The American Open Currency Standard guarantees the weight and purity of every Authorized medallion produced bearing our mark – AOCS APPROVED.
Most people know that the original US Dollar was modeled from the Spanish Dollar. The original US Dollar, as defined in the US Coinage Act of 1792, was a coin containing 24.1 grams of .999 fine silver. Before, during and for many years after the revolutionary war, the Spanish Dollar was the standard in coining excellence, even in the USA until it was forbidden as legal tender by the Coinage Act of 1857. Very few people, however, know of the Spanish Dollar’s roots.
From Thaler to Tolar to Daler…
In the mid-15th century, Europe’s richest deposits of silver ore were found in the Joachimsthal (Jáchymov) region of Bohemia, known presently as St. Joachim’s Valley, Jáchymov, now in the Czech Republic. The “Thaler” (a person or thing from the valley) coins, produced from the valley’s rich deposits, were regarded as the highest quality in the land. As word of the mineral deposits and quality coinage spread across the continent, demand for the thaler was greater than any other form of money. In an effort to replicate the success of the coins, other nations began creating their own versions of the thaler: Scandinavia coined it under the name daler, the Danish created the rigsdaler, the Swedish riksdaler and the Norwegian speciedaler, the Slovenian tolar and eventually what we know now as the english word “dollar”.
It didn’t take long for currency issuers to realize that, if their coins were to be accepted by the marketplace, they would have to produce a product that could compete with the quality and purity of the Thaler. Before long, Spain released the Spanish Dollar, what would quickly become the most widely respected coin of the realm.
Centuries ago, traders knew the difference between good money and bad, and the marketplace demanded the best form of money. In the early stages of American government, the founders codified these principles in the US Coinage Act of 1792, establishing both the standard for American money and the penalty for those that debased the currency.
Section 9. “Dollars or units, each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver.”
Section 19. “And be it further enacted, That if any of the gold or silver coins which shall be struck or coined at the said mint shall be debased or made worse as to the proportion of the fine gold or fine silver therein contained, or shall be of less weight or value than the same out to be pursuant to the directions of this act, through the default or with the connivance of any of the officers or persons who shall be employed at the said mint, for the purpose of profit or gain, or otherwise with a fraudulent intent, and if any of the said officers or persons shall embezzle any of the metals which shall at any time be committed to their charge for the purpose of being coined, or any of the coins which shall be struck or coined at the said mint, every such officer or person who shall commit any or either of the said offenses, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and shall suffer death.”
Even with their foresight, historical precedence and the harsh penalty for debasement, the US Dollar eventually evolved from its origin in silver to our