We Win the Gold War! Part 2

Last week I featured the first part of an editorial I found from a 1967 Coin World about how Stack’s led the charge to ease the restrictions that the Treasury Department then had on the importation of gold. The conclusion of the article is offered here.


“We Win Gold War” [Part 2]


“The months went by. Dr. Leland Howard retired, adamant to the end, convinced that his stand was correct. He often referred to his agency as a protectorate, guarding the coin collector against evils that could abound with the freer importation of gold coins. Thomas W. Wolfe inherited the ODGSO mantle. From the outset, he studied the gold coin import picture with care and consideration, listening to the viewpoints of many of the most knowledgeable representatives of the hobby — Dr. V. Clain-Stefanelli, curator, Division of Numismatics, Smithsonian Institution; officials of the American Numismatic Association, the Professional Numismatists Guild, Inc., with Hans M. F. Schulman, also a New York dealer, playing a leading role in the petitions to ease the sharp and for the most part unreasonable regulations that required licenses for all gold coins coming into the United States.

“These agencies and individuals are best known to Coin World for their part in the battle against the discrimination. We are certain many other individuals registered opinions with the ODGSO that were weighed in the final decision. We at Coin World were in the battle — we publicized and editorialized in an effort to gain a more equitable treatment for gold coin collectors and dealers.

“But the final decision was with the Treasury Department and Director Wolfe. It was a great day for the hobby when the Treasury pronounced on April 26 gold coins minted before 1934 could come into the country without a license, from 1934 to 1959 with a license if they were of rare and unusual status, with none struck after 1960 to be admissible with a few exceptions. It was alike a breath of fresh air, without a trace of bureaucratic smog, when Director Wolfe told Coin World: “We don’t want regulations for regulations’ sake.”

“We echo the Treasury warning to “know your coins” which is often tantamount in the hobby to “know your dealer.” There are many fake coins being produced overseas and the unsuspecting traveler who still must declare his coin purchases at Customs stations could find he had bought counterfeits at that colorful bazaar he will never see again.

“Many collectors have registered disappointment that the Canadian 1967 $20 commemorative gold coin was not included in the list of admissible coins. But the die is cast, and only approval of the secretary of the Treasury and the President could swing this. These endorsements are not exactly easy to come by, we were gently reminded.”

With the free admission of common date U.S. gold coins, and some exotic new foreign gold, pre-1934, it looks as though there will be some new “tradin’ material” around. Most gold coin dealers believe the new supply will create activity and excitement in the gold coin market with scarcely a dip or a ripple in prices as collectors move eagerly to buy the new supply of material, the gold gleaming through brighter than ever, stripped of its red tape.

We commend Director Wolfe for his reason, and all of those who did battle to win the gold war. Do we dare hope for a similar softening of attitudes toward the importation of gold medals?


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