The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 54, December 30, 2012, Article 8


Here are some reader responses to the issue of the banning of Liberty Dollars from eBay and some coin shows. -Editor

Howard A. Daniel III writes:

A week or so ago, Colin Bruce sent me an email with the title: "America, Designed by Geniuses, Run by Idiots." It lists several points prefaced by: "You know you live in a Country run by Idiots if... "

I added the following item to it and sent it back to him: "You know you live in a country run by idiots when you can get prosecuted for making fantasy silver dollars which are called counterfeits by the government... and Chinese counterfeits of US silver dollars are being imported into the country by the tens of thousands."

I know the editor of The E-Sylum tries to keep political items out of this publication, so the following is my attempt to stay as close to the facts as possible.

I do not agree with eBay or Central States banning Liberty Dollars. It is too much "political correctness" for me and has no legal basis.

My definition of legal tender numismatic collectibles are; authentic, counterfeit, replica and fantasy.

a. An authentic piece is one coming from a government authorized maker and is/was legal tender;

b. a counterfeit is a copy of the authentic pieces and is used like an authentic piece as legal tender;

c. a replica is a copy of the authentic piece but made when it is no longer legal tender;

d. and a fantasy is a piece that never existed as legal tender.

As far as I know, all United States coins and notes ever minted or printed are still legal tender. United States law forbids anyone from making a counterfeit (b) but it does not forbid replicas (c) if they are countermarked with "Copy." Liberty Dollars are not copies of US legal tender but are pieces that never existed as legal tender, i.e., fantasies (d).

Besides Liberty Dollars, there are hundreds of currently circulating fantasies in the United States with which you can purchase goods and services. Is the US Government going to now waste even more of our tax dollars prosecuting each community and/or person making/using these circulating fantasies? Do they realize how many thousands of mayors, local officials and business owners are now liable for prosecution based on the Liberty Dollars court case?

The Liberty Dollars are fantasies but some politically correct lawyer in the US Government's Justice Department decided a fantasy Liberty Dollar was a counterfeit. English must be his/her second language! We are now a nation run by idiots and I believe there are so many like them in our society, that our country is lost as envisioned by those who wrote our Constitution.

Perhaps a better phrase might be "Designed by Geniuses, Fully Knowing It Would One Day Be Run by Idiots or Ideologues", hence the separation of powers and methods of recourse for wronged individuals. Perhaps it is time for a test case! -Editor

Joe Boling writes:

On the Liberty dollars' status as counterfeits, at the time of the conviction a representative of the US Attorney's office in Charlotte was quoted in Coin World as saying that the NORFED currency was legal to own and display, just not to spend. She would not allow her name to be used in the article. However, when an ANA exhibitor asked in the summer of 2011 whether he could exhibit Liberty dollars and notes, ANA's general counsel asked the US Attorney's office for that statement in writing, and a contrary opinion was returned - which has gotten less and less favorable to collectors through the intervening months. I suggest that if we really want to see some movement on this issue, somebody like Steven Bieda pursue it (he's a Michigan legislator and frequent numismatic author and speaker).

If you ask me, the mistake was asking for the statement in writing. A verbal OK was already in hand and in print, and the issue should have been dropped. Exhibits could have proceeded normally with no muss or fuss. Instead, we have a mess. And yes, I understand the ANA counsel's caution - I just disagree with it.

Once the question was asked, the hard thing for the bureaucrats would have been to craft a response. The easy thing was to say no. So guess what? - they said no. Had the question never been asked and an exhibit been mounted, the hard thing for the bureaucrats would be to raise a commotion. The easy thing would be to honor to their earlier verbal direction and do nothing. So they most likely would have done nothing. Instead, the hobby now needs a test case to force the issue. And that's certainly not easy, making it rather unlikely to happen. But here's hoping the new year will bring some action on this issue one way or another. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: DO LIBERTY DOLLARS DESERVE TO BE BANNED? (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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