you can stamp them out exactly as the original but they MUST have the word copy stamped on them otherwise you would be guilty of counterfeiting &/or forgery

I have seen a number of such coins over the years (at yard sales) are made of a nickel/copper alloy with no silver

also - there is a difference between actual (gold/silver) coins minted when we were still on the gold/silver standard & new modern day bullion coins

Actual coins were coins minted by the government with a legal tender face value (dime, quarter, half dollar, $1, $5, $10, $20) & date of minting as well as the governments patented image(s) --- (walking liberty etc.) - they had no metal weight/ content stamped on them --- they were government issued legal tender (face value) based on the gold/silver standard

Bullion coins - are government authorized "copies" of original coins (the government gives authorization to a mint like the golden state mint to copy the original coin (images - walking liberty etc.) as well as there original face value - thereby making them a coin which in turn makes them "legal tender" --- BUT --- they are "also" stamped with the metal weight/content as well as the "current" minting date (1986 - 2022)

So they are both legal tender with a face value (authorized by the government) as well as bullion due to metal weight/content being stamped on them

As a mint (like the golden state mint) you must be authorized by the government to mint bullion coins because though have a bullion value they also have a face (legal tender) value


So as long as you are not stamping them with a (dollar) face value you are not coining money (which would be counterfeiting &/or forgery)

As long as you are stamping them only with there metal weight/content they are not coins (or bullion coins) they are simply bullion whether stamped as rounds or bars

Kurt
The modern world and the fields of influence that it pervades never ceases to amaze me.
Despite any of the legislation that is in place, would we doubt a small purposefully worked piece of metal was a coin if that had been the producer's intent.
Despite that intent having existed many thousands of years before the legal structure we prostrate ourselves before was even contemplated.
I like the first ever example of a "Coin" Which was minted in Ancient Egypt. Not even a bar. But it had a stamp of authenticity from the absolute ruler.
So I suppose anyone can produce a coin as long as it is unique and identifiable as your coin, but the coin's eventual value is based on the weight a producer holds in the world and the value of your mark.
 

Attachments

  • first coin..jpg
    first coin..jpg
    235.2 KB · Views: 4
Last edited:

goldshark

Active member
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
35
Food for thought. If I was to mint some coins, of a design that didn't infringe on design or other patent, could I say , in this case," Goldshark dollars", and not commit fraud against the guvmint? They would definitely not say US dollars. Why not mint some that say "net value, 50 bones, bucks, smackers, moolas, etc.?
 

orvi

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2021
Messages
252
The modern world and the fields of influence that it pervades never ceases to amaze me.
Despite any of the legislation that is in place, would we doubt a small purposefully worked piece of metal was a coin if that had been the producer's intent.
Despite that intent having existed many thousands of years before the legal structure we prostrate ourselves before was even contemplated.
I like the first ever example of a "Coin" Which was minted in Ancient Egypt. Not even a bar. But it had a stamp of authenticity from the absolute ruler.
So I suppose anyone can produce a coin as long as it is unique and identifiable as your coin, but the coin's eventual value is based on the weight a producer holds in the world and the value of your mark.
640px-Part_of_the_Farmborough_Hoard.JPG

Similarly Celtic gold coins. Everyone different.
They simply melted precise ammount of gold to the "button" shape, and then stamped it. No precise diameter, no precise anything. It is also considered a coin, altough we could possibly name it "odd-shaped bar" :)
I think for personal purposes, to make some few "family" memory coins, or as a gift, you should be OK. For barter use, I would stick to the weight/fineness model. Just any kind of bar/button shape, familiar to people, stamped with weigh and degree of purity.
In the case when the barter would be the best option, values in precious metals would be handy in just any usable form. And refiners like us will be one step ahead, being able to remelt their stock to the desired size :) and refine/alloy it to the desired purity.
 

justinhcase

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,473
Location
Exeter ,Devon ,U.K.
Food for thought. If I was to mint some coins, of a design that didn't infringe on design or other patent, could I say , in this case," Goldshark dollars", and not commit fraud against the guvmint? They would definitely not say US dollars. Why not mint some that say "net value, 50 bones, bucks, smackers, moolas, etc.?
 

kurtak

Well-known member
***
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
2,470
Location
John Day Oregon
Food for thought. If I was to mint some coins, of a design that didn't infringe on design or other patent
Per the bold print - NO (at least here in the U. S.) you absolutely can not mint (stamp out) coins

First of all we need to clarify that stamping an image, numbers &/or words on a round piece of metal is not what makes a coin a coin - in other words - being round in & of it's self is not what makes it a coin

What makes a coin a coin is when you stamp on it a face value that declares it to have a monetary value as legal tender fixed by the governments standards of weights & measures

Article 1 - section - 8 clause 5 of the U. S. constitution gives the federal government the exclusive right to coin money - section 10 of article 1 even prevents the independent states from coining money - in other words - the federal government (through the U.S. congress) & only the federal government can coin money

Therefore - as a matter of U. S. law - any round piece of metal stamped with an image, numbers &/or words MUST be advertised as a round -- in other words - you can not advertise (call it) a coin if there is no reference to the monetary system of U. S. government stamped on it

Thats why - if you go the the "Golden State Mint" web site they advertise both bullion coins & bullion rounds for sale

