September 4, 2022

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Goldback Note: What are They?

If you are an investor in the gold or silver niche you may have seen or heard about Goldback Notes in the past couple of years. Starting in 2019, Goldback's have been in production and were formed for both investment and currency. Goldbacks are produced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 bills, and each bill has a small percentage of gold inlayed in the design. 

There are several unique aspects of the Goldback Note. They are infused with a precise amount of atomized gold particles in a vacuum chamber and overlayed with lamination. The four states represented in the Goldback Series are Nevada, Utah, New Hampshire, and Wyoming. Each series has a unique artistic design and rendering with significant purpose and history. The Goldback is produced to be a legal tender, these bills have also increased in value since originally manufactured in 2019 due to the value of gold increasing and demand for the product. Given the amount of gold in each Goldback, the Goldbacks themselves are considered to be an investment similar to that of a gold coin, bar, or round.  

A single Goldback is 1 and if you have a 50 Bill, you have Goldbacks. These bills are privately issued and are not U.S. Dollar Legal Tender. The bills also state they are Voluntary Local Currency for the state each series represents. 

Pure 24k Gold

Each Goldback has pure 24k gold embedded.

There are 5 Goldback Denominations (1, 5, 10, 25, and 50). Each Goldback denomination receives a precise measurement of Gold based on a troy ounce 

1 has 1/1,000th troy ounce of gold

5 has 1/200th troy ounce of gold

10 has 1/100th troy ounce of gold

25 has 1/40th troy ounce of gold

50 has 1/20th troy ounce of gold

Manufactured by Goldback

Produced to be a means of currency that has physical gold imprinted and therefore it also doubles as an investment. 

As a means of currency, the Goldback's come in denominations that can transact at the smallest price point. Unlike bullion or gold coins you don't need to have hundreds of dollars to make change in a small transaction. The denominations can be traded or used as a means of payment. Using Goldbacks is like payment with U.S. Dollars. However, each one is worth a little more than a typical dollar.

Featured Series

There are four series of Goldbacks on the market; Utah was first produced in 2019, Nevada and New Hampshire were started in 2020, and in 2022 you can purchase Wyoming Goldbacks. 

Each Series has its own design and story. The goal of Goldbacks is "to promote an inflation proof currency to protect the spending power of families and individuals at any income level."

Where to Buy Goldback Notes?

bullionmax front page snip of website by The Plug gold and silver

BullionMax

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BullionMax is an online retailer that offers the purchase and sale of gold bullion. They have Goldbacks and some rare coins also to choose from along with a large selection of gold and silver bullion. 

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Money Metals Exchange

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Here is an online retailer of gold and silver coins, bars, and rounds. In addition to the standard gold and silver products, you can purchase Goldbacks at Money Metals Exchange. 

Goldback Series and Art

Utah Goldbacks

utah_goldbacks by the plug

The original Goldbacks were printed in 2019 and are still in production. Utah was the first Goldback, primarily due to the Utah Legal Tender Act in 2011, but also because Goldback home is based in Utah. The One Goldback is featured by the Virtue Prudentiae (Prudence). The Five Goldbacks features Veritas (truth). The Ten Goldbacks features Justitia (Justice). The Twenty-Five Goldbacks features Victoria (Victory). The Fifty Goldbacks features Liberty (Libertas).

Nevada Goldbacks

nevada_goldback by the plug

Started printing in 2020 after the success and demand for the Utah Goldbacks. Nevada Goldbacks were advocated by investor Mark Voelker. Nevada Series design includes the One Goldback and features Caritas (Charity). The Five Goldbacks features Sophia. The Ten Goldbacks features Justitia (Justice). The Twenty-Five Goldbacks features Fortitudine (Fortitude). The Fifty features Liberty (Libertas).

New Hampshire Goldbacks

new_hampshire_goldbacks by the plug

Started printing in 2020 and was released in 2021. The New Hampshire Series is themed on the Revolutionary War and this series was started by the Free State Project. The One Goldback features Gratia (Grace). The Five Goldbacks features Veritas (Truth). The Ten Goldbacks features Prospicientia (Foresight). The Twenty-Five Goldbacks feature Fortitudine (Fortitude). The Fifty Goldbacks features Liberty (Libertas).

