The Gold Clause

The average American, however, does not have to stand idly by and leave himself entirely unprotected from ever-worsening monetary and banking crises until either his State or the General Government acts—because all private citizens can, with perfect legality, structure their own business and other financial affairs on the basis of “gold clauses”, “silver clauses”, or “gold and silver clauses”, under the aegis of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5118(d)(2), if they simply follow the proper procedure.”

“Gold Clauses” and “Silver Clauses” in Financial Transactions: A Practical Study Concerning Their Origin and Use, 2009, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 17.

Also see “Legal Tender” Law: Opting Out • What is a “Dollar”?  WE THE PEOPLE’S Legal Definition of “Money” Federal Reserve System: Cartel Structure • Silver and Gold as “Money” Implemented by the States • “Right of Redemption” of Paper Money: The Monetary Conjurer’s Trick • Federal Reserve Act; Section 30


  • Definition of a ‘Gold Clause’

    In its strictest definition, a “gold clause” is a provision in, or which governs the execution of, a contract, obligation, instrument of debt, security, or other like agreement, and which requires one of the parties to pay the other party either:

    (i) a specified amount or quantity of gold, of a particular gold coin, or of some paper currency or other security redeemable or payable in a fixed amount or quantity of gold or of a particular gold coin; or

    (ii) some other currency in an amount determined by reference to a specified amount or quantity of gold or of a particular gold coin. (footnote 1)

    In common parlance, however, the term “gold clause” has come to stand for any contractual or similar provision that requires payment in, or is tied in some way to, gold or silver. So, it is possible to write a “gold clause” that mandates payment only in gold (a pure “gold clause”), only in silver (a pure “silver clause”), or in both gold and silver (a mixed “gold and silver clause”).

    Most practical for common Americans today are “gold clauses”, “silver clauses”, and “gold and silver clauses” that employ United States legal-tender gold or silver coins, or both, as their exclusive media of payment. Therefore, we will rely on the general legal definition of a “gold clause” set out in the present version of Title 31 of the United States Code:

    § 5118. Gold clauses and consent to sue

    (a) In this section—
    (1) “gold clause” means a provision in or related to an obligation alleging to give the obligee a right to require payment in—

    (A) gold;

    (B) a particular United States coin or currency; or

    (C) United States money measured in gold or a particular United States coin or currency.

    Footnotes:

    1.) “Gold Clauses” and “Silver Clauses” in Financial Transactions: A Practical Study Concerning Their Origin and Use, 2009, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 1-2.

A “gold clause” can employ gold itself, in other than the form of United States coin—that is, as bullion—for the statute so recites in its sub-section (A). (Silver in the form of bullion can also be the subject of a “gold clause”, albeit not under color of this particular statute.) But, in contrast to United States gold and silver coins, neither gold nor silver bullion is readily available to most Americans in conveniently-sized, governmentally-certified units that are suitable for employment in common day-to-day transactions as media of exchange. This renders the use of bullion impractical or at least cumbersome in most instances for most people.

WHO MAY EMPLOY A “GOLD CLAUSE” IN HIS BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS?

Perhaps amazingly, every common American and every State—but not the General Government of the United States—may employ “gold clauses” today.

  • A brief legal history of ‘gold clauses’ in America.

    In contrast to the present situation, prior to 1933 the obligations of the General Government—issued under the power of Congress “[t]o borrow Money on the credit of the United States” (footnote 1)—always stood on an at least implicit “gold-clause” basis.

