In 2011, Utah was the first state in over 80 years to pass a law making gold and silver coin legal tender.  Its passage sparked articles in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and a host of major internet news sources.  After decades of obscurity, Utah’s historic measure put sound money back on the map.  Not satisfied to rest on their laurels, Utah passed a companion bill in the 2012 session, and it was signed by Governor Herbert.

The bill clarifies several tax measures and more importantly, expands the available specie to include gold and silver coin approved by the state.

Gold or silver coin or bullion, other than gold or silver coin that is issued by the United States, is considered to be specie legal tender and is legal tender in the state if:

(a) a court of competent jurisdiction issues a final, unappealable judgment or order determining that the state may recognize the gold or silver coin or bullion, other than gold or silver coin that is issued by the United States, as legal tender in the state; or
(b) congress enacts legislation that: (i) expressly provides that the gold or silver coin or bullion, other than gold or silver coin that is issued by the United States, is legal tender in the state; or (ii) expressly allows the state to recognize the gold or silver coin or bullion, other than gold or silver coin that is issued by the United States, as legal tender in the state.

By allowing additional specie to be used as legal tender, the Utah legislature has freed its citizens from potential supply constraints imposed by the use of only United States minted gold and silver coin.  More importantly, the people of the state of Utah now define what specie is considered constitutional tender, further distancing themselves from potential control of their competing currency by Washington D.C.

Many who subscribe to Austrian economic theory applaud Utah’s leadership. They clearly see a sovereign debt crisis looming on the not-too-distant horizon and  understand the importance of having in place a hard currency system to fall back on.  Choice and competition in currency has never been more important in this nation.  Well done Utah.  Keep up the great work.  The rest of the nation may soon thank you.


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