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652-561BC Lydia (Present-day Turkey): “Lydian Trite”

The Lydian Trite is considered by many experts to be one of the first coins used as money. It was made of “Electrum”, a silver and gold mixture, by a mint established by King Ardys of Lydia at around 652-615 BC.  Reference 1 , Reference 2

126BC-66AD Phoenicia, city of Tyre: “Silver Shekel”

The Silver Shekel is one of the coins in circulation during Jesus’ time.  This is the type of silver coin that Judas may have received as the ‘thirty pieces of silver’ for betrayal of Jesus, as believed by many historians.  It was 90% pure silver.

1794 United States Mints Silver Dollar

First official US Silver Dollar, minted about 2 years after the first US Mint was opened, and contained 24.0566 grams (371.25 grains) of pure silver as required by the Coinage Act of 1792.  Reference 1

15AD-37AD Roman Republic: “Silver Denarius”

The silver Denarius (“Tribute Penny”), about the size of a US dime, was one of the most common coins in circulation during the time of Jesus and is mentioned in Matthew 22:19 and Mark 12:15 in the Bible.  Reference 1

1789 United States Constitution goes into effect:

On March 4, 1789 the US Constitution went into effect, which delegated power to congress to coin money, and made silver and gold the only tender for payment of debts. (US Constitution Article 1, section 10).  

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1792 Coinage Act of 1792 establishes first US Mint:

On April 2, 1792 the Coinage Act became law. It established the first US Mint in Philadelphia, defined a dollar as a weight of silver, created the silver to gold ratio, and enacted a death penalty for devaluation of money.

(Coinage Act of 1792)   Reference 1  Reference 2

1913 Federal Reserve Act Creates Central Bank

The very idea that our founding fathers sought to prevent became law, a semi-private central bank, not owned by the US Government (the people of US).  This organization gained strong control over the American Monetary system through creation and manipulation of paper currency, which contributed to an artificial growth of the economy, setting the stage for the stock market crash of 1929 and the great depression of the 1930’s.

1873 Coinage Act of 1873 eliminates Silver Standard

This Act paved the way to a gold standard, by demonetizing Silver and preventing “free & unlimited” silver coinage, a symbol of justice for the poor; leading the way to devaluation and manipulation of the US Monetary system through replacement of real silver with paper “silver certificates” in 1878.  Reference 1

305-283BC Ancient Egypt: “Silver Tetradrachm”

Silver metal was recognized as more precious than Gold in ancient Egypt bartering as early as 930 BC.  It was said that the skin of Gods was of gold, but the bones were of Silver. Egyptian silver in coin form however, began appearing around 300BC. 

449-413BC Greece: “Athenian Owl”

One of the earliest types of pure silver coins.  These coins were individually hand struck in Greece and weighed about 17 grams of silver.  Due to popularity and influence this coin remained in circulation up to 30BC.

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1965 The Coinage Act of 1965 eliminates silver from US Coins

This act was in response to coin shortages caused by the rising price of silver, which was  partly due to inflation from overproduction of paper dollars which the 1792 Coinage Act meant to prevent.  Newly minted dimes and quarters were no longer silver, and half dollars became 40% instead of 90% silver.  Currently, the pre-1965 90% silver coins are considered a very affordable type of silver and can be purchased here.

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Silver has been an invaluable precious metal since it’s first major mining source was discovered around 4000BC (over 6,000 years ago) in Anatolian (Modern Turkey), making it one of the  earliest metals discovered by ancient man (some other ancient metals were Copper, Iron, Tin, Lead, and Gold).   Silver’s use as money in coin form however, began around 2600 years ago. 

Silver has remained in high demand by individuals and nations up to this day, mainly due to it’s natural rarity, visual appeal, and the multitude of uses in various applications.  If we are to look to a stable, proven, and precious item to help us through difficult financial times, silver is certainly it. 

Below you will find the brief history of Silvers’ use as money throughout the global history of man.

1968 Exchange of Silver Certificates for Silver Bullion Discontinued

1900 Gold Standard Act Eliminates Silver/Gold Ratio (Bimetallism).

The Gold Standard Act officially eliminated the fixed rate of exchange (bimetallism) between the two precious metals silver and gold, thus encouraging financial instability.  Due to the fluctuation of the commercial value of the precious metals, the metal with a commercial value higher than the currency value tends to be used as metal and is withdrawn from circulation as money in accordance to Gersham’s LawReference 1

1933 Roosevelt Declares National “Bank Holiday”

Due to mass panic and bank runs, on March 6, 1933, President Roosevelt declared a 4 day bank closure or “holiday” to prevent people from hoarding and exporting gold and silver.  On the 3rd day, congress passed the “Emergency Banking Act” which required banks to be inspected and be considered “financially secure” before reopening, the act also allowed government to shut down banks.

1979 Hunt Brothers attempt to corner the Silver Market

Nelson Bunker Hunt and Herbert Hunt, the sons of Texas oil billionaire Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, Jr., had for some time been attempting to corner the market in silver. In 1979 the price of silver jumped from $6/oz to an record all-time of high of $48.70/oz. The brothers were estimated to hold one third of the entire world supply of silver (other than that held by governments).  This didn’t last, as the Hunt Brothers couldn’t meet the Margin call, leading to steep silver price drop & panic in 1980.  Reference 1

1969 Export Ban lifted on Silver Coins

Below you will find a Timeline of Silver’s use as real and stable money in the USA. 

You will notice how in the early years of this great nation (1789 to 1870) the country’s laws and direction was of good order, meant to stabilize money, encourage freedom and fairness in markets, punish unfairness and corruption, and allow people to be the holders of true wealth.  There was no centralized bank (a communist idea) and no paper money.  But as time went on elements of greed, manipulation and deception began to leak in and laws began changing, and our country’s direction turned to a plethora of financial problems through speculative and artificial “bubbles”.

1858 First Major Discovery of Silver ore in NV (Comstock Lode)

[The discovery of silver in Nevada (then western Utah Territory) in 1858 caused considerable excitement in California and throughout the United States. The excitement was the greatest since the discovery of gold in California ten years earlier at Sutter's Mill.] - Wikipedia

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1934 Roosevelt Orders Silver “Confiscation”

On August 9, 1934, only 16 months after Roosevelt issued gold confiscation order no. 6102 to nationalize people’s Gold, Roosevelt issued yet another executive order no. 6814, to confiscate and nationalize silver (in accordance with the Silver Purchase Act of 1934).  By October 5th of the same year, the treasury reported collecting a total of 93.4 million ounces of fine silver from the people.  In return, the people received about .54 cents in paper or coin for each ounce of silver.  Majority never followed the orders and quietly held onto their silver and gold.