    For example, every issue of Treasury Notes from the late 1700s until 1862 implicitly promised to pay this country’s creditors in silver or gold coin, because the principal and interest of those notes were always denominated in “dollars”, which the coinage acts of that era defined either as silver coins (based on the constitutional silver “dollar” of 371.25 troy grains of fine metal (footnote 2), or as gold coins “Value[d]” in silver, pursuant to Congress’s power “[t]o coin Money, [and] regulate the Value thereof”. (footnote 3)

    Even the theretofore unprecedented legal-tender United States Treasury Notes of the Civil War first emitted in 1862 (the so-called “Lincoln Greenbacks”), that actually functioned as paper currency, promised to pay in gold or silver—either explicitly and immediately, as to the interest derived from United States bonds for which the Greenbacks could be exchanged; (footnote 4) or implicitly and eventually, when the United States resumed gold and silver payments. (footnote 5) Indeed, the presumably inevitable redemption of the Greenbacks in coin of the fixed statutory standard was the decisive characteristic upon which the majority of Justices in the Supreme Court, in The Legal Tender Cases, fastened in order to hold the notes constitutional. (footnote 6)

    Moreover, besides actually paying or eventually redeeming all of its notes, bonds, and even legal-tender Treasury currency with silver or gold coin throughout the late 1700s and 1800s, from 1900 until 1933 Congress issued every United States bond with an explicit promise of payment in gold coin “of the present standard of value” (footnote 7)—which at that time was the statutory “gold dollar” of 1900, along with the constitutional silver “dollar” which Congress had ordered the Secretary of the Treasury to “maintain[ ] at a parity of value with th[e statutory gold] standard”. (footnote 8)

    This pattern was followed even in the statute establishing the Federal Reserve System in 1913, which incorporated three “gold-clause” standards: First, a “gold clause” with respect to the Federal Reserve Notes the statute licensed the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to emit:

    Federal reserve notes, to be issued at the discretion of the Federal Reserve Board for the purpose of making advances to Federal reserve banks * * * and for no other purpose, are hereby authorized. The said notes shall be obligations of the United States * * * . They shall be redeemed in gold on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or in gold or lawful money at any Federal reserve bank. (footnote 9)

    Second, further “gold clauses” with respect to the Treasury notes and bonds the statute authorized—to wit, “one-year gold notes of the United States”, “Treasury notes to be payable * * * in gold coin of the present standard value”, and “United States gold bonds”. (footnote 10) And third, gold reserves the banks were required to maintain against their deposits and notes:

    Every Federal reserve banks shall maintain reserves in gold or lawful money of not less than thirty-five per centum against its deposits and reserves in gold of not less than forty per centum against its Federal reserve notes in actual circulation, and not offset by gold or lawful money deposited with the Federal reserve agent. (footnote 11)

    Thus, from the late 1700s until 1933, “the credit of the United States” (and even of its creature, the Federal Reserve System) was always tied directly to a monetary system which ultimately rested upon silver and gold coinage. (footnote 12)

    Footnotes:

    1.) U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 2.

    2.) Compare U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 1 and amend. VII with Act of 2 April 1792, ch. 16, § 9, 1 Stat. 246, 248, and with United States v. Gardner, 35 U.S. (10 Peters) 618, 621 (1836). One ounce of silver contains 480 grains (troy). A constitutional “dollar”—which the Act of 1792 recognized as “of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current”—contains 371.25 grains of silver. Therefore, one ounce of coined silver has a constitutional value of 480 divided by 371.25 equals 1.292929 “dollars”. The “troy” unit of measure for silver and gold remains the statutory standard today. 31 U.S.C. § 5102.

    3.) U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 5.

    4.) Act of 25 February 1862, ch. 33, § 1, 12 Stat. 345, 345.

    5.) During and in the aftermath of the Civil War, the Union government suspended payments on its notes in silver or gold. But it later pledged “to make provision at the earliest practicable period for the redemption of United States notes in coin”. Act of 18 March 1869, ch. 1, 16 Stat. 1, 1. And eventually it made good on this promise. Act of 14 January 1875, ch. 15, § 3, 18 Stat. 296, 296.

    6.) 79 U.S. (12 Wallace), 457, 553 (opinion of Strong, J.), 560-562, 565 (Bradley, J, concurring) (1871).

