Rising precious metals prices and government confiscations are
fueling collector and investor interest in the Liberty Dollar
medallions, and driving prices for the pieces to new heights.
Prices for the Liberty Dollars, especially of the gold, silver and
platinum pieces, began to rise swiftly early in 2007 with the increase
in the spot price of the precious metals.
Collectibility further pushed prices higher soon after the
November 2007 seizure by the FBI and Secret Service of tons of Liberty
Dollars. Prices have continued on the rise since the March 2011
prosecution and conviction of the creator of the Liberty Dollar,
Bernard von NotHaus.
Some Liberty Dollar pieces were still being produced and issued
dated 2008 and 2009 following the raid until an undisclosed time
before von NotHaus shuttered all Liberty Dollar operations on July 31, 2009.
Market for Ron Paul pieces
Among the Liberty Dollars in greatest demand are pieces bearing
the obverse portrait of Rep. Ron Paul R-Texas, who sought the
Republican nomination for the presidency in 2008 and is a longtime
advocate of alternative currencies such as the Liberty Dollars.
For example, a $1,000 face value 1-ounce gold 2008 Ron Paul
Liberty Dollar brought $3,168 in an eBay auction that closed April 6.
The piece was serial-numbered 118 out of 200 pieces produced. The
price was more than twice the bullion value (based on the London PM
fix of $1,461.50 April 6).
The 1-ounce gold Liberty Dollar from the same series bearing
serial No. 159 sold for $3,500 in another eBay auction that closed
Both pieces were offered by different sellers.
Collector interest even in the copper Ron Paul Liberty Dollar is
high, primarily because of Paul’s popularity, not necessarily
production rarity, according to Michigan collector Ron Goodger, a
buyer, seller and collector of Liberty Dollars.
More of the copper pieces were shipped to customers than
previously thought before federal authorities seized the remaining
pieces along with other property in 2007, according to Goodger.
Goodger believes 20,000 examples from the 60,000-piece order of
Ron Paul copper Liberty Dollars were shipped before the FBI raid.
Even paper certificates, called “warehouse receipts,” that were
backed by gold and silver held at a private depository, are
collectible in their own right.
A wide array of Liberty Dollars
Since first hitting the market in 1998, Liberty Dollars have been
produced in a multitude of versions in gold, silver, platinum and copper.
Goodger maintains a historical website tracing the history of the
Liberty Dollar, referencing record prices at auction and private sales
when known, and illustrating most of the versions and warehouse
receipts. The website can be found at http://sites.google.com/site/libertydollarencyclopedia/.
Goodger also sells Liberty Dollars (http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Rons-NORFED-Silver-Libertys).
The historical site lists and illustrates 1-ounce .999 fine silver
pieces having $10, $20 or $50 face values, as the price of silver rose
and was reflected in the face value struck on each bullion piece;
special numbered state issues; 5-ounce silver pieces; quarter-,
tenth-, and twentieth-ounce silver fractional pieces; silver 2-ounce
$10 piedforts (piedforts are pieces often twice the normal weight and
thickness of an original design); errors; mules, representing pieces
from dies not intended to be paired together; 1-ounce silver pieces
hallmarked for the independent Liberty Dollar regional currency
officers; stamped or privy-marked pieces; copper, gold and platinum
issues and certificates.
The silver base used as the backing for the pieces represents the
price of an ounce of silver expressed in Liberty Dollars. When the
silver base was at $20, 20 Liberty Dollars were equivalent to 1 ounce
of silver. A person was able to redeem 1 ounce of silver from the
Liberty Dollar warehouse with 20 Liberty Dollars.
Among the information Goodger maintains on his Liberty Dollar
website are price records, though dates transactions were completed
are not always available.
“Although most of the record prices were set during the two
‘NORFED craze’ periods due to publicity from the raid and the
conviction, there are some that were set in between, strictly because
of a growing collector base and rarity of certain pieces,” he said
Goodger illustrates on the Liberty Dollar Encyclopedia site images
of some silver $20 Liberty Dollars dated 2009 that were struck, but
never released, both before and shortly after von NotHaus closed
Liberty Dollar operations.
At any given time, eBay has 500 or more listings of various
Liberty Dollars for sale. Many are bringing prices well above their
original issue price and the intrinsic value of the precious metal
Most of the pieces offered are various silver versions, with some
pieces, depending on design and desirability, bringing hundreds of
dollars each. ■