Wyoming Goldbacks

wyoming goldback 2022 new gold dollar by the plug

The newest Goldbacks Produced in 2022 and available to the public after September are the Wyoming Goldbacks.  This series artist is Annette Anthony and this series was entirely funded by residents of the State in 2021. The One Goldback features Reverentia (Reverence). The Five Goldbacks features Audentia (Boldness). The Ten Goldbacks features Fiducia (Trust). The Twenty-Five Goldbacks feature Fideletas (Loyalty). The Fifty features Liberty (Libertas).

Goldbacks Price and Value

The Goldback price is determined during the business week on weekdays at 10 am Utah Time. Once a new price has been set for a single Goldback you can complete the math to determine the value of the 5, 10, 25, and 50 Bills. 

The value of Goldbacks is set and published on the Goldback website. However, you may find Goldbacks being sold online for more than the actual price set for each Goldback. Retailers can set their prices for individual bills. Premiums may be added to a price to account for the price paid for the Goldback or based on the scarcity of the product.  Therefore, you should understand the price and value of Goldbacks as legal tender before you transact.  

Goldback Exchange Rate

According to the Goldback website "the exchange rate for Goldbacks as of March 15, 2021 switched to Average Retail Ask Price exchange rate calculation. This represents an average of the paper dollar exchange rate for a single Goldback across various published online sources from larger resellers and distributors of Goldbacks."

When using your Goldbacks as currency, you will need to work with and understand the exchange rate. As of this writing, One Goldback has a value of $3.78 in the market.

The value of a Goldback is determined on weekdays at 10 am in Utah. Knowing the exchange rate will help you determine what you owe in Goldbacks and what your change should be in U.S. Dollars.  

How to Calculate your Exchange Rate!

Example Transaction:

Take the price in dollars and divide it by the dollar value of 1 Goldback, which is always available on the home page of Goldback, Inc.

You will usually end up with a non-integer number of Goldbacks. This difference can be expressed in dollars by multiplying the “remainder” fraction of a Goldback by the dollar value of 1 Goldback, to get dollar change. For example: If something costs $12.99, and 1 Goldback is worth $3.89, take $12.99/$3.89 = 3.339 Goldbacks. The “change” in dollars is 0.339 Goldbacks x $3.89 = $1.32. So instead of paying $12.99, you can pay 3 Goldback Bills plus an additional $1.32 U.S. Dollars.  Or, you could pay 4 Goldbacks and receive $2.57 in change.

Goldback has an exchange calculator on its website to assist in your transaction. 

Where are Goldbacks Accepted?

Goldbacks are accepted in several stores and businesses throughout Utah and New Hampshire. 

Businesses that are interested in accepting Goldbacks can do so without being listed on the official state map. Using the conversion rate, you can accept and transact with Goldbacks. 

Businesses that choose to be officially listed on the Goldback website, can obtain a "Goldbacks Accepted Here" sticker for their window.

Should I Buy or Invest in Goldbacks?

Goldbacks can be purchased to use as currency or to hold as an investment. If you live outside Nevada, Utah, New Hampshire, or Wyoming you can buy and hold Goldbacks as an investment. 

The best part of the Goldback denominations is you can use these just like a dollar bill. If the value of the Goldback increases you have a higher conversion rate to have more purchasing power. 

If you hold the Goldbacks as an investment, you can also sell the bills to convert them back to a standard dollar bill and spend or reinvest. 

Sponsor the Next Goldback Series?

Goldbacks were initially produced for Utah. The plan did not include multi-state currency. However, with the demand for gold and the increase in demand for the original Goldbacks, the Goldback Series has been and will continue to expand.

You can get on board being a sponsor through the Goldback Lease program. The process is detailed on the sponsor page of the website. The sponsor involves the leaseback of existing Goldbacks. Investors can get a 3.5% return on their leased Goldbacks while being a part of the next series. 

goldbacks nevada series 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 by The Plug

Final Thoughts

As an avid investor in both gold and silver, I find myself interested in purchasing and holding the Goldbacks for investment purposes. As these are not qualified for Gold IRA I can only purchase and keep them in my vault. 

