Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

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Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

I have great respect for Stoneleigh at The Automatic Earth (TAE) and value her opinion.  She strongly believes that it will again become illegal to own gold in the U.S. in the future.  I'd like to hear your arguments for or against this as a possibility.  

If there's any significant possibility of this happening, it seems like a good idea would be to own physical gold and store it outside of the U.S.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Switters

I think gold confiscation is a distinct possibility.  It makes perfect sense once it becomes obvious to the US and the world that gold is real money and fiat currency is worthless...but other possibilities exist  including confiscation of 401Ks, roth accounts, confiscation of land by taxation, heavy taxation or confiscation of overseas investments, and the list goes on.   

Will the population comply if ownership is made illegal?  will this include gold and silver?  who knows...

Trying to keep a close eye on the chatter, of which Dr. Martenson does a great job, is probably a good idea.  Any signals that ownership would be made illegal would be an impetus to move into another asset.  Fortunately PMs are very liquid and can be unloaded rather quickly, unlike trying to sell a piece of land.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Well the first thing that would have to happen would be a change to existing law about private ownership of gold. It is certainly possible but I can't see that happening anytime soon.

Then again the government may find some "creative" way to say that they already have that power. Then all they need is 5 of the supremes to agree and then the game is over. I also think that is a long shot but FDR was able to be creative in some of the things that he did so you never really know. In perceived emergency situations the government and judicial system can do some very strange things.

Still I think gold confiscation is improbable.

Ken

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

I don't believe it will be confiscated, unless the price were to hit the moon. Look at yesterday when India bought 200 tons of gold for $6.8 billion. That's chump change in today's world of paper stocks, trillion dollar deficits and bailouts. Now, if gold was priced 5 or even 10 times that amount, then we'd be talking some serious coinage and maybe then I'd change my mind.

Chris wrote a piece about gold confiscation last November that you may want to read again.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/gold-confiscation/9436

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

I've given some thought to this recently.

I just recently encouraged my father to keep all future gold purchase to physical gold held outside of the U.S.

The problem is this, if gold is confiscated it will be so because it prevents TPTB from meeting some goal.  The next round of currency emergencies or market/bond dislocation will have global impact.

If you've kept up with recent events, you are aware that there is a movement afoot for the IMF to gain global regulatory authority.

The bottom line is this IMHO, if gold is declared contraband it will be a global prohibition.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

I think that it would be unecessary for a government to make physical possession of gold illegal unless the US were to attempt to return to a gold-backed currency.  Otherwise the government would have no reason to want the gold - they would only want the value, and the American public does not hold enough to make it worthwhile to specifically target gold (you might as well target real estate holdings, other commodities, &c).

Value confiscation can more easily be achieved through taxes and restrictions.  Even today the inflation-blind capital gains tax accomplishes this purpose.  Suppose you own $1,000 worth of gold.  The dollar thereafter declines by 50%.  The true value of the gold has remained steady, but the nominal price is now $2,000.   You sell your gold for $2,000.  Even though $2,000 post-inflation will buy no more than $1,000 did pre-inflation, you must pay capital gains tax on $1,000 in fictitious profits.  The capital gains tax on fictitious profits efficiently confiscates a portion of the original value.  If the government wished to confiscate the value of precious metals holdings, why not merely increase the capital gains tax on precious metals to 40%?  60%?  The only reason why Washington needed the physical metal in the 1930's was because they were attempting to sustain a gold-backed currency system.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Read this:

http://emsnews2.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/1933-terrorizing-people-into-handing-over-gold/

I think there is little doubt that the idea now is to devalue the dollar to pay off our nations debt. When that happens the only real wealth will be in precious metals. Do you think the government will want your worthless dollars? No way. They will want your gold and they will just take it.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Hi Bluestone,  I'm new to this, today in fact is my first day.   Can you tell me what PM's are?  thank you

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Hi Bluestone,  I'm new to this, today in fact is my first day.   Can you tell me what PM's are?  thank you

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Cynthia,

Welcome to the site.

