Arizona Senate Approves Recognizing Gold and Silver as Legal Tender

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
By Portable Antiquities Scheme via Wikimedia Commons
American gold coins from the mid-1800s.

With all the hubbub over Arizona's Senate Bill 1062, you might be saying to yourself, "Self, don't these lawmakers have anything better to do?"

The answer to that lies in the fact that the senate voted on, and approved, a bill yesterday to recognize gold and silver as legal tender in Arizona.

Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a similar bill last year, but this year's version, Senate Bill 1096, comes with some expanded provisions, including authorizing escrow agents to deal with such transactions.

Zac Zellers via Flickr
Some guy (left) with Stinky Pete.
However, the legislation doesn't make gold and silver legal tender to the point that a guy who looks like "Stinky Pete the Prospector" from Toy Story 2 could take a chunk of freshly mined gold into his town saloon and demand an equivalent amount of whiskey (from a jug labeled "XXX," no doubt).

The legislation mostly refers to gold and silver coins minted by the federal government, but also "any other specie that a court of competent jurisdiction rules by a final, unappealable order to be within to scope of state authority to make a legal tender." The bill specifically refers to the American Buffalo coin, as well as the American Gold Eagle.

The bill specifically states that nobody has to accept gold and silver coins as payments, unless it's specifically outlined in some sort of contract, so you're not going to be exchanging gold coins for McNuggets any time soon.

Then what's the point? According to an explanation from the Tenth Amendment Center, which is supporting the bill, it's part of an effort to nullify the Federal Reserve. (The Tenth Amendment Center is behind several other nullification-like efforts in Arizona, including one bill aimed at nullifying federal gun laws.)

Part of the Tenth Amendment Center explanation can be found below:
Passage of the Constitutional Tender Act would introduce currency competition with Federal Reserve Notes. Professor William Greene explains further:

"Over time, as residents of the State use both Federal Reserve Notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve Notes do will lead to a "reverse Gresham's Law" effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve Notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the State's treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the State - as people in other States carry out their desire to bank with sound money - and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve Notes for any transactions."

Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people. Nullifying the Fed on a state by state level is what will get us there.

Without a single act of Congress, the Federal Reserve system can be brought to its knees by passing such bills in states all over the country.
In her veto letter last year, Governor Brewer specifically cited that she didn't support the bill because it apparently created a tax loophole for transactions involving legal tender, but new language in this year's legislation appears to address that.

The bill passed the Senate yesterday on an 18-12 vote, with all Republicans plus one Democrat, Senator Barbara McGuire, voting in favor, and the rest of the Democrats voting against it.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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what 4 minutes ago

Gold is for is as fiat as currency only worse because everytime a war breaks out somewhere the price of gold will swing...the value is too unstable, like bitcoin, and the amount in circulation is secret...everything about gold is foreign, unknown and subject to change on a moments notice...furthermore, gold is zero sum game...if gold goes up, the purchase power of the holder goes up but the merchant will take the loss...however, if gold goes down, the holder loses but the merchant wins...pushing gold is treason and a national security threat. All fools do is trade trust for their own USA system in exchange for an international ruse run by sadistic jews...worship the golden calf...deathcult...endless war and debt for you...sincerely, Goldberg, goldman, Goldstein, etc etc etc


Another bill designed to make the life of the small business owner even easier! 


I thought the 2010 legislature was the worst in State history, but this one is easily beating that record. You just can't fix "stupid".


Thank goodness, I had all this gold and silver just lying around collecting dust and nothing I could do with it until now.  Thank you Arizona legislature for solving this problem!  (Said no one ever.)

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Arizona = ground central for Quacks and Kooks

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

If things get dicey with this bill, Senate president Steve Pierce will go on All In With Steve Kornacki and say with a straight face that he had no idea what he was voting on. 

valleynative topcommenter


No impact on small businesses.  The bill is just a formality.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter


Northern California couple find $10M worth of rare gold coins buried on property 

LOS ANGELES — A Northern California couple out walking their dog on their property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree.

Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently authenticated them. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to about $27,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece.


Andy Biggs is Senate Pres.

Steve Pierce was Senate Pres. after Russell Pearce and before Andy Biggs.

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