There bullion coins have the reference to the U. S. monetary system stamped on them with ether the word dollar or $ symbol - whereas their bullion rounds have no reference to the U. S. monetary system

At the GSM web site you can buy "Walking Liberty" bullion coins which have "One Dollar" stamped on the tails side of the coin --- or you can buy "Walking Liberty" bullion rounds which have NO reference to the U. S. monetary system stamped on it
, could I say , in this case," Goldshark dollars", and not commit fraud against the guvmint? They would definitely not say US dollars. Why not mint some that say "net value, 50 bones, bucks, smackers, moolas, etc.?
Per the bold print - the word dollar in & of it's self is a reference to the U. S. monetary system (as well as other countries) - therefore the word dollar(s) it's self "utters" a face value of a coin representing the U. S. monetray system --- in other words - dollar - expresses the value that U. S. money is coined on - which again ONLY the U.S. congress has the authority to do

Put another way - the word dollar(s) is a reference to the "legal tender" value of U.S. currency (monetary system) as well as a reference to other countries "legal tender" monetary systems

Therefore - yes - "uttering" dollar(s) (stamping the word on a round &/or bar) would be an act of "coining money" as it gives reference to the legal tender value of government issued currency & coining money would/could most certainly be considered fraud in the form of forgery

so - you could get away with stamping (minting) rounds with Goldshark Bones - Bucks - Smackers - Mollas - etc. as they would be bullion rounds & not coins --- just not Goldshark Dollars for that would be coining money in reference to U.S. legal tender currency values/laws

Put one more way - dollar(s) - by law - are defined, established &/or regulated by the government(s) that issue them --- Bones - Bucks - Smackers - Mollas have no such government definition, establishment &/or law that regulates them so you could trade them for dollars (there value would be in the eyes of the beholder) - just not trade them as dollars (Goldshark dollars - or dollars otherwise)

Kurt
 

justinhcase

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,473
Location
Exeter ,Devon ,U.K.
The defining characteristic of a coin is that it has some stated monetary value. Otherwise, your medal, token, whatever, is just another novelty metal disc.
So don’t make your medal a bona fide coin by putting a value on it, and don’t risk making a medal that resembles a coin if you wish to go unhindered by your local authority.
The same goes for transit and toll tokens issued by any local authority and in house tokens for business.
Then we get into the subject of "Virtual Coin's" and crypto blockchain currency.
 

goldshark

Active member
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
35
Thanks all for the discussion. Really just want to make some novelty rounds that look nice, without any troubles from our favorite uncle.
Although a little out of context for this forum, a discussion could be welcome in between the usual about cryptocurrencies, shall we?
 

cosmetal

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
386
Location
Sacramento, CA USA
The following is all true and relates to a post I originated on another board dealing with coins.

On May 4, 2018, I posted:

I saw the attached today when searching through my local Craigslist.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/clt/d/1909-vdb-lincoln-wheat-cent/6575588774.html

I'm no legal expert, but, this definitely would seem to be counterfeiting of a very sought-after rare copper coin. Even if you state that it is a replica, it is supposedly illegal to produce unauthorized replicas of US currency - yes?

Opinions, please.

James


The Craigslist link no longer works, but, the attached PDF is the Craigslist post and picture of the coin they were trying to sell.

I received many answers that, yes, it was illegal. This particular coin is worth from $14 USD to $3,000 USD depending upon its quality.

I was outraged that this person was trying to pull off this crime! 😤 So, I went to the Treasury Dept. website and searched for counterfeits and what to do, etc.

The website said to contact the Secret Service about any counterfeiting. They (the Treasury) even have a hotlink to the Secret Service. Click on it and a Secret Service menu pops up and asks for your zip code and you will get the contact number for the nearest field office.

It gave me a phone number for the field office in San Francisco. Called . . . many rings later, a guy answers:

"Secret Service" along with a long pause - nothing else.

I asked if this is where I was supposed to report suspected counterfeit coins and he answered:

"Yes" along with a long pause - nothing else.

I told him about the coin being offered through the SF Craigslist and how it appeared to be an attempted counterfeit of a very sought after early copper cent from the SF Mint. I told him that the advertisement copy said it was a replica and not US currency but there was no marking on the actual physical item identifying it as a replica. He answered:

"Nothing I can do. He's advertising it as a replica and not trying to sell it as an original" along with a long pause - nothing else.

But, sir! What if the person that buys it doesn't care about the law and sells it as an original to some noobie coin scronger!!! He answered:

"Then it becomes an issue" along with a long pause - nothing else.

I said thank you for your time and have a great day! I didn't make this up.

Moral of my true story:

Most of us live in countries that absolutely love to pass laws. This makes our officials feel important and worth the $$$ we pay them. Sometimes, I feel like I'm breaking some law the minute I step out of my house. But, from the bored tone and unresponsiveness from this Secret Service agent, my opinion is that you all may be right in your views and opinions, but, we are such "small fish" that you may be worried too much.

I am issuing a challenge to all GRF members who live in the USA. That is, if you are worried about your tokens, etc., call your local Secret Service office and "enjoy" the interchange - if you get anyone to answer their "for the public" phone.

Have fun!o_O
James
 

Attachments

  • 1909 S VDB Lincoln Wheat Cent Penny Souvenir Coin - collectibles - by owner - sale.pdf
    150.1 KB · Views: 4

Latest posts

Top