History of The Liberty Dollar
The founding of The Liberty Dollar dates from September 11, 1974 when Bernard von NotHaus wrote “To Know Value” – an economic research paper and established the Royal Hawaiian Mint. Almost from the very beginning of the Mint, von NotHaus was drawn to create a new currency for Hawaii. Growing out of the Paper, that proposed a solution to the country’s economic problems was to “know value,” von NotHaus conducted a series of economic experiments. Series after series of additional economic experiments were conducted and reviewed in quest for a legal value backed currency for Hawaii.
Over the years von NotHaus continued his design process and economic research within a very small group. Eventually a list of requirements was developed as different economic systems brought about new considerations and different problems were over-come. Finally a new innovative monetary system evolved to meet the criteria for a free market currency backed by metals, which could coexist with the current fiat system. Later a comprehensive plan was developed to use self-interest as the single driving force to integrate the currency into the existing marketplace. The Hawaiian Sovereign Currency, a pet project to exemplify a value backed currency, was just about ready to be marketed.
Then on the evening of October 7, 1997 while von NotHaus was at the Waikiki Branch Mint, he had a chance meeting with one of the Mint’s collectors. Encouraged by the collector’s interest about a new Hawaiian paper money by the Mint, von NotHaus decided to use his guest as a focus group and test out his currency model. Well the collector loved it! So, von NotHaus revealed even more details. And again the collector wanted more. So von NotHaus obliged the elderly collector, who was in awe over the details and complexities that von NotHaus’ plan had resolved. The collector wanted to know how long it would be before the Hawaiian Sovereign Currency was going to be available.
He also wanted to know how long von NotHaus had been working on such a project. He almost fell off his seat when he learned that von NotHaus had been working on it for 23 years. “Twenty-three years.” he exclaimed! He was shocked and immediately urged von NotHaus “to take the product to market”. He wanted some of the new money! And he also urged von NotHaus to seriously consider taking a similar economic model to the mainland. He explained that a lot of people were aware of the Federal Reserve’s debt based currency and thought the currency could be a winner and might actually save the country. Well von NotHaus was not so sure, but he respected his collector’s enthusiasm, and called several people on the mainland including Ed Griffin as he suggested.
Luckily, the first cold call to Ed Griffin led into a lengthy investigation and ultimately to Ed’s support and friendship. But while Ed was resolving the numerous issues he had regarding the currency, the idea of “owning your own money” had quickly gained momentum and the idea grew into a larger national group. After a brief fact-finding trip to the mainland, Bernard made the decision to retire from the Mint after 25 years and redesign the Hawaii currency into a national issue. First the Statue of Kamehameha and the Hawaiian foliage was replaced with the Statue of Liberty and the geometric lathe work for a national looking currency. Through the redesign phrase several designs and names were investigated. The first was Constitutional Currency of USA, later it was renamed the Patriot currency. Different sizes and shapes were also examined with as the Hawaiian currency was morphed into what became The Liberty Dollar.
During that same time, von NotHaus rediscovered Dr. Murray Rothbard and formulated his research into a new paper: Free Market Currency, which later led him to decide to adopt the Free Money Movement as suggested by Nobel Laureate F. A. von Hayek. Within a year the growing group of concerned Americans had became a national organization named – NORFED. And then at 11:00 PM on September 24, 1998, von NotHaus was on hand to finally take delivery of the first shipment of American Liberty Currency paper certificates, the results of some 23 years of research and development. .
Von NotHaus quickly dashed to Los Angeles some six hours away and caught an early flight to San Francisco, then on to Seattle and finally to Spokane where he rented a car. It was late in the afternoon on the 25th, when he finally arrived at Sunshine Minting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He immediately hand delivered the first tamperproof cartons of the freshly printed, warehouse receipts to Tom Power, who checked them into the vault. The following morning, the warehouse receipts were authorized, dated and issued to NORFED against silver that had been previously bailed into storage. And on October 1, 1998, the results of an outstanding group of very dedicated Americans bore fruit when the first American Liberty Currency was distributed on schedule as planned.
* Now thanks to the unbridled dedication of a few concerned Americans the Liberty Dollar is used by hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans. Many thanks to all who made the new gold and silver currency possible.
* This is an historical document, written prior to Bernard’s arrest and conviction.