PM means precious metals, mostly gold and silver but also other costly metals that have commercial value.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

The following are excerpts from a piece written by Don Stott, a curmudgeonly PM dealer, who has decided opinions on a wide range of subjects.  He writes one or two columns a week, but this is one that is permanently posted on his site.

http://www.coloradogold.com/archive/ConfiscationAgain-157.html

Quote:
Supposedly, FDR, America's worst president, confiscated citizens' gold in 1933. He didn't. What he did do, was order everyone to turn in their gold coins and take brand new $20 bills for their double eagles, $10 bills for their eagles, etc. It was supposed to be some sort of "national emergency," which no one ever explained. FDR's order, threatened the populace with fines and jail, if they didn't comply. Many foolish people did trade their gold for paper money, which was then backed by gold. Smart ones didn't. If everyone did, where would the coin shops get the pre-1933 US gold they have to sell today? No one was ever arrested, and no one was ever fined. It was a government order which some obeyed, and some didn't. How could government seize everyone's gold, when everyone had it? 200 million seizures? Hardly! Then again, back in 1980, when gold and silver made the paper dollar look extremely feeble and ridiculous, government never threatened to take it from the citizens. With gold at $850, and silver at $50, the dollar looked really bad, but there were no threats of confiscation.

Quote:
If the government were so upset about citizens owning gold and silver, why wouldn't they stop selling it? Why wouldn't they shut down the mint at West Point New York, where they make those American Silver and Gold Eagles? I myself sell many hundreds of thousands of ounces of gold and silver eagles each year, and I am small potatoes compared to large firms, I am sure. Might that be a hint they were becoming upset about all those nasty people protecting themselves with gold and silver? If they were up tight about gold and silver, wouldn't they seize American mines, and prohibit imports of gold and silver? I don't like crime, but know of no way to stop it, other than by being armed. The government may consider gold and silver a threat, but even if they stopped producing and selling their Eagles, and prohibited imports, that wouldn't begin to stop it. It would simply go underground like drugs, and prices would go ever higher. There's nothing like a black market to make huge profits, and government well knows it. Prohibition of alcohol, made everyone want it, and the same thing would happen if gold and silver ownership were prohibited. They know it would be a lost cause to attempt to seize or prohibit it, so they won't.

Quote:
OK Chicken Littles, let's suppose that the government stopped making and selling gold and silver Eagles, seized the mines, and attempted to stop imports… a chance about as remote as the sky falling. Does anyone in their right mind, really believe that a success could be made of trying to find every person who might have a few Krugerrands, or a hundred ounces of silver? Would any court allow such? Would the Supremes vote for such a violation of rights? Hardly, and if it did happen, forget America, because it's gone. Paranoia eventually gets too much!

Quote:
The feds are so busy lying about Iraq, 9/11, Pan Am flight 800, inflation, and a million other things which bother them, and which make the whole establishment look silly, believe me, they could care less about your few ounces of gold. To conduct a search of everyone who may have bought some gold or silver, is so silly, as to be ridiculous, even if they could get the courts to approve of such a move. The costs would be astronomical, and the whole thing would be futile. If you think government is so powerful, and has the ability to stop what they may not like, how about the "war on drugs?" How about the world's oldest profession, prostitution? How about guns, if the truth be known? To even imagine that the government will force anyone to divulge who has bought a few ounces of gold, and then to attempt to seize it, is preposterous.
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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

they have to know you have the gold to take it.  Well hello officer! No I do not own any gold, but thank you for asking. Wink

Now if you store your gold at a bank or even overseas bank like switzerland for "safety" you expose yourself not to common burglars. but to state pilfering.  Yes even the Swiss are now assisting the Feds in tax evasion investigations.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Yes Switz is assisting with those who break the law.  But that doesn't apply at all to assets sitting in Switz legally.  Nothing is 100% safe, but you can't get a higher score than Switz.  The cantons (states) and citizens control things over there--they don't have an imperial executive like the US.  If there ever was a threat to big assets sitting in Switz, THAT would be the "mad max" scenario since the richest people in the world use it as the place to put the portion of their assets that they want to be the safest--it would be a galactic breakdown.  

Having said that, I don't think there's a risk of confiscation in the US since gold doesn't play a role in the monetary system like it did in the 30's.  And even if they tried confiscating it, as people here have said, no need to give it to them.  I agree that credit and electronic currency is what's at risk this time around.  I'm still debating liquidating my IRA, taking the hit, and sending it offshore.  

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

docmims wrote:
  they have to know you have the gold to take it.  Well hello officer! No I do not own any gold, but thank you for asking.

