In Gold We Trust

Back in 1907, banks had run out of U.S. gold coins because depositors had withdrawn them all, fearing a recession. So a bank in Baker City, Oregon, having access to gold from a nearby mine, decided to print up its own gold coins. It stamped them with the phrase "In Gold We Trust" to differentiate them from official currency. Which immediately made them a collector's item.

However, government agents soon showed up and destroyed all the existing coins and the dies, since private minting of currency is, of course, illegal. I'm not sure if any of the coins survived.

via Oregon's Golden Years



I found a 1984 replica of the coins on eBay going for around $2000.



The Numismatist - April 1908

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 08, 2018
     Category: Money | 1900s





Comments
This illustrates a major reason the U.S. government stopped stockpiling gold as backing for currency. The Federal Reserve issued, until the 1930's, what was known as "Gold Certificates" imprinted with the guarantee to exchange the printed bill for actual gold on demand. Bank runs for actual gold withdraws would undermine a bank's ability to do business and lead to their closures and, in some cases, their failure, leaving patrons who were not in time to withdraw their assets in ruins. My maternal grandparents were victims of this when the Great Depression started. They went from farm owners to sharecroppers within a matter of a few months.
Posted by KDP in Madill, OK on 07/08/18 at 06:03 PM
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