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Goldbacks: A Precious Addition to Your Portfolio

Goldbacks are a unique form of currency that combines the convenience of paper money with the intrinsic value of precious metals, particularly gold. Developed as a localized currency alternative, Goldbacks have gained popularity among investors and collectors alike.

Definition and Purpose

Goldbacks are intricately designed notes made from layers of polyester and gold foil. They serve as a tangible representation of fractional gold ownership and are often used for investment, trade, and bartering. Their main purpose is to make small purchases with gold possible, something that eludes gold bars and coins. A single gram of gold might be worth $80 or more for example, and is so tiny that it is easy to lose. A Goldback solves that problem neatly by creating a durable gold foil note.

Brief History

The concept of Goldbacks originated in Utah, USA, in the early 21st century as a response to economic uncertainty. Since then, they have expanded in use beyond their original locale and have become recognized as a viable alternative to traditional fiat currency. They were created in 2019 and have grown rapidly since then, with a reported 1.28 million people purchasing and trading the goldback just four years later.

Overview of Usage and Benefits

Goldbacks offer several advantages over conventional currency, including stability, portability, and divisibility. Their unique design also makes them aesthetically pleasing to collectors while maintaining their value as an investment.

Features of Goldbacks

Composition and Design

Goldbacks are meticulously crafted using layers of polyester and gold foil, resulting in a durable yet lightweight currency. Each note features intricate artwork and security features, making them both visually appealing and difficult to counterfeit.

Denominations and Sizes

Goldbacks are available in various denominations, ranging from as small as 1/1000th of an ounce to larger denominations suitable for larger transactions. This allows for flexibility in both small-scale and large-scale transactions. Goldbacks are offered in 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 Goldback denominations.

Security Features

To ensure authenticity and prevent counterfeiting, Goldbacks incorporate advanced security features such as holographic elements, microprinting, and unique serial numbers. These features provide peace of mind to users and bolster confidence in the currency's integrity.

Portability

Due to their lightweight and compact design, Goldbacks are highly portable, making them convenient for everyday transactions and travel.

Divisibility

Goldbacks can be easily divided into smaller denominations, allowing for precise transactions without the need for additional currency or change. This feature is also known as fungibility and it’s an important component of any currency used for trade or barter.

Inherent Value

As a form of fractional gold ownership, Goldbacks inherently possess value based on the underlying precious metal content, providing a hedge against inflation and economic instability. The Goldback exchange rate has increased from $2.55 for one Goldback at the time of their launch in 2019 to $4.66 at the time of writing, thanks to the underlying value of the gold that has been sealed inside each Goldback.

Accessibility

Goldbacks are accessible to a wide range of individuals, including investors, collectors, and everyday consumers. They can be purchased online, through authorized dealers, or directly from issuers. APMEX offers Goldbacks online with free shipping for purchases over $199.

Comparison with Other Forms of Currency or Precious Metals

Comparison with Fiat Currency

Unlike fiat currency, which is subject to inflation and devaluation, Goldbacks maintain their intrinsic value over time due to their gold content. Between launching in 2019 and March 2024, the Goldback exchange rate has increased 82%. Meanwhile the US dollar has decreased since 2019 due to inflation. A dollar in 2019 is worth about $1.21 in March 2024.

Comparison with Bullion Coins

While bullion coins offer a similar store of value, Goldbacks provide greater divisibility and portability, making them more practical for everyday transactions. A gram of gold is close to the smallest unit of gold you can purchase, and is currently worth approximately $70, making it impractical for small purchases such as a cup of coffee.

Comparison with Digital Gold

While digital gold offers convenience and accessibility, Goldbacks provide tangible ownership of physical gold, offering security and peace of mind. While digital gold leaves a digital trail, Goldbacks can be bartered and spent similarly to the way dollars are, providing anonymity to your purchases.

Practical Uses of Goldbacks

Investment

Goldbacks serve as a tangible asset for investors seeking to diversify their portfolios and protect against economic uncertainty. As the underlying value of gold increases, the value of the Goldback will also increase. Goldbacks may function similarly to other fractional gold, but are easier to directly spend.

Bartering and Trade

Due to their inherent value and divisibility, Goldbacks are well-suited for bartering and trade. Goldback Inc reports that as many as 50% of small businesses may accept Goldbacks in states where it has been informally adopted as a local currency. In addition, the number of people who own Goldbacks has increased 44x from the end of 2019 to the end of 2023.

Collecting and Numismatics

Goldbacks feature unique artwork and designs, making them popular among collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate their aesthetic appeal and historical significance. They are designed artfully and feature women in vertical orientation, as a counterpoint to the US dollar which typically features men rendered horizontally on paper.

Purchasing and Storing Goldbacks

Where to Buy

Goldbacks can be purchased from authorized dealers, online retailers, or directly from issuers. It's essential to ensure the authenticity of the source and verify the integrity of the notes before purchasing. APMEX is a trusted bullion dealer with over 1.7 million customers and hundreds of thousands of positive reviews. Any Goldbacks bought from APMEX are guaranteed to be authentic.

Storage Considerations

When storing Goldbacks, you might consider purchasing a special wallet that holds the Goldbacks securely. With their polyester coating they are quite durable, but many enjoy the artwork and don’t want to crumple the gold foil notes. You store Goldbacks much like you store any money at home, keeping it in a secure place.

Security Measures

Much as you would protect other valuables against theft or loss, you may also wish to protect your Goldbacks in a similar fashion. If you were to keep hundreds or thousands of dollars in a sock drawer at home, you have a greater chance of loss due to theft than if you kept it in safe. Secrecy is always your best measure of protection, so if do keep a large amount of any currency at home, discretion can be its own protection.

Risks and Considerations

Market Volatility

While gold historically maintains its value over time, it is subject to market fluctuations and volatility, which can affect the value of Goldbacks.

Counterfeiting Risks

With considerable security measures in place and the difficulty of counterfeiting Goldbacks, we believe the risk of counterfeits to be very low. If a counterfeiter is attempting to pass off a fake gold bar, the risk/reward ratio for them is much higher as it’s easier to counterfeit and the payout is larger. The largest denomination Goldback is the 50 Goldback, which only contains 1/20th of a troy ounce of gold. It is more likely that a counterfeiter will attempt to mimic a one troy ounce gold bar.

FAQs about Goldbacks

How Are Goldbacks Made?

Goldbacks are meticulously crafted using layers of polyester and gold foil, with each note featuring intricate artwork and security features.

Are Goldbacks Legal Tender?

While Goldbacks are not recognized as legal tender by governments, they are accepted as a form of payment by participating merchants and individuals. It is referred to as a voluntary local currency.

Goldbacks Make a Strong Case for Fractional Gold Ownership via Gold Notes

Goldbacks offer a unique combination of intrinsic value, portability, and divisibility, making them an attractive option for investors, collectors, and everyday consumers alike. Whether used for investment, trade, or collection, Goldbacks provide a tangible representation of fractional gold ownership and serve as a reliable store of value in an uncertain world. Explore our selection of Goldbacks today and discover the timeless allure of precious metal currency.

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