The question to any investor is will the value of these fractional interest gold bills be worth more or less in the future. If the value of Gold increases going forward above current spot prices then I see the Goldbacks having more value in the future. But, if the value of gold decreases, then so will the Goldbacks. 

If you are interested in investing in Goldbacks and have significant money to invest, you should look into the lease program. You buy and hold your Goldbacks while you are an investor in the next series. You get a small 3.5% return, but also can have an appreciating physical asset that you can sell in the future. 

An interesting option to the gold market, the Goldbacks are making a significant impact in their short history. Demand for non-U.S. Currency has increased as the dollar had decreased over the past several years. If you have a One Goldback you could see both an increase in value for the One Goldback and an ability to buy more with your Goldbacks. 

Investors, don't count out the Goldbacks as an option. If you are not looking to invest in the Goldbacks but are interested in investing in Gold. There are several online businesses you can invest with that have good reviews and customer satisfaction. You may be interested in The Plug's article on the 5 Best Gold IRA Companies. These businesses allow you to purchase gold and silver inside an IRA or with CASH. 

As with all investments, there is no way a company can control the Gold or Silver market. Invest wisely and understand your investments in precious metals. We hope that the information we provide helps make informed decisions, but your due diligence is important so you understand how gold can help hedge inflation and stabilize your portfolio. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • New currency to transact with in the market
  • Investment opportunity
  • Hedge against the decreasing value of the U.S. Dollar
  • Can sell the Goldbacks if you need liquid cash
  • Use your Goldbacks as a Lease

Cons

  • Still a new product with limited places to sell
  • Conversion Rate can be confusing. Make sure you understand the conversion rate for your purchases and for your change in a transaction.
  • Not all coin shops have an understanding of the Goldbacks and therefore they don't accept or buy them.

Faq

Taken from the Goldback website. There are more FAQ on the site and you can access them by clicking here

What is a goldback note?

A Goldback Note is a privately printed currency by Goldback. You can use a note for currency or for investment purposes. The value is determined daily for 1 Goldback and you can determine the value for a 5, 10, 25, or 50 Goldbacks Note from the price of 1 by multiplying the price for 1 Goldback by the denomination of your bill. 

Are golbacks made with real gold?

Yes, each Goldback has a percentage of 24-karat gold.

are goldbacks worth buying?

Since its inception in 2019, the price of a Goldback has increased by over 80%. The price of gold bars and coins increased by approximately 60% during that same period. There is no way to know how the value, as an investment, of this gold currency, will react going forward. Given the gold infused into the bills, the value will have some correlation to the spot price of gold plus the cost to make their bills. 

how much is 1 goldback?

A denomination of 1 Goldback Note will fluctuate. The Exchange Rate is updated every business day by Goldback at 10 am in Utah. The rate on 9/2/22 is $3.78 per Goldback. Therefore a 5 Goldback is worth $18.90, a 10 Goldback is worth $37.80, a 25 Goldback is $94.50, and a 50 is worth $189.00. Goldback prices to buy from a local coin dealer or other online gold retailers can vary. You should check around for pricing as some dealers sell their Goldbacks at a premium. However, when you use the Goldback as currency the value is determined by Goldback Exchange Rate and therefore any premium is a loss. When Goldback sells to their dealers they all get the Goldbacks at the same discounted rate to allow for markup and profit. 

Will my Goldback lose its gold?

Potentially, if the Goldback is being circulated and has wear, creases, and torn, then yes you may lose some of the actual gold in the bills. The suggested means of carrying the currency is with a Goldbacks billfold which would allow the dollars to be laid out versus folded. If you have a bill that has a delamination issue you may send it back to Goldback for a warranty and they will replace it. 

Are goldbacks only for certain states?

goldbacks can be owned by any individual in any state or country. The bills would only qualify as currency to be used where authorized by local or state law. 

why do Goldbacks have a premium price over spot price of gold?

Since there is an extensive process for producing the bills, the value of the gold within the bills is more than the spot price. The spot price is for bullion in an unfinished condition, buying gold whether coins, bars, or any other method can have a premium depending on the manufacturing process. A Coin Proof will typically be higher than a Gold Bullion Coin. Again, this is because of the premium due to the process for minting that coin.

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