Many people know that in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, through Executive Order 6102, confiscated gold from the people and criminalized the possession of monetary gold by “any individual, partnership, association or corporation.” But not as many people know about FDR’s Executive Order 6814, signed on August 9, 1934, that “required all persons to deliver [their silver] to the U.S. government.”
In exchange for the silver, people received a payment of $1.29 per ounce in the form of “standard silver dollars, silver certificates or any other currency of the United States.” But government placed a “fee” (read tax) of 61.32 percent taken out of the $1.29 per ounce for “seigniorage, brassage, coinage, and other mint charges” that reduced the payment to about 50 cents per ounce.
The order required that all silver situated in the U.S. with a fineness of 80 percent or more; and silver held in quantities over 500 troy ounces by any one person, be turned in to government. It exempted unprocessed silver of less than 80 percent fineness, silver contained in articles fabricated and held in good faith for a specific and customary use and not for their value as silver bullion (presumably silver ornaments, jewelry and/or silverware); and silver held for industrial, professional, or artistic use in amounts less than 500 troy ounces per person.
The government “nationalized” nearly 113 million ounces with this scheme and acquired an additional 1.353 billion ounces under the Silver Purchase Act of 1934. As Bill Walker wrote for LewRockwell.com:
This Act instructed the United States Treasury to purchase silver until the world price of silver rose above $1.29 per ounce, or until the monetary value of the U.S. silver stock reached one-third the monetary value of the gold stock. (Note that this huge US government expenditure occurred at the worst time in the US Great Depression, when most ordinary Americans were struggling desperately to avoid bankruptcy). As a result of the U.S. manipulation, from early 1933 to the middle of 1935 the price of silver had tripled.
Like the gold confiscation – which was sold to Americans as a way to stimulate the economy but was instead a scheme to allow the Federal Reserve to print more money – the silver confiscation allowed the Fed to print more money (this time coins.)
We are often asked when recommending gold and silver for wealth protection whether a similar order will be signed to confiscate gold and silver from the people. Of course, politicians can do and will do whatever pleases them. The laws forbidding things from being done are either repealed or ignored.
But I don’t believe the total amount of gold and silver in circulation is sufficient to warrant the effort. More likely, government will just steal the more than $20 trillion in private pension funds, IRAs and 401(k) accounts.