Most of you probably know that if you use cash (good old American greenbacks) to pay for goods and services exceeding $10,000, the vendor is required to file a Form 8300 with the I.R.S.* The reason, we’re told, is to track money laundering by criminal elements. That makes sense on the surface but in my view its part of a much larger and longer term plan to eliminate cash entirely, leaving electronic payments as the only option. This gives banks and governments the ability to track any and all transactions of anyone and everyone. And this push is worldwide. Consider the following:
This past December India’s Prime Minister announced the end of the largest rupee denominations, 500 ($7.34 US) and the 1000 (S14.68US) notes would no longer be legal tender. Naturally Indian gold sales went through the roof. (1)
China : Their government set up a research team in 2014 to “to study application scenarios for digital currency and strive for an early rollout. (2)
Norway , Sweden and Denmark: Their goal is to be a cashless economy by 2030. (3)
France : It is now illegal for French citizens to make cash purchases exceeding $1000 Euros. (4)
Philippines : They have launched a project called “E Peso” with the explicit aim of “transforming communities into cashless societies” (5)
So, what’s the big deal? We already use credit and debit cards for most purchases. We have electronic payments set up for installment debt. Heck, I can deposit my income with a photo from my phone. But two countries have done something that scares the b-jeepers out of me: Argentina and Brazil. Both have long had a currency and national debt crisis. Argentina and Brazil’s solution? A legislated 15% tax on any and every purchase made with a credit card or debit card outside Argentina (the rate is 6% in Brazil). That’s a worldwide precedent and perhaps a harbinger of things to come. Giving governments the ability to monitor all transactions digitally gives them unprecedented power over their citizens. It just seems logical to me to keep some cash and some gold at your fingertips.
Facts, Myths and History Surrounding Government Confiscation of Gold:
Many investors have heard that the U.S. government confiscated the public's gold many years ago. Is it true? Is it a rumor? Could it happen again? This is an issue that comes up time and again with gold investors.
Bottom line – Confiscation did happen. It was repealed, but it could happen again in the future. Laws can and do change. Rather than speculate, we believe it's best to consider the facts. Below is a timeline that explains exactly what happened.
May 1, 1933 – President Roosevelt's Executive Order 6102 required U.S. citizens to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, all but a small amount of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned by them to the Federal Reserve, in exchange for $20.67 per troy ounce. Under the Trading With the Enemy Act of October 6, 1917, violation of the order was punishable by fine up to $10,000 or up to ten years in prison, or both. An exception to the order was listed in section 2 (b) “Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having a recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.”
Jan 30, 1934 - The Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934 required that all gold and gold certificates held by the Federal Reserve be surrendered and vested in the sole title of the United States Department of the Treasury and changed the value of the dollar in gold from $20.67 to $35 per ounce.
1954 - In 1954 the Treasury Department amended the Gold Regulations of the original Executive Order to enable the continuance of the exemption of rare coins from the gold confiscation provisions, and they expanded the definition of "coins" with a recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins to include "gold coin made prior to April 5th, 1933*
Aug 15, 1971 - The price of gold remained fixed from Jan 30, 1934 until August 15, 1971, when President Nixon announced that the United States would no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value, thus abandoning the gold standard for foreign exchange.
Dec 31, 1974 - On December 31, 1974, with Executive Order 11825, President Gerald Ford repealed the Executive Order that Roosevelt used to call in gold in 1933 and signed a bill legalizing private ownership of gold coins, bars and certificates by an act of Congress. On the same day, Congress restored Americans' right to own gold. ** However, this law did not repeal the Gold Repeal Joint Resolution, which made unlawful any contracts that specified payment in a fixed amount of money or a fixed amount of gold. That is, contracts remained unenforceable if they used gold monetarily rather than as a commodity of trade.
Oct 28, 1977 Congress removed the president's authority to regulate gold transactions during a period of national emergency other than war. However, the Act of Oct. 28, 1977*** made it clear that parties could again include so-called gold clauses in contracts formed after 1977.
Dec 17, 1985 – President Reagan signed into law the Gold Bullion Coin act which allowed the US Mint to produce gold coins from “newly mined domestic sources”. Gold American Eagles went on to become one of the most well known gold coins.
Gold Confiscation in the Future….. The question remains; could it happen again? As you can see above, gold bullion was forced to be sold to the government in 1933. Then in 1974, that executive order was repealed. Furthermore, in 1977, Congress removed the president’s authority to regulate gold except during a national emergency of war.
It is true that numismatic collector type coins were excluded in the 1933 confiscation. Whether they will again be excluded in any future confiscation is completely unknown. There is a logical thought process for excluding collector coins, in that the government was trying to obtain monetary control of gold bullion. The government had no interest in rare and unusual coins of special value to collectors. However, no one can be completely sure if it will happen again.
*(Federal Register 4309, 4312 1954, as codified in 31 CFR Section 54.20)
** codified in Pub. L 93-373 Dec 31,1974
***Pub. L. No. 95-147, § 4(c), 91 Stat. 1227, 1229 (originally codified at 31 U.S.C. § 463 note re-codified as amended at 31 U.S.C. § 5118(d)(2)) amended the 1933 Joint Resolution and
As Valentine’s day approaches, our thoughts turn to love. The Greeks referred to it as insanity. Scientists looked at it in stages. And, most of us agree that whatever you want to call it, it is wonderful.
