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Outlawed Assets: The Gold Coin That’s Illegal To Own



Clear Facts

  • The 1933 Double Eagle gold coin, although minted, was never legally circulated and is considered government property. Owning one today is illegal and could lead to confiscation.
  • From 1933 to 1974, private gold ownership was banned in the United States as part of the strategy to combat the Great Depression.
  • Modern gold investing laws require any gold sale or purchase exceeding $10,000 to be reported to the IRS, and gold imports are subject to a duty of around 3.9%.

The world of gold investing is a labyrinth of fascinating stories and unexpected regulations. One such intriguing rule revolves around the 1933 Double Eagle gold coin.

Although minted, this coin was never legally circulated and is now considered government property. Today, possession of this rare $20 coin is not only illegal but could also lead to its seizure. This makes the 1933 Double Eagle an enthralling yet forbidden piece of gold coin history.

Investing in gold isn’t solely about understanding market trends and price analysis. It’s also about navigating a terrain filled with unique legal rules that have, over time, shaped the gold investing landscape. These rules make gold investing a captivating field for those who are aware of its legal complexities.

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Between 1933 and 1974, owning gold was not merely a financial decision but a legal issue in the United States. The government prohibited private gold ownership as a strategy to combat the Great Depression, mandating citizens to surrender their gold to the Federal Reserve. This drastic rule altered the American investment landscape for over four decades.

In the contemporary era, there are no restrictions on gold ownership, but large transactions are monitored by the IRS. Any gold sale or purchase that exceeds $10,000 must be reported. This rule is in place to maintain transparency and ensure tax compliance, adding an additional layer of responsibility for large-scale gold investors.

Importing gold into the United States also has its own set of rules, including customs duties. Typically, a duty of around 3.9% is imposed on gold imports, a policy intended to regulate the inflow of precious metals into the country. This rule requires investors to declare their gold imports and pay the necessary duties, ensuring legal compliance.

One of the more fascinating aspects of gold investing laws is the exemption for collectible and rare coins. Even at the height of the gold ownership ban, collectors could legally own rare gold coins. This exception not only presents an interesting loophole but also highlights the diverse nature of gold investing and the importance of understanding its legal nuances.


Gold investing in the modern era is a mix of historical awareness and current legal compliance. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced investor, understanding these aspects is crucial for successful gold investing. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Gold forms: Gold investments come in various forms like bullion, coins and exchange traded funds. Each has its own market dynamics and legal considerations.
  • Market trends and risks: Keeping up to date with gold market trends and understanding the associated risks is crucial. This helps in making informed decisions on when and how much to invest.
  • Choosing the right vehicle: Depending on your investment goals and risk tolerance, select the appropriate gold investment vehicle. Options range from physical gold to gold-related securities.
  • Working with reputable dealers: Engaging with reputable dealers is key. They can provide valuable advice, ensure legal compliance and offer authentic investment products.
  • Staying informed legally: Keep up to date with laws and regulations governing gold investments. This includes understanding tax implications, reporting requirements and any restrictions on gold transactions.

The world of gold investing is steeped in rich history and unique regulations. From the legendary 1933 gold coin to the complexities of modern gold ownership laws, understanding these aspects is essential for anyone involved in gold investing.

Whether for diversification, preservation of wealth, or sheer fascination, gold continues to be a captivating asset in the investment world.


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