Episode-866- Rob Gray on Copper, Silver and Gold

Copper Has a Long History as Money of the Common Man

Copper Has a Long History as Money of the Common Man

Today we are joined by Rob Gray, founder of the AOCS (American Open Currency Standard)  to discuss AOCS copper, silver and gold as a barter currency and all things monetary.

The AOCS exists to expedite the implementation of metal as money.   They actively prospect, train, and support the 3 groups that comprise the AOCS: Merchants that accept AOCS Approved Currencies, Currency Issuers that conceptualize & requisition new minted pieces, and Trade Coordinators that exchange the Currencies with the general public. The AOCS promotes local enterprise and rebuilds local community wealth.

The AOCS promotes a “value for value exchange”

A good way to understand this is to think about the US fiat currency. Imagine a $50 US Federal Reserve Note. Think about what it is “worth”. Most people will quickly answer “$50?. However, the note is merely paper with ink on it, worth plainly no more than a few cents. The currency is worth “$50? only because a merchant is willing to give you $50 worth of value in exchange for it. Also, the courts have decreed Federal Reserve Notes “legal tender”, meaning that the can be used in payment of taxes and to satisfy a debt obligation.

So a paper currency is worth something only when someone is willing to give you something in exchange for it. An AOCS silver currency, however, is valuable whether it is traded or saved. When you exchange silver with a merchant, you are trading value for value. It has two “values”: an intrinsic value and a face or trade value. When you exchange an AOCS currency at a participating merchant, you receive “face value”. If you ever need to melt and sell the currency (which we do not recommend), you will receive “bullion” value. Either way, the currency can not be artificially inflated and will never be “worthless”.

When you exchange in trade with an AOCS Merchant you trade Value for Value, instead of paying for goods and services with fiat debt based Money.

Resources for today’s show…

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52 Responses to Episode-866- Rob Gray on Copper, Silver and Gold

  1. I went and checked out the 2011 Copper “Sarah Palin” to funny because its pretty horrid LOL.. I read a story on zero hedge that the metal zink may be the next metal to start getting attention..

  2. Great podcast, definitely interesting stuff. I’ve slowly been buying mostly silver over the last couple of years and had never really thought about copper. Today’s podcast really made me think about the value of a third metal in my stash. I went ahead and ordered some. I’m not totally on board with spending it though, I understand the thinking and Rob made some good points. It’s just hard to want to use any of those pretty coins I have…

    • bts – I completely agree that it’s so hard to spend, even when presented with incentive to do so…it’s the biggest challenge we have! Even so, it’s a good idea to be prepared, as it may come in handy some day.

  3. Yesterday, I handed out six TSP copper rounds at an Appleseed Project in Baldnob, Arkansas. They are a great way to spread the survival Podcast to others, and Appleseed is a great way to spread liberty throughout our nation.

  4. Great Show. I have been diving deep into the whole metals world and this episode was very interesting and helpful. Thanks to both Jack and Mr. Grey.

    Hoping for more metals shows in the near future as well.

  5. Is the gear shop discourse good @TSPcopper or will there be a different code in the members area? Perhaps there already is and I missed it.

  6. Gonna head out and pick up some copper coins.

    At the same time, I have quite a few “wheatie” pennies. I just looked it up and they have 95% copper. Maybe along with the new TSP copper rounds, old pennies could act as fractions of that?

    • Gurk.

      I was about to buy 25 rolls of TSP copper, but the shipping … please tell me that $198.75 for shipping was the software being wonky.

    • The shipping cost seems to be mended. But now it freaks out at the paypal.

    • Okay – my order went through. The key was to use the green button and not the paypal button.

    • I’ve been stashing 1981 and older pennies just for the heck of it. The melt value at one point last year was .03, and something like 27 of them make an ounce. I’ll pick up some of these copper rounds for certain as I really like them, but in the winter I’ll still sit in front of the wood stove and sort pennies. I figure someday they are going to come in quite handy!

  7. I had an ah-ha moment when I saw Copper, Silver, and Gold on the periodic table.

  8. This subject is so complicated to me – which means I need to re-listen and hope that you can keep podcasting about this subject, Jack , & Rob. Thank you both.

  9. Is it just me or is this an abnormally high premium? Copper is what? $3.85 per POUND? Even if I buy 50 rolls at $19.40 each to “save 43%” I’m still paying about 400% of market price. Or am I calculating this incorrectly?

    • Modern Survival

      @DLJ this was covered in depth in the show, did you listen to it? I will also be talking about it more in depth today.

    • Yes, I actually just finished it up. I guess I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here. In order to get the copper I have to convert my federal reserve notes (my employer will most likely NEVER pay me in anything else). We talk about the value of metals and people will want to know about converting these metals BACK to federal reserve notes should the need ever arise to do so (your guest even mentioned he has been laughed out of offices because of his “fake money”). I agree that these may be very superficial comments that I’m bringing up but I think it’s the common mentality that stands as a roadblock for many.

      • The initial ‘conversion’ into the system is the stumbling block for most people because they’re always thinking ‘how much is that in DOLLARS’. Even when you travel overseas and are buying something in a foreign currency, you’re first running a calculation to see how many DOLLARS the price converts to.

        The shift that needs to take place is ‘how much is that {money token} worth?’ (What did it cost me in goods or services to get it & how many goods or services can I purchase with it). This is of course a trick question because its dependent on other people accepting your {money token} for goods & services. In other words, you need a marketplace to determine its ‘actual’ worth.

        What makes it tough is that you currently can’t use your {money token} to meet all of your money needs.

        Converting back isn’t as much of a problem because when you sell your {money token} back into dollars, your ‘competition’ (AOCS Mint) is also charging a premium for the {money token}.

        Ya know, if you accepted copper AOCS rounds for services rendered and goods sold. You could claim the income at the Copper Spot Price instead of the amount the coin was ‘worth’. At a 400% markup, that would shave 75% off of your taxes!

      • the tax thing is humor.. though it might be true =)

      • Hmm. OK, this has got my evil mind going. If you barter with copper, and only have to count it as income at the Copper spot price, if we all switched to Copper AOCS rounds for our transactions we would all drop into the ‘non-taxable’ income bracket!

        The only way the IRS could object would be to acknowledge the AOCS rounds as having a higher value than their metal content. In other words, to recognize AOCS rounds as ‘legitimate’ currency in the eyes of the government.

        ;-)

      • What I still find concerning is whether these rounds make sense in the long run. If we’re going to be prepping for things shouldn’t one thing on that list be the POSSIBLE collapse of AOCS? If the AOCS fails, what are my rounds worth then?

    • Does the AOCS site provide for a way to convert copper medallions back to US dollars?

      • Modern Survival

        @swampfox not that I am aware of. Today I did point out though that there is a secondary market and they do sell for more there that we sell them for. I would also of course take them as payment on the MSB. If you want to pay with 13 2s vs 1 ounce of silver I will take them all day long.

  10. Great show as always Jack. One comment: I think the show Rob was talking about with the Ron Paul gun is Amican Guns.

    Question for Rob or Jack: what place do nickels have in a PM strategy? Melt value continues to be a bit above face and there are continued rumbling about changing their composition. Will a $1,000 bag of nickels sell for 10x face in 20 or 30 years? Definitely going to get some copper, but are nickels another way for small transactions or change to be made?

    • Chris – Nickels are an easy way to get metal at a discount. Surely, I believe Nickel will be “more valuable” down the road. The hype about the pre-82 pennies at the moment is because they’re available at a huge discount off the melt value. The challenge, however, is that they have to be sorted to be found, and it takes a lot of time and effort to sort in any kind of serious quantity. Nickel, on the other hand, are available at an instant discount and do not require any sorting to find the “more valuable” ones… Hope this helps!

