The U.S. Secret Service Bans Certain Gold and Silver Coins on eBay

The U.S. Secret Service has contacted eBay sometime last month and ordered to remove the listings for Liberty Dollar precious metal coins. Citing a consistency in the order with eBay’s general policy of not listing counterfeit items, eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore confirmed the ban.

The United States Secret Service is one of the nation’s oldest federal investigative law enforcement agencies, originally founded in 1865 during the Lincoln administration as a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department specifically to combat the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. The U.S. Secret Service, in addition to its mandate of protecting the president, vice president, and others, is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the nation’s financial infrastructure and payment systems.

The recent intervention of the U.S. Secret Service into the listings at eBay is directly aimed at NORFED Liberty Dollars issued from the now defunct mint of monetary architect. The U.S. Secret Service has contacted eBay sometime last month and ordered to remove the listings for Liberty Dollar precious metal coins., convicted of counterfeiting in 2011.

Recently, a report from the Global Piracy & Counterfeiting Consultants, one of the best-branded counterfeit watchdog groups in the world, sounded the alarm bell concerning the flood of counterfeit gold and silver coins in the U.S. market. One of their findings following a protracted and extensive study is that sellers make use of relatively unregulated auction services like eBay in order to scam consumers by selling them high-quality counterfeits that usually originate overseas.

To protect yourself against the counterfeits the group describes as a multi-billion dollar business, it recommends only buying gold and silver coin products from a professional internet dealer who has been in operation for several years, has professional affiliations and publications, and has a brick and mortar location.

The von NotHaus decision is widely contentious and disputed among the coin collecting world because it goes to the heart of the question over the government has the power to outlaw the private coinage of money, which is a constitutional issue.

The U.S. Attorney, Anne M. Tompkins, said in the decision that attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism.

An example of an opposing view in the coin world came from Seth Lipsky who wrote in the Wall Street Journal that it’s a loser’s game to suppress private money that is sound in order to protect government-issued money that is unsound.

Robert Murphy of the Mises Institute said there is folly in searching for legal loopholes because if any attempts to circumvent the dollar actually got off the ground then the government would find some legal pretext to shut it down.

As the financial climate gets more serious in the U.S. and around the world, gold and silver coins continue to be regarded as an alternative currency, adding to the physical demand in the market. However, the reports of massive counterfeits should be heeded by consumers who should purchase only Government Issue coins from a professional, authenticated dealer.

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