    7.) See, e.g., Act of 14 March 1900, ch, 41, § 2, 31 Stat. 45, 46 (United States bonds “to be payable, principal and interest, in gold coin of the present standard value”); Act of 4 February 1910, ch. 25, § 1, 36 Stat. 192, 192 (“bonds and certificates of indebtedness of the United States hereafter issued shall be payable, principal and interest, in United States gold coin of the present standard of value”); Act of 3 March 1917, ch. 159, Title IV, § 400, 39 Stat. 1000, 1003 (certain United States bonds “shall be payable, principal and interest, in United States gold coin of the present standard of value”); Act of 4 March 1917, ch. 191, 39 Stat. 1201, 1201 (as to certain bonds, “both principal and interest shall be payable in United States gold coin of the present standard of value”); Act of 24 April 1917, ch. 4, § 1, 40 Stat. 35, 35 (“[t]he principal and interest * * * shall be payable in United States gold coin of the present standard of value”); Act of 24 September 1917, ch. 56, § 1, 40 Stat. 288, 288 (“[t]he principal and interest * * * shall be payable in United States gold coin of the present standard of value”; Act of 4 April 1918, ch. 44, § 1, 40 Stat. 502, 503 (“[t]he principal and interest * * * shall be payable in United States gold coin of the present standard of value”).

    8.) Act of 14 March 1900, ch. 41, § 1, 31 Stat. 45, 45. See also Act of 1 November 1893, ch. 8, 28 Stat. 4. The requirement for the Secretary of the Treasury to maintain “parity”—or “equal purchasing power”, in the contemporary statutory jargon—among various forms of United States currency remains even today. See 31 U.S.C. § 5119(a).

    9.) Act of 23 December 1913, ch. 6, § 16, 38 Stat. 251, 265, now codified (but with removal of an explicit redemption in gold) in 12 U.S.C. § 411. Under the original statute, Federal Reserve Banks could redeem Federal Reserve Notes “in gold or in lawful money”, which might be something other than gold; whereas the Treasury was required to redeem those notes exclusively “in gold”. Then the Treasury could collect from the banks on those notes it had redeemed, because “such Federal reserve notes * * * issued to any such [Federal Reserve] bank shall, upon delivery, * * * become a first and paramount lien on all the assets of such bank”. Act of 23 December 1913, ch. 6, § 16, 38 Stat. 251, 266-267, now codified in 12 U.S.C. § 414.

    10.) Act of 23 December 1913, ch. 6, § 18, 38 Stat. 251, 269.

    11.) Act of 23 December 1913, ch. 6, § 16, 38 Stat. 251, 266.

    12.) “Gold Clauses” and “Silver Clauses” in Financial Transactions: A Practical Study Concerning Their Origin and Use, 2009, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 2-5.

  • With the advent of the ‘Greenback’ in 1862 gold clauses became very popular among knowledgeable Americans who feared losses of their real wealth.

    With the advent of the legal-tender “Greenback” paper currency in 1862, however, explicit “gold clauses” in private contracts became very popular among knowledgeable Americans who feared losses of their real wealth because of the new currency’s temporary irredeemability in gold or silver, coupled with its rapid depreciation in purchasing power as against gold in the free market. And not without reason: For at the end of 1862, 1863, and 1864, $100 face value in gold coin exchanged in the free market for $128, $148, and $225 face value in Greenbacks, respectively—the lowest point coming in July of 1864, when $100 in gold exchanged for $285 in paper currency. (footnote 1)