A perfect illustration of why confiscation of gold is not worthwhile.  America is neither as trusting nor as politically cohesive as it was in the 1930's.  People would be much less likely to comply with any order to relinquish possession of property.  Furthermore, a much smaller part of the population owns gold today, and the part that does own it is the part that is least likely to give it up. 

It is almost comical to imagine a few thousand IRS and FBI agents fanning out across the country trying to physically find and seize what little gold is held by the American public, and it is more comical to imagine that it would be financially worthwhile for the government to do it.

There are more effective ways of neutralizing any threat gold may pose to the currency.  For a start, how about making contracts payable in gold legally unenforceable, placing a high capital gains tax on precious metals (and vigorously prosecuting tax evaders) , and restricting speculation in precious metals.  Who would tender payment in gold if they knew that they had no legal protection from the courts?  If the person they paid could turn around and sue them for payment once again in legal tender?  It takes a certain degree of trust.  Legitimate businesses cannot afford to make business deals that the courts will not enforce.   

Right now the American public holds such a small amount of physcal gold and silver that it isn't practical to use it as a medium of exchange to rival the dollar -- there simply isn't enough physical to make a market.  Without a large national or international market for precious metals, gold would be useful only for small black-market transactions.  While the current holders of gold may be willing to keep it and hide it, the person you attempt to give it to in the future may not be interested in taking it if they are not familiar with gold: they may simply demand that you discount it to the official rate that they could get for it if they turned it in. 

It just isn't necessary for the government to seize gold.  There is so little of it in people's physical possession that it can't be an effective threat to the government currency system.  Furthermore, if the government were truly hell-bent on confiscating what little value in gold/silver held by the people, the most effective way of doing that would be through high capital gains taxes and taxes at point of sale.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

jrf wrote:
While the current holders of gold may be willing to keep it and hide it, the person you attempt to give it to in the future may not be interested in taking it if they are not familiar with gold: they may simply demand that you discount it to the official rate that they could get for it if they turned it in

This is exactly what makes me wonder about the prudence of putting our assets in gold in prep for collapse.  It seems to me unless you have several million dollars worth stored in 400 oz bars in Switz, your gold might not serve much purpose.  If you have enough to be a "player" then the people who have trillions/billions will play with you, but if you just have $1000 or $100000 worth, they could just make it illegal to accept payment in gold and what you thought was a guarantee of purchasing power will just be a dead weight in your lockbox...except in the black market.  

I started worrying about this last year when I saw an expert on the Argentina collapse say he expects the global bankers to puts chips in the official gold bars which will be recognized wealth, but unchipped retail gold will be made illegal or devalued by fiat.  

Any opinions?  I think we need to think out of the box in terms of what gold has represented in the past given the game-changing nature of the collapse we're facing.  

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

The arguments against gold confiscation make me feel a little more at ease.  However, most gold purchases can be easily traced.  Everything has an electronic paper trail unless you purchase your gold with cash from a local dealer.  Couldn't the IRS just get a list of gold bullion owners from the gold bullion dealers such as Kitco, Monex, and others.  Suppose a person owns 100 ounces of gold and bought it through Kitco.  It really wouldn't take much effort to find out who he is and to send an IRS agent to his doorstep to confiscate the gold.  This would make a nice easy profit for the government.  What if he refuses.  They just threaten to throw him in jail.  In this scenario, you wouldn't see mass protest from the citizenry because such a small percentage of the population owns gold. 

didn't South Korea confiscate gold from its citizensafter the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s?

anyway, those are my thoughts.

Brian

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

jrf29 wrote:

It just isn't necessary for the government to seize gold.  There is so little of it in people's physical possession that it can't be an effective threat to the government currency system.  Furthermore, if the government were truly hell-bent on confiscating what little value in gold/silver held by the people, the most effective way of doing that would be through high capital gains taxes and taxes at point of sale.

Okay, maybe I should have given the thread a different title.  It's not only confiscation of gold I'm concerned about, it's any policy that would erode its value or make it less liquid than it currently is.  I don't imagine I'll hold the gold I own for a very long period of time.  I'm basically using it as a store of value until I'm ready to acquire more tangible assets like a home, land, solar panels, etc.  So it's important to me that I'm able to cash the gold in without breaking the law or paying such huge taxes that I end up losing capital after all.  

