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Goldbacks and Foil Notes

A Goldback is a unique form of localized, small-denomination currency made from pure gold foil. It is designed to serve as an alternative to traditional fiat currency and has gained popularity among those interested in precious metals and alternative currencies. Goldbacks are created in various series representing States that have adopted their use. So far, this includes Utah, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wyoming and South Dakota. It is designed to be used as a complementary currency, having interchangeable denominations rather than varying premiums based on gold content. They can be used for barter simply due to the fact that each has intrinsic value contained in the gold.


Quick Facts About Goldbacks and Foil Notes

Goldbacks are designed to be a voluntary, alternative form of currency. They are not legal tender backed by a government but are used in private transactions where both parties recognize and agree upon their value. Goldback have been issued for various states as hundreds of businesses have agreed to accept this gold-backed alternative currency as payment for regular goods and services. Backed by the Utah Precious Metals Association (UPMA), the Utah Goldback was the first to premier in 2020.

The obverse and reverse designs of each goldback foil note are unique to each State Series. The notes feature intricate designs that often include symbols of freedom, historical figures, or local state symbols. They are both aesthetically pleasing and a form of artistic expression. There are five denominations issued in each state series, each having their own unique design with the themes based on the state's history.

Goldback foil notes are intended to be used as a form of barter or trade within communities that accept them. They provide a way to carry small denominations of gold for everyday transactions, aiming to facilitate easier and more practical uses of gold in everyday commerce. Each goldback foil note contains a precise amount of 24k gold that is sandwiched between layers of thin plastic.

Utah was the first issue of Goldbacks. Nevada and New Hampshire joined the voluntary gold-backed currency shortly after. Wyoming joined as the fourth state to participate in the alternative currency. Now, South Dakota has joined the currency.

Goldback Denominations

The value of a Goldback Foil Note is based on the actual gold content in the note. They are available in various denominations, with each denomination having a different gold weight and corresponding design. There are five denominations, each with a distinct nominal face value and a fractional amount of 24k pure gold, giving each foil note its intrinsic value.

  • $50 Goldbacks - Contains 0.05 troy ounces of pure gold.
  • $25 Goldbacks - Contains 0.025 troy ounces of pure gold.
  • $10 Goldbacks - Contains 0.01 troy ounces of pure gold.
  • $5 Goldbacks - Contains 0.005 troy ounces of pure gold.
  • $1 Goldbacks - Contains 0.001 troy ounces of pure gold.

While not officially recognized as legal tender, Goldbacks can be used in transactions between willing parties, particularly in local communities or among those who value gold as a medium of exchange. Their use is more about the mutual agreement on value rather than legal compulsion. Instead, they are a private initiative by the UPMA to create a gold-based alternative to traditional currency. The concept of the goldback is part of a broader movement that supports the use of precious metals as an everyday medium of exchange, and as a way to preserve purchasing power compared to paper money, which can be subject to inflation.

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