IS IT TRUE THAT THE GOVERNMENT CONFISCATED GOLD IN 1933?
Yes, at the height of the monetary and banking crisis during the Great Depression the U.S Government signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 5, 1933 by executive order prohibited the private ownership of gold bars, gold certificates and certain type of gold coins.
DID THE GOVERNMENT PAY FOR THE GOLD?
Yes, President Roosevelt’s Order required gold owners to trade in all but $100 worth of the gold coins in their possession to a Federal Reserve Bank in exchange for about $20 per ounce.
Note, shortly after the government raised the price of gold to $35 per ounce. This effectively devalued the dollar by approximately 42% and raised the price of gold by approximately 75%. So that means the $20 per ounce you were given now only had a value of about $12.
HOW LONG WAS GOLD ILLEGAL?
For 40 years any citizen who was caught with gold was penalized up to $10,000 which is about
$180,000 today and/or 10 years prison. This is one of the reasons why many Americans are unfamiliar with gold as an asset class and the benefits gold provide. The United States left the gold standard in 1971 (President Nixon) and allowing U.S citizens once again to own gold in 1974.
WERE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS ON THE GOVERNMENT CONFISCATION?
The Executive Order that banned private ownership of gold included several exceptions. One exception allowed people to own gold coins having a recognized special value to collectors/ investors of rare and unusual coins. Consequently, it is estimated that only about 1% of the gold coins minted prior to 1933 remain in existence today, and those coins now have increased value due to their scarcity. Also in the years to follow the Treasury Department at various times identified Pre-1933 U.S gold coins and all Pre-1935 foreign gold coins which it considered to be of recognized special value to collectors/investors.
CAN THE GOVERNMENT CONFISCATE GOLD AGAIN?
As of now, there are no restrictions on gold ownership. The United States ability to recall gold is limited to times of war/monetary crises and requires Presidential action or an Act of Congress. We can not guarantee if or how the government might prohibit private ownership of gold or silver in the future and no one can say with certainty if a particular gold or silver product would be exempt from any future prohibition.