In the beginning, you have a connection; an unspoken, indescribable feeling that this person is supposed to be in your life. It’s literally the most magical, mystical and best feeling in the world. And, it is not something you can control. It just is.
Being in love fills one’s brain with dopamine, the “pleasure chemical.” Dopamine levels also increase with stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamines. This is often why people feel “addicted” to their lover and crave them in their absence.
You may remember when you thought about your love almost obsessively. You craved their presence and needed to be with them. As Kabir, the Indian poet put it: “The lane of love is narrow; there is room for only one.” That is probably what the Greeks were referring to as insanity.
And, though the euphoria is never permanent, you can keep the good feelings going. Cuddling has been proven to give people the same sensation that runners get when they run. The brain reacts to cuddling like it does to oxytocin … it can alleviate headaches and pain, and make you feel better. So cuddle up my friends!
And finally, we all know that a broken heart literally hurts. But as Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam27, 1850says:
I hold it true, whate'er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; 'Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.
So, charge forward, be hopeful and loving….. because it just feels good.
Ring Too Big? Know Your Sizing Options!
Recently, we were asked if we could re-size a ring that one of our customers received from her grandmother. It was not only three sizes too large, but had baguette diamonds (which are long and flat) on the ring’s shank. She wanted to know what her options might be.
Whether sizing up or down a large amount, how the gems have been set in the ring’s side is critical, since the setting style determines what options we have. There are 5 basic gem setting styles: Invisible, Bezel, Prong, Channel and Bead. We would need to see the ring but, there are 4 good options.
If the goal is to keep the ring round, we would size down the ring by cutting into it and removing a section of metal . This will likely require resetting the side diamonds and is not an option for invisible set gems.
Another option is to remove some metal and reshape the ring into a slightly oval shape. In this option, the geometry of the prongs holding the diamonds in not altered, making stone re-setting unlikely. This is the least expensive option and 1 of 2 options for invisible set gems.
If you want the outside of the ring to stay the same, we can solder a horseshoe shaped spring shim (we call it a stirrup) inside the shank of the ring. The stirrup of gold has tension that hugs the finger keeping the ring secure and can be removed if it is no longer necessary. With a 3-size difference, there will be a visible gap between the inside of the ring and the finger. The cost of a stirrup is higher than creating an oval ring and lower than resetting. This is the other option for invisible set gems.
Sometimes it makes sense to create a whole new shank and re-set all stones. Obviously the most expensive, but sometimes the only option.
With the baguette example, we would most likely have to choose between option 2, 3, or 4 as the flat plain of a baguette could complicate re-setting. So, if you have a ring that you would love to wear but the size is what is keeping it in your jewelry case, bring it to Medlars and we’ll give you a range of options.
Amethyst, a quartz gemstone, is known for its beautiful hues ranging from deep dark purple to light lavender. Depending on present trace elements when heated, amethyst can change color to pale green. A little known fact is that amethyst was valued the same as ruby and emerald gemstones until the 19th century. However, the discovery of amethyst in Brazil changed the price to what we see today.
In Bolivia, natural bi-color occurrences of amethyst and citrine together in the same gemstone crystal have been found. The result of the color combination is called ametrine. To this day It's still a mystery to gemologists how the two colors naturally form together in the same crystal.
Medlars has a beautiful selection of purple and green amethyst jewelry, click HERE to see it.
Precious Metal Quotes
Click HERE to view up daily metals price indications for the most popular gold and silver coins.
Medlars Guarantees Our Work
At Medlars, we ensure enduring quality and satisfaction.
We guarantee ALL of our work and materials to be free of defect for a period of two years from the date of purchase. We will replace or repair as necessary any defect at our cost. This includes all parts and labor. Our guarantee does not cover damage caused by abuse or accidents.
We guarantee the silver, gold, or platinum purity of our jewelry, our custom design, and our restoration work. We further guarantee our stated weight and quality of the stones we supply.
Added Value Guarantee
Every finished ring (not just a simple solitaire but EVERY ring) purchased at Medlars includes Free Sizing, Free Appraisal for insurance purposes, plus Free lifetime cleaning, maintenance inspections, and polishing. At Medlars your purchase is the beginning of a lifetime of our personal attention and care.
Return and Exchange Policy
If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your jewelry purchase, you may return it within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund or exchange (not just a store credit) .
Custom designed jewelry is not returnable.
You may trade in your undamaged diamond, purchased from Medlars, for any diamond at least twice the trade-in value of your diamond. The trade-in value is your full original purchase price excluding sales tax and any labor. Colored gems are not eligible for trade in.
Price Protection Guarantee
If within 90 days of your purchase, you find a diamond with the same specifications, graded by the same gemological laboratory, at a lower price in the United States, Medlars will match it and give you 10% of the difference.
Here's how it works:
Bring in the actual diamond with certification and sales receipt.
A competitor’s diamond certification must be from the same laboratory . The competing diamond must have the following matching characteristics: