WASHINGTON — The government Thursday warned consumers and businesses that it is illegal to use alternative money known as "Liberty Dollar" coins, which organizers promote as a competitor to the almighty dollar.
"We don't want consumers to be fooled," U.S. Mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey says, noting U.S. Attorneys offices across the USA have noticed a marked increase in inquiries about the coins.
The coins are produced by an organization called NORFED:
Evansville, Ind.-based National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code, otherwise known as NORFED, has been making the Liberty Dollar coins for eight years and claims $20 million is in circulation. The group says the money, unlike official U.S. cash, has a hedge against inflation because it is made almost entirely of silver and is backed by stocks of silver and gold in a vault in Idaho.
I don't know anything about these coins, but isn't it ironic that the government deems it illegal to produce a coin that has more intrinsic value (it must since official government coins no longer contain silver or gold) than the official version? And why exactly would it be illegal to produce coins, but not jewelry?