Source: NORFED, Inc.
The National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal
Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code (NORFED) is
producing and marketing gold and silver medallions that
NORFED calls "Liberty Dollars." The United States Mint and
the United States Department of Justice have received
inquiries regarding the legality of these so-called "Liberty
Dollar" medallions. The United States Mint urges consumers
who are considering the purchase or use of these items to be
aware that they are not genuine United States Mint bullion
coins and they are not legal tender. These medallions are
privately produced products and are not backed by, nor
affiliated in any way with, the United States Government.
Moreover, prosecutors with the Department of Justice have
determined that the use of these gold and silver NORFED
"Liberty Dollar" medallions as circulating money is a
Consumers may find advertisements for these medallions
confusing and should take note of several issues related to
First, the advertisements refer to the product as "real
money" and "currency." These medallions might look like real
money because they—
However, despite their misleading appearance, NORFED
"Liberty Dollar" medallions are not genuine United States
Mint coins and they are not legal tender.
- Bear the inscriptions, "Liberty," "Dollars," "Trust
in God" (similar to "In God We Trust"), and "USA"
(similar to "United States of America"), and an
inscription purporting to denote the year of production;
- Depict images that are similar to United States
coins, such as the torch on the reverses of the current
dime coin, 1986 Statute of Liberty commemorative silver
dollar and 1993 Bill of Rights commemorative
half-dollar, and the Liberty Head designs on the
obverses of United States gold coins from the mid-1800s
to the early 1900s.
Second, the advertisements confusingly refer to NORFED
"Liberty Dollar" medallions as "legal" and "constitutional."
However, under the Constitution (
Article I, section 8, clause 5 ), Congress has the
exclusive power to coin money of the United States and to
regulate its value. By statute (
31 U.S.C. § 5112(a) ), Congress specifies the coins that
the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to mint and
issue and requires the Secretary to carry out these duties
at the United States Mint (31
U.S.C. § 5131). Accordingly, the United States Mint is
the only entity in the United States with the lawful
authority to mint and issue legal tender United States
18 U.S.C. § 486, it is a Federal crime to utter or pass,
or attempt to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver
intended for use as current money except as authorized by
law. According to the NORFED website, "Liberty merchants"
are encouraged to accept NORFED "Liberty Dollar" medallions
and offer them as change in sales transactions of
merchandise or services. Further, NORFED tells "Liberty
associates" that they can earn money by obtaining NORFED
"Liberty Dollar" medallions at a discount and then can
"spend [them] into circulation." Therefore, NORFED’s
"Liberty Dollar" medallions are specifically intended to be
used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to
compete with the circulating coinage of the United States.
Consequently, prosecutors with the United States Department
of Justice have concluded that the use of NORFED’s "Liberty
Dollar" medallions violates 18 U.S.C. § 486.