Share This Page

Arizona weighs gold, silver coins as legal tender

| Saturday, April 20, 2013, 8:24 p.m.

PHOENIX — It may be time for Arizonans who have invested in gold and silver to take their stockpiles of coins out of hiding and get ready to put them to use.

If some of the state's more conservative politicians get their way, someday soon shoppers could conceivably be able to plunk down precious metal to pay for groceries, buy a new car or pay a traffic fine.

Arizona is on track to become the second state in the nation to recognize gold and silver coins as legal tender. It would join Utah as part of a conservative movement arising out of a lack of confidence in the Federal Reserve and a fear that paper money could become virtually worthless as U.S. debt deflates the value of the dollar.

Supporters consider the move a potential financial savior and envision a day when residents can carry debit cards funded by the gold they hold in special depositories.

Miles Lester, who represents a group called Arizona Constitutional Advocates, said during a recent public hearing on legal-tender legislation that “the dollar is on its way out. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.”

Economists question the stability of gold and silver as an alternative to currency, noting that the value of gold in particular has tumbled precipitously in just the past week. Opponents call the movement crazy, a waste of legislative time and nearly impossible to implement. Utah has had the law on its books for two years and still has no organized system for spending and accepting gold and silver.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.