Liberty Dollars will be banned from sale on the show bourse and
from public display in numismatic exhibits at Central States
Numismatic Society conventions starting in 2013.
CSNS officials on Dec. 17 said that the ban would begin at the
society’s April 24 to 27 convention in Schaumburg, Ill.
Kevin Foley, the CSNS convention chairman, said the ban is based
on the March 2011 federal conviction of Bernard von NotHaus, the
creator of Liberty Dollars, and the determination by the Secret
Service as the result of the trial that the Liberty Dollars are
considered to be counterfeit.
Von NotHaus is awaiting sentencing for his conviction in U.S.
District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Statesville
Division, on four charges related to the manufacture, promotion and
sale of Liberty Dollars.
Von NotHaus introduced the Liberty Dollar precious metal
medallions as a “private voluntary barter currency” in 1998 by
creating the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal
Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code, more commonly known by its
NORFED was dissolved in December 2006, with the sale and promotion
of Liberty Dollars continuing under the Liberty Services name.
Von NotHaus closed Liberty Services operations in July 2009.
“Although this alternative monetary instrument has been available
on coin convention bourse floors since its 1998 introduction, and has
from time to time been the subject of educational exhibit area
displays, the 2011 federal court conviction of Mr. von Not-Haus in
connection with his role as what one numismatic press outlet
characterized as the ‘monetary architect’ of the Liberty Dollar on the
basis that the Liberty Dollar is counterfeit, has led us to adopt a
policy to exclude such items from our bourse floor and educational
exhibit area for our Schaumburg and future conventions,” Foley said in
the Dec. 17 announcement.
Recommendation from Foley
Foley said Dec. 19 in a response to questions posed by Coin
World that the decision to ban Liberty Dollars from CSNS
conventions was based on his recommendation in his capacity as
convention chairman. The ban was implemented in consultation with CSNS
President James Moores with the knowledge of the entire CSNS Board of
Governors, according to Foley.
“The decision was arrived at within the past week and was
predicated on the federal court criminal conviction of Mr. Von NotHaus
and the finding in that action that the ‘Liberty Dollars’ are
considered by the federal authorities to be counterfeit,” Foley said
Dec. 19. “Our action was additionally based on considerations arising
from the fact that eBay has reportedly delisted these items from
“Our decision is not based on any direct communications between
the United States Secret Service and either our organization or any
individual acting on its behalf,” Foley said.
EBay began delisting offerings of Liberty Dollars on the online
auction site beginning in late November.
Michigan collector James Zylstra exhibited his collection of
Liberty Dollar medallions, paper warehouse receipts and promotional
materials during the CSNS convention in Rosemont, Ill., in April 2011,
a month after von NotHaus’s conviction. It represented the 10th time
since 2009 that Zylstra had exhibited his Liberty Dollar collection.
When Zylstra tried to display his exhibit for an 11th outing, this
time in August 2011 during the American Numismatic Association World’s
Fair of Money at the same Rosemont venue, the exhibit was banned by
Zylstra was denied the opportunity to exhibit amid fears by ANA
officials the exhibit’s contents would be seized from the 2011
convention bourse by federal authorities.
Secret Service officials have not responded to questions about the
possibility of confiscations of Liberty Dollar medallions and paper
receipts from Coin World.
Liberty Dollar medallions and paper receipts have been popular
with some collectors since their original creation and release. ■