I bought gold coins from a local dealer.  As far as I know, the government has no clue that I own them.  But if there's no legal or reasonably straightforward way for me to sell it without losing everything I gained by holding it in the first place, then why own it?

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Strabes

in the future, it may end up being the black market where we are able to purchase real goods of real value.  If we go to a system where only the chip implanted gold coins are legal tender, I think the unchipped gold will still have a value.  Its not the chip giving the gold coin value.  the chips can be mass produced and can be done cheaply.  gold still is gold.  

Brian

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

I think confiscation has to be a possibility as it has been done before.  If the U.S. dollar were to become unwelcome by the oil exporters the government would do whatever it took to keep their machines rolling.  

There was no reason for FDR to steal the peoples gold (paid them much less than market value).  When FDR shutdown domestic gold redemption, effectively, the government didn't need any gold since FRNs couldn't be cashed in.  He left the international window open and much of our gold made it's way to Europe and the Bank of England.

I also worry about my IRA because I think as things get worse, the government will grab some or most.  It sure get's tough to protect what you have when your government is run as a criminal organization.

Larry 

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Having said that, I don't think there's a risk of confiscation in the US since gold doesn't play a role in the monetary system like it did in the 30's.  And even if they tried confiscating it, as people here have said, no need to give it to them.

If I understand, you are saying that since we are not on the gold standard and/or don't use gold as a currency on a day to day basis that the government won't have much of an interest in it.

The key phrase here is "THE monetary system". When THE monetary system, meaning our current monetary system which is made only of a fiat currency, collapses then PM's will play a very big role in our new monetary system.

As far as confiscation goes the real threat isn't that the government breaks down your door and shakes it out of your matress. The real threat is making it illegal. It will become more difficult to trade with it especially in any large way. If you want to buy a clock radio, no problem. However if you want to buy a house, land, a business, pay taxes, etc. You will most certainly be expected to explain were the 'money' came from.

If you want to deal in the black market expect to get a lower exchange for your gold. Why? Because the black market always charges more than things are worth, because, after all what you are doing is illegal. And, of course, don't forget the snitches, theives and extortionist all of whom can't be prosecuted because you weren't supposed to have it in the first place.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

what I mean is that americans were asset holders back then so it seems to me taking gold was an essential step to convert us into debtors.  today our money is a symbol of how much debt we're in collectively so confiscating gold at this point wouldn't facilitate any sort of systemic change the bankers would be trying to pulloff.  it doesn't seem necessary to confiscate gold in order to move us toward a global currency.

I don't think things like gold confiscation are planned by governments.  governments are just the enforcement arm for the bankers.  I think these things are planned by the bankers behind the governments, so we need to understand their plan in order to gauge the probability of it happening again.  but this is just a hunch...perhaps FDR did it without banker planning.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

governments are just the enforcement arm for the bankers.

Strabes nails it right on the head here.  We need no more proof then when the bankers needed the bailout.  90%+ where against it but it passed anyways.  Here is the great twist though.  The people didn't have the money so the government had to come up with the money but the government does have the money, so it has to borrow it.  The only way money gets created in our system is when banks make loans.  So the government goes to the very banks that are crying for a bailout and borrows trillions of dollars from them and then turns around and gives all the money right back to them, and still owes them an equal amount plus interest on top of that.

+1 for Stabes.

+1 for Larry.

Larry is correct there was no need for any gold confiscation, they could have just demonetized it.  I guess the bankers wanted to have all the gold plus 10%.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Actually a large part of gold confiscation in the 1930s was FDR trying to screw the Europeans by paying or debts with 90percent gold from melted coins locking in a 10percent proftit.  This is why the European banks have more "rare"  brilliant uncirculated antique gold coins than we have in the entire US.Smile Our politicians are equal opportunity screwers.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Quote:

If there's any significant possibility of this happening, it seems like a good idea would be to own physical gold and store it outside of the U.S.

If you own jewellry there is no certificate of ownership to be confiscated, and you have paid a jeweller to make this crazy commodity into something a little more useful.

In the future people are fearing will we need the amounts of gold required to keep us obscenely rich or just enough to have purchasing power for the daily requirements we won't be able to supply for ourselves? Watch nature's hoarders in action and see what they put away and where they put it. It's not called 'squirelling away' for no reason!

