Precious Metals

Private minter resurrects Liberty Dollars

Notice the differences in the designs for the New Liberty Dollar, top, in comparison to the original Liberty Dollar, bottom.

New Liberty Dollar images, top, courtesy of Joseph VaughnPerling; Liberty Dollar images from Coin World files. While California collector Joseph VaughnPerling is sympathetic to the concept of Bernard von NotHaus’ original Liberty Dollar as a private voluntary barter currency, he wanted to make sure his New Liberty Dollar wouldn’t replicate some of the issues that resulted in von NotHaus’ 2011 federal conviction on counterfeiting and related charges involving the original Liberty Dollars.

The Liberty Dollar medals were introduced in 1998 by von NotHaus under the umbrella of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act, also called NORFED. The medals were promoted as an alternative to Federal Reserve notes. They also attracted the unfavorable attention of the government. 
VaughnPerling — who said he has been buying silver for years as a store of wealth rather than a source for bartering — got the idea to produce and issue his New Liberty Dollar after reading the details of the federal government’s 2011 trial of von NotHaus over the Liberty Dollar. VaughnPerling’s silver purchases included a quantity of the silver Liberty Dollars.
“I have no desire to compete with the Federal Reserve or any government institution,” VaughnPerling said March 11. “This is an entirely private minting of a silver product and not current money. We make that as clear as possible on the website and exchange them only through clearly contracted terms to qualified buyers who affirm that they understand what they are getting is not a government coin and so does not rely on the Legal Tender laws for its value, but rather its own innate silver composition, beauty, numismatic, sentimental or other value.”
VaughnPerling said in consultation with legal experts he extensively reviewed the transcript from the federal government’s case against von NotHaus before moving ahead near the end of 2011 with his New Liberty Dollar plans.
“I studied the elements of what was alleged to be wrong with the Liberty Dollars — what parts of the Liberty Dollars were legally questionable enough to have led the jury to believe that the Liberty Dollars were so similar to a U.S. coin that someone not only could mistake them but had been mistaken,” VaughnPerling said March 11. “For that mistake to be criminal, it also had to have been intentionally created.”
VaughnPerling said he was careful to ensure that the imagery and inscriptions for the New Liberty Dollar were not legally problematic.
The main goal of the New Liberty Dollar, VaughnPerling said, is to “preserve as much of the beauty and artistry of the original Liberty Dollar, but subtracting or replacing the elements that based on our analysis of the legal case were the most problematic for the jury.
“Many of the things that were problems were only in early versions, but dropped in later issuances of the Liberty Dollar,” VaughnPerling said. 
The New Liberty Dollar’s inscriptions eliminate any appearance of USA. The wide-spaced LIBERTY on the original pieces has been replaced by NEW LIBERTY DOLLAR. And TRUST IN GOD has been replaced with RIGHT TO CONTRACT.
The familiar crowned Liberty from the Liberty Dollar obverse appears on the New Liberty Dollar obverse. The flaming torch has been retained for the reverse.
The designs were licensed from an undisclosed company to which von NotHaus says he divested his rights to the Liberty Dollar designs before his arrest by federal authorities on June 6, 2009.
Von NotHaus said March 12, 2013, that he has had no involvement with VaughnPerling and the New Liberty Dollar, for to do so would constitute a breach of his conditions of bond. VaughnPerling confirmed von NotHaus has had no involvement with the New Liberty Dollar.
VaughnPerling said he contracted with a private mint to produce the New Liberty Dollar, tweaking the process to result in the double-struck Proof quality he desired. A number of prototype pieces were struck with more of a matte finish, he said.
VaughnPerling contacted a number of successful distributors of the original Liberty Dollar as a foundation to build a network of distributors for the New Liberty Dollar.

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