    Very soon, the question of the legality of these “gold clauses”in relationship to the legal-tender law found its way to the Supreme Court. At issue in Bronson v. Rodes (footnote 2) was whether a contractual provision calling for “dollars payable in gold and silver coin, lawful money of the United States” could be satisfied with legal-tender Greenbacks. To determine “the precise import in law” of the contractual phrase, the Court turned to the Mint Act of 1792. (footnote 3) The Court noted that the act “established the [silver] dollar as the money unit”, and that “[p]rovision was also made for a gold coinage * * * of eagles, * * * being of the value * * * [of so many] dollars”. (footnote 4) Then, after reviewing the coinage acts enacted from 1792 onwards, the Court observed that “[t]he design of all this minuteness and strictness in the regulation of coinage * * * recognizes the fact, accepted by men throughout the world, that value is inherent in the precious metals; that gold and silver are in themselves values, and being such * * * are the only proper measure of value; [and] that these values are determined by weight and purity”. (footnote 5) Moreover, “[e]very * * * dollar is a piece of gold or silver, certified to be of a certain weight and purity, by the form and impress given to it at the mint * * * and therefore declared to be a legal tender in payments”. (footnote 6) From all this, the Court concluded that

    [a] contract to pay a certain number of dollars in gold or silver coins is, therefore, in legal import, nothing else than an agreement to deliver a certain weight of standard gold, to be ascertained by a count of coins, each of which is certified to contain a definite proportion of that weight. It is not distinguishable * * * , in principle, from a contract to deliver an equal weight of bullion of equal fineness. It is distinguishable, in circumstance, only by the fact that the sufficiency of the amount to be tendered in payment must be ascertained, in the case of bullion, by assay and the scales, while in the case of coins it may be ascertained by count. (footnote 7)

    The Court then denied that “a contract to pay coined money may be satisfied by a tender of United States notes”. (footnote 8) “[L]aws for the coinage of gold and silver”, the Court explained,

    have never been repealed * * * .They remain on the statute-book in full force. And the emission of gold and silver coins from the mint continues. * * *

    Nor have those provisions of law which make these coins a legal tender in all payments been repealed or modified.

    It follows that there were two descriptions of money in use at the time the tender under consideration [in the case] was made, both authorized by law, and both made legal tender in payments. The statute denomination of both descriptions was dollars; but they were essentially unlike in nature. The coined dollar was * * * a piece of gold and silver of a prescribed degree of purity, weighing a prescribed number of grains. The note dollar was a promise to pay a coined dollar; but it was not a promise to pay on demand nor at any fixed time, nor was it, in fact, convertible into a coined dollar. It was impossible, in the nature of things, that these two dollars should be the actual equivalents of each other, nor was there anything in the currency acts purporting to make them such * * * .

    If then, no express provision to the contrary be found in the acts of Congress, it is a just and necessary inference, from the fact that both descriptions of money were issued by the same government, that contracts to pay in either were equally sanctioned by law. It is, indeed, difficult to see how any question can be made on this point. Doubt concerning it can only spring from that confusion of ideas which always attends the introduction of varying and uncertain measures of value into circulation of money.

    * * * What reason can be assigned now for saying that a contract to pay coined dollars must be satisfied by the tender of an equal number of note dollars, which will not be equally valid then, for saying that a contract to pay note dollars must be satisfied by a tender of an equal number of coined dollars? (footnote 9)

    Finally, the Court held that “express contracts to pay coined dollars can only be satisfied by the payment of coined dollars. They are not ‘debts’ which may be satisfied by the tender of United States notes”. (footnote 10)

    Butler v. Horowitz (footnote 11) elaborated on Bronson. The Butler Court reaffirmed that “[a] contract to pay a certain sum in gold and silver coin is, in substance and legal effect, a contract to deliver a certain weight of gold and silver of a certain fineness, to be ascertained by count”; and that “two descriptions of lawful money [are] in use under acts of Congress”—adding that “the obvious intent, in contracts for payment or delivery of coin or bullion, to provide against fluctuations in the medium of payment, warrants the inference that it was the understanding of the parties that such contracts should be satisfied, whether before or after judgment, only by tender of coin”. (footnote 12) The Court further noted that “the acts making United States notes a legal tender * * * not only do not prohibit, but, by strong implications, sanction contracts made since their passage for payment of coin; and consequently, taken in connection with the provision of the act of 1792, concerning money of account, require that damages upon such contracts be assessed in coin, and judgment rendered accordingly”. (footnote 13) This faithfully followed the Mint Act of 1792, which had provided that “the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars” (footnote 14)—just as the United States Code continues to do, somewhat more elaborately but in substantively the same language, today. (footnote 15) So, concluded the Court, judges are required “to give full effect to the intention of parties [to the contract] as to the medium of payment”. (footnote 16)

    Footnotes:

    1.) See W. Mitchell, Gold, Prices & Wages Under the Greenback Standard (1908), at 288-301.