Is the US not heading towards the worst type of communism-fascism? It seems the purest forms of communism keep the elite in the 'pink.'  Vis a vis North Korea, China, old USSR and esp 1984. Fascism is less about who you know and more about what you own/run. That's the only difference I notice but I'm a simpleton who thinks food, water and shelter-abutted by close family, is all that is really important.

If you want to go beyond survival in this bleak future-http://classics.mit.edu/Tzu/artwar.html here you go!

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

mahtay wrote:

Is the US not heading towards the worst type of communism-fascism? It seems the purest forms of communism keep the elite in the 'pink.'  Vis a vis North Korea, China, old USSR and esp 1984. Fascism is less about who you know and more about what you own/run. That's the only difference I notice but I'm a simpleton who thinks food, water and shelter-abutted by close family, is all that is really important.

Gold is money.  Of course food water, shelter and close family are important, but what if you need say, a new draft  horse, a plow, etc.  Would you sell or trade your mom, or sister.  Would you go to a local hardware store, carrying a bag of chickens, to trade for something?  How would you pay if the price was one and a half chickens? Gold and silver satisfy the portability problem and the unweildy nature of trade without paper currencies.

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

I agree that there's a chance that the gov't will make it illegal to buy and sell gold.  Reasoning is that tptb looks at anyone who owns physical gold as the enemy (other than themselves of course).  Anyone that has bought will be seen to be the anti ptb group.  And because most of tptb hold/own their gold outside the US, it will not affect them in any way.  

As for the gov't being chastised for doing something like this:  Only 1% (I read that figure somewhere/I'll try to find it) of the american population owns physical gold in bullion/investment form.  The gov't will be able to spin it easily to their advantage and I don't think they're too worried about pissing off 1% of the population.  

These two considerations have made me change my buying %'s up on silver and down on gold.  And the fact that silver is at a ratio that's just outlandish in historical terms.  

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

mahtay wrote:
Fascism is less about who you know and more about what you own/run

Ah, but what you own/run depends on who you know.  We're brainwashed to believe it has to do with merit, free market forces, competition.  Bull. While there are exceptions, it's all about being connected, getting the right pedigree, sucking up to the right people, having the right look, networking, which are all just more subtle versions of cronyism than the obvious type we see in communist systems or monarchies.  

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Quote:

Gold is money.  Of course food water, shelter and close family are important, but what if you need say, a new draft  horse, a plow, etc.  Would you sell or trade your mom, or sister. 

My point wasn't that you don't need gold, it was that you don't need the amount to stay obscenely rich as is the 'norm' today. Jewellry is sufficient to get your plough etc. As is bartering and other things. methinks maybe you wish for consumerism to flourish?

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

LogansRun

What's your estimation of the possibility of silver confiscation?

1.  near impossible

2.  unlikely

3.  very likely if gold ownership is made illegal

Brian

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Silver won't be confiscated unless they decide to call it in for "National Security".  It's in most electronics so they'd be hard pressed to get their hands on it.  As I said, I've changed my buying to silver for the foreseeable future.  IMO, there's more upside in $ value and the ratios are just to good to pass up.  

Now the only thing that I worry about (very little worry btw) is that tptb are much more heavily into Gold than Silver.  So in order for their wealth to increase the value of Gold must increase.....not so much silver.  So if they're going to manipulate either of the two upward in value it will most likely be Gold.  But again, you could go round and round with that one so.....diversify your holdings in different ways.

-Own Silver, Gold and I would also suggest having a little Platinum as well (inflationary PM).

-Have Physical Gold and Silver at home, and offshore.

-Have them all in different forms, ie:  Coin, bars, junk, jewelry

-Bury some in your yard in case you get robbed or there is a forced confiscation (I know, very unlikely but to be safe, do it)

-If you can, get bars and coins from different mfg, countries, etc....

TELL NO ONE!!!!!  But make sure you leave info on finding all of your holdings to your spouse and children....NO ONE ELSE!!!!  And have a "dummy" safe in your house with a little PM's and some cash stowed away.  Use this in case of robbery so the thieves leave with something and you don't lose your whole stash.  Thieves apply to the Government as well;-)

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Re: Let's talk about gold confiscation (again)

Rice tries to sell Maple Leaf gold coin for $50.00  Hilarious video.

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