    • ‘junk’ nickel. or is that ‘constitutional nickel’? =)

  11. tacoma copper has some huge bars if your interested, I also bought some 1 0z rounds but them big bars are so cool because there polished to a nice shine and the have a display stand that I put mine on the mantel above the fireplace..

  12. Is the U.S. Government currently taxing the barter system, or are they trying to? How is the Government going to outlaw this? I think they would try someway to do so.

    • Taxing barter? of course:
      http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc420.html

      The fun thing is always determining ‘fair market value’. In the city I live in, if you get a building a permit, they want you to pay a tax that is a percentage of the cost of the improvement. The catch? The tax is on the ‘fair market value’ of the improvement. So if your replacing your front door (yes they want you to get a permit for that) you don’t pay tax on the $200 the new door cost. You pay tax on the cost of the door plus the $1000 to have it ‘professionally installed’. Even when you install the door YOURSELF.

      • I don’t know what city you live in, but you need to freaking move. I enjoy your comments and research!

        • I guess I’m not understanding. I never heard the word “Taxation” in the episode, but I did hear “Barter”. If I transact with a merchant using silver rounds, do I not pay a tax? And will that merchant accept silver eagles? I’m sorry, I’m dumb.

  13. I’d really love to know which show it is specifically and what day for sure. There’s just something inspiring about the way that would hit mainstream.

    More importantly, I can’t wait until you’re selling silver, Jack. I’m always so hesitant to buy from new companies with silver and such that I put it off until I change my mind. So thus far the only AOCS I have is your copper medallions. Will be great to add AOCS to the silver pot. (Just bought some copper rounds, but not TSP. I still have a bunch of those I haven’t lost yet)

  14. Modern Survival

    @Jessie, if you take silver for a product you pay tax on the gain just like money based on the “value” of the silver. This would be the fair market value of silver per ounce on the day it was received. I should also point out this could be a “loss” in some circumstances.

  15. Being stationed in Kuwait it is difficult to listen in on your podcast regularly. I want you to know, My family and I have been talking about purchasing Gold, Silver and Copper. I have found this podcast very informative and am going to email it to my wife before I go back to the tent.
    We are almost up to where we want to be on food storage and our next investments are metals, firearms and ammunition.
    Speaking of ammo could you do a show on reloading?
    Thank you for your time
    Sincerely

    Combat Medic

  16. Hey Jack,
    I know the copper site is in Beta, but a link to TRTAM.com on there might be helpful.Thanks.

  17. @Jack

    Will the MSB discount be applicable to any copper rounds on TSPCopper.com, or just the TSP round? Thanks for putting this together, I will be picking some up!

  18. I’ve put together 3 or 4 responses but chucked them due to length or incoherency. I’ll just say, to TSP listeners, please think this through before spending hard earned cash on these rounds. I’ve been reading about this all day but it still seems like a marketing scheme to sell overpriced (400% over spot) copper rounds.

    I know many TSPers are buying these as a political statement. I’d just hate to see someone drop some cash only to discover the purchasing power of the coinage is virtually zero.

    • Modern Survival

      @swampfox. Clearly you didn’t listen to us explain this or you just chose to ignore what was said. I will respond in more detail later for now let me simply your statements a not grounded in reality.

      Might I suggest listening to episode 877.

    • Modern Survival

      @swampfox,

      Now that I am behind a key board vs. an iPhone let me ask you a few questions.

      1. Please tell me where you can get 99.99 clean copper in one ounce pieces, not stamped, not proof quality, not anything other than clean and in one ounce units for spot price?

      2. If a market exists and people are willing to pay more than we sell them for doesn’t that mean the market says the value is fair? If you can sell copper rounds on eBay right now for more than you can buy them from the AOCS resellers doesn’t that mean the market is making a statement?