    2.) 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 229 (1869).

    3,) Act of 2 April 1792, ch. 16, 1 Stat. 246.

    4.) 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) at 247-248.

    5.) Id. at 249.

    6.) Id. at 250.

    7.) Id.

    8.) Id. at 251.

    9.) Id. at 251-252.

    10.) Id. at 254.

    11.) 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 258 (1869).

    12.) Id. at 260-261.

    13.) Id. at 261.

    14.) Act of 2 April 1792, ch. 16, § 20, 1 Stat. 246, 250-251.

    15.) 31 U.S.C. § 5101: “United States money is expressed in dollars, dimes or tenths, cents or hundredths, and mills or thousandths. A dime is a tenth of a dollar, a cent is a hundredth of a dollar, and a mill is a thousandth of a dollar.”

    16.) 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) at 261.

  • 1933—Congress outlaws enforcement of ‘gold clause’ contracts.

    During the the Civil War era, “gold clause” contracts had become popular among knowledgeable Americans because it allowed them to maintain their own wealth, escaping the inflationary and depreciation effects of “bills of credit” (paper money). Such was the basic law of “gold clauses” prior to 1933. At the height of the banking crisis and depression in that year, however, Congress enacted House Joint Resolution No. 192, which outlawed most “gold clauses”, by decreeing that

    every provision contained in or made with respect to any obligation which purports to give the obligee a right to require payment in gold or a particular kind of coin or currency, or in an amount in money of the United States measured thereby, is declared to be against public policy; and no such provision shall be contained in or made with respect to any obligation hereafter incurred. Every obligation, heretofore or hereafter incurred, whether or not any such provision is contained therein or made with respect thereto, shall be discharged upon payment, dollar for dollar, in any coin or currency which at the time of payment is legal tender for public and private debts. (footnote 1)

    Footnotes:

    1.) H.R.J. Res. No. 192, 5 June 1933, ch. 48, § 1(a), 48 Stat. 112, 113.

  • 1977—Congress reinstates enforcement of ‘gold clause’ contracts.

    In 1977, however, Congress mandated that the Joint Resolution “shall not apply to obligations issued on or after [28 October 1977]”, (footnote 1) 30 thus reinstating the right of every American to make “gold clauses”.

    The entirety of the section of Title 31 of the United States Code applicable to “gold clauses” now provides as follows:

    § 5118. Gold clauses and consent to sue

    (a) In this section—

    (1) “gold clause” means a provision in or related to an obligation alleging to give the obligee a right to require payment in—

    (A) gold;
    (B) a particular United States coin or currency; or
    (C) United States money measured
    in gold or a particular United States coin or currency.

    (2) “public debt obligation” means a domestic
    obligation issued or guaranteed by the United States
    Government to repay money or interest.

    (b) The United States Government may not pay out any gold coin. A person lawfully holding United States coins and currency may present the coins and currency to the Secretary of the Treasury for exchange (dollar for dollar) for other United States coins and currency (other than gold and silver coins) that may be lawfully held. The Secretary shall make the exchange under regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
    (c) (1) The Government withdraws its consent given to anyone to assert against the Government, its agencies, or its officers, employees, or agents, a claim—

    (A) on a gold clause public debt obligation or interest on the obligation;
    (B) for United States coins or currency; or
    (C) arising out of the surrender, requisition, seizure, or acquisition of United States coins or currency, gold, or silver involving the effect or validity of a change in the metallic content of the dollar or in a regulation about the value of money.

