Gold, Silver and About Our CoinsThe gold coin pictured here was a private issue by Christopher Bechtler. It reads: Carolina Gold; 140 G[rains]; 20 carats, August 1, 1834, The reverse reads: 5 Dollars, C. Bechtler, Rutherford[ton, NC]. More information about this coin can be found at this link.
Christopher Bechtler and his son, August, and later Christopher Bechtler, Jr., a nephew, were of German origin. They lived near Rutherfordton, North Carolina. Between 1831 and 1840, they minted over $ 2.2 million in coins, mainly from ore mined in the Carolinas. They have the honor of producing the first gold dollar made in the United States. “The government mint did not release the first regular series [of gold dollars] until 1849.”
As I noted in my article, “Hard Money in the Voluntaryist Tradition,” what they did was entirely voluntary: they received raw gold ore from local miners and prospectors and turned it into recognizable and standardized discs which people accepted and were willing to use in trade. They provided a desired service; they exercised their common law right; and they defrauded no one. There was no political law to stop them. In fact, during the Civil War, Bechtler gold coins were much preferred to Confederate paper money.
The silver token, which reads: “From The Land Of Feed And Tires; I Am One Ounce of Real Money; Value You Me As You Please; 2001; .999 Fine Silver,” was made by SilverTowne Mint for Inman Tire Service and Inman Feed Mill. This silver round is only one of many barter pieces that have been produced to satisfy the demand for something tangible and real. The story behind their making may be found in my article, “Value You Me As You Please.” A limited number of these pieces are available for sale. Please email for their current price and availability.
In contrast to our first two pictures, Bitcoin is a form of virtual money. Although Bitcoin cannot be classified as a true commodity money, it does have many features that voluntaryists applaud. As mentioned in the Bitcoin Primer, it cannot be forged, or double-spent; it cannot be controlled or inflated by any government; nor is it impeded by any political boundaries. It is a voluntary digital medium of exchange which is completely transparent to all interested parties. We consider bitcoin a hard digital currency because the algorithm for its creation is intrinsically tied to the maintenance of a transaction record that grows exponentially more permanent, but one which is accessible to anyone who understands how to read it.
As we noted on our “Support Us” page, you may consult the following for more information:
“Hard Money in the Voluntaryist Tradition,” Issue 23
“Private Money Firsts” Issue 36
“Hard Money, Soft Money, and Government Money!”, Issue 38
“The Master Plan for Tightening the Noose” Issue 48
“Trust Not in Princes” Issue 51
“Value Me As You Please,” Issue 110
“Paper: No Substitute for Gold!”, Issue 110
“Fed Up with the Federal Reserve” Issue 110
“A Comparison of Real Money, Counterfeit Notes, & Federal Reserve Notes” Issue 115
“Freedom to Choose Your Own Money,” Issue 156
“A Basic Primer on Using Gold & Silver”, Issue 171
What Are We Using For Money?
Murray Rothbard, WHAT HAS GOVERNMENT DONE TO OUR MONEY? (First Printing January 1964).
William Stevenson, “Christopher Bechtler”