      3. Do you understand the “spot price” of copper is for 5 TONS OF COPPER scrap held with paper?

      4. If you had 100 AOCS coppers that could be sold for 1.70-2.25 easily on eBay and wanted to cash out would you sell them on eBay or take them to a scrap yard and ask for spot pricing?

      5. If I offered you 20 1oz AOCS rounds or 20oz of scrap pieces of copper wire which would you take and why if both were free?

      6. Do you even understand that thousands of AOCS merchants take AOCS rounds as trade?

      7. Did you hear either I or Rob tell people to buy a ton of this stuff? Or did you hear us say to invest mostly in silver and gold and use copper for change, small items and to spread the message of honest money?

      8. Do you think you could begin to produce anything resembling a AOCS copper round for anything close to spot pricing on copper? If yes please get with Rob and I because you are a complete friken genius and we want to talk to you and drive down the cost of production with your help.

      9. Do you have a problem with a person providing a service making a reasonable profit?

      10. Did you even listen to Rob’s explanation of coin cost vs. copper spot in the episode or were you busy reading blog posts by people that simply take a contrarian view to copper as money because they can’t answer any of the first 8 questions I asked, in fact they don’t even know to ask them?

      Frankly your assertion that we would in anyway be taking advantage of anyone is insulting.

    • @swampfox
      Jack’s probably already answered this for you, but I thought up an analogy that might be useful.

      If you go to the hardware store and buy a copper pipe fitting, or piece of pipe, do you pay the copper spot price?

      The answer is of course no. The price of the pipe or fitting is a composite of the copper (material) price plus the costs of forming, transporting and storing the copper. Added to this is a ‘profit’ for the manufacturer and the merchant.

      Why do you pay this extra amount? For the utility offered by the formed copper. I think the same holds true for copper rounds. You’re paying for the utility of a ‘trade token’.

      Of course the ‘premium’ over the spot price seems high because the cost to manufacture the trade token is the same regardless of material. With one exception, price volatility.

      The manufacturer is exposed to the risk of the metal price changing for the bad (going down), between the time he buys the metal to have tokens made and the time he tries to sell them. With copper that risk is much smaller than with silver.

      So, what I’m doing is having some copper for the utility of making change, for which I’m happy to pay a small premium. Then some silver for ‘insurance’ and long term investment. With a little gold, also for ‘insurance’ in case the silver price is still be repressed when I need to cash in some metal for currency.

      [Since banks hold gold and not silver. I could see them allowing gold to rise in price, while still trying to hold down silver. Maybe even by ‘executive decree’ (gold=$x, silver=$y you’re not allowed to sell outside the country..its an emergency!) – gotta tighten my tinfoil hat!]

  19. Now copper is a metal that interests me. I’ve always wondered how worth it, it would be to stock up on this commodity and cash in before its all over.

    Thanks for sharing!

  20. I agree that one of the biggest barriers to alternate currencies is getting people to accept the copper or silver coins. This is where all of us come in going to farmers markets, swap meets, etc and asking “Do you take silver or copper?”. Buy or sell something on Craigslist and accept copper or silver. Or, when giving a tip, include a copper round with an explanation of what it is and links back to AOCS and TSP.

    One idea I have is printing up index cards or business cards with open / alternative currency messages. The text could include a round, bank spot in the middle for one of the copper rounds. Laminate the card and then tape the copper round in the middle. I think it would be a cool idea.

  21. Rob mentioned something coming with the Free Lakota Bank and payment services. Is that out yet or still in the works?

    • Modern Survival

      @Jerry far as I know still in the works, just keep an eye on the bank I am sure it is only a secret until it is available, I am pretty sure at that point they will be pretty excited to let everyone know about it.

  22. Got my copper at the beginning of the week. Everything shipped and processed fine.

    Jack/Rob. Is is feasible to sell singles? I’d love to “collect them all!” but prob can’t afford to anytime soon.

    Or if anyone here wants to swap some let me know.

    • We’re working on putting together a “collect a set” product, and will have it online shortly!