    (2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection does not apply to a proceeding in which no claim is made for payment or credit in an amount greater than the face or nominal value in dollars of public debt obligations or United States coins or currency involved in the proceeding.

    (3) Except when consent is not withdrawn under this subsection, an amount appropriated for payment on public debt obligations and for United States coins and currency may be expended only dollar for dollar.
    (d)(1) In this subsection, “obligation” means any obligation (except United States currency) payable in United States money.
    (2) An obligation issued containing a gold clause or governed by a gold clause is discharged on payment (dollar for dollar) in United States coin or currency that is legal tender at the time of payment. This paragraph does not apply to an obligation issued after October 27, 1977. (footnote 2)

    Footnotes:

    1.) Act of 28 October 1977, Pub. L. 94-147, § 4(c), 91 Stat. 1227, 1229, now codified in 31 U.S.C. § 5118(d)(2).

    2.) Portions of this section derived from the Act of 30 January 1934, ch. 6, § 5, 48 Stat. 337, 340; the Act of 28 October 1977, Pub. L. 94-147, § 4(c), 91 Stat. 1227, 1229; the Act of 13 September 1982, Pub. L. 97-258, 96 Stat. 877, 985; and the Act of 17 December 1985, Pub. L. 99-185, § 2(d), 99 Stat. 1177, 1178.

  • The absolute constitutional right of the States to employ ‘gold clauses’.

    In contradistinction to the General Government, the States are not precluded from employing “gold clauses” in their financial transactions. To the contrary, the Constitution itself declares that “[n]o State shall * * * make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”, (footnote 1) which plainly indicates that the specific power and even duty to “make * * * gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”, including the State’s own “Debts”, is reserved to the States. (footnote 2)

    In addition to this, the States enjoy an absolute right to employ whatever currency they deem necessary and proper for the performance of their governmental functions—with the exceptions of “Money” that they themselves “coin” and “Bills of Credit” (paper currency) that they themselves “emit”. (footnote 3) In Lane County v. Oregon, the State courts had ruled that, as a matter of State law, certain county and State taxes “were required to be collected in [silver and gold] coin”. (footnote 4) At issue in the Supreme Court was whether, notwithstanding State law, the taxes could be paid in legal-tender United States Notes, pursuant to the Congressional mandate that those notes

    shall be receivable in payment of all taxes, internal duties, excises, debts and demands due to the United States, except duties on imports * * * ; and shall also be lawful money and legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private, within the United States * * * . (footnote 5)

    The Supreme Court held that the taxes could not be paid in Greenbacks. “The people of the United States”, the Court explained,

    constitute one nation, under one government, and this government, within the scope of the powers with which it is invested, is supreme. On the other hand, the people of each State compose a State, having its own government, and endowed with all the functions essential to separate and independent existence. The States disunited might continue to exist. Without the States in union there could be no political body as the United States.

    Both the States and the United States existed before the Constitution. The people, through that instrument, established a more perfect union by substituting a national government, acting, with ample power, directly upon the citizens, instead of the Confederate government, which acted with powers, greatly restricted, only upon the States. But in many articles of the Constitution the necessary existence of the States, and, within their proper spheres, the independent authority of the States, is distinctly recognized. * * * [T]o them and to the people all powers not expressly delegated to the national government are reserved. * * *

    Now, to the existence of the States, themselves necessary to the existence of the United States, the power of taxation is indispensable. It is an essential function of government. It was exercised by the Colonies; and when the Colonies became States, both before and after the formation of the Confederation, it was exercised by the new governments. * * * The Constitution, it is true, greatly changed this condition of things. It gave the power to tax, both directly and indirectly, to the national government, and, subject to the one prohibition of any tax upon exports and to the conditions of uniformity in respect to indirect and of proportion in respect to direct taxes, the power was given without any express reservation. On the other hand, no power to tax exports, or imports except for a single purpose and to an insignificant extent, or to lay any duty on tonnage, was permitted to the States. In respect, however, to property, business, and persons, within their respective limits, their power of taxation remained and remains entire. It is indeed a concurrent power, and in the case of a tax on the same subject by both governments, the claim of the United States, as the supreme authority, must be preferred; but with this qualification it is absolute. The extent to which it shall be exercised, the subjects upon which it shall be exercised, and the mode in which it shall be exercised, are all equally within the discretion of the legislatures to which the States commit the exercise of the power. * * * There is nothing in the Constitution which contemplates or authorizes any direct abridgment of this power by national legislation. * * * If, therefore, the condition of any State, in the judgment of its legislature, requires the collection of taxes in kind, that is to say, by the delivery to the proper officers of a certain proportion of products, or in gold and silver bullion, or in gold and silver coin, it is not easy to see upon what principle the national government can interfere with the exercise, to that end, of this power, original in the States, and never as yet surrendered. (footnote 6) 

    Footnotes:

    1.) U.S. Const. art. I, § 10, cl. 1 (emphasis supplied).

    2.) See U.S. Const. amend. X.

    3.) See U.S. Const. art. I, § 10, cl. 1.

    4.) 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 71, 74 (1869).

    5.) Id. at 75, quoting Act of 25 February 1862, ch. 33, § 1, 12 Stat. 345, 345.

    6.) 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) at 76-78 (emphasis supplied).

  • The right of common Americans to employ ‘gold clauses’.

    The average American, however, does not have to stand idly by and leave himself entirely unprotected from ever-worsening monetary and banking crises until either his State or the General Government acts—because all private citizens can, with perfect legality, structure their own business and other financial affairs on the basis of “gold clauses”, “silver clauses”, or “gold and silver clauses”, under the aegis of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5118(d)(2), if they simply follow the proper procedure. (footnote 1)

    WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF EMPLOYING “GOLD CLAUSES”?

    “Gold clauses” enable every American to designate with exactitude what will be the only legal tender for his business and other financial transactions—either gold, or silver, or gold and silver. Federal Reserve Notes and United States base-metallic (“clad”) coins can be absolutely excluded as permissible media of payment—that is, with respect to Americans’ business and other financial transactions subject to “gold clauses”, Federal Reserve Notes and United States base-metallic coins can be effectively demonetized. Individuals using “gold clauses” can, to the extent of those clauses, separate their finances from the Federal Reserve System entirely. Thus, “gold clauses” can put the parties’ contracts on an economically sound and fully constitutional monetary basis—in particular, protecting creditors against the inherent instability of the Federal Reserve System’s paper currency and fractional-reserve central banking Ponzi scheme, as well as the potential hyperinflationary effects that could arise out of the mammoth governmental “bail outs” of banks, financial institutions, and major industries now taking place.

    In addition, to the extent that ever-increasing numbers of individuals and businesses adopt “gold clauses”, an alternative monetary system will develop that can protect a Locality’s or even a whole State’s economy against the increasingly severe economic shocks that will accompany the approaching collapse of the Federal Reserve System. (footnote 2)

    Footnotes:

    1.) “Gold Clauses” and “Silver Clauses” in Financial Transactions: A Practical Study Concerning Their Origin and Use, 2009, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 17.

    2.) Id.

Gold Clauses came about as a result of the “emission of bills of credit” (i.e., paper money) known as the “Lincoln Greenback”. Initially, the “Greenback” was redeemable in gold or silver until redeemability was suspended. Specie payments eventually resumed on the “Greenback”, but they inflated/depreciated by up to 67% of their initial value. As a result, people started to use “gold clauses” in all long term contracts. This meant that no matter how much paper money (i.e., bills of credit) were emitted by the government, causing inflation and depreciation of those bills, all payments would have to be paid in gold as specified in the clause, thus allowing the creditor to opt out of the legal tender/paper money system, removing himself from its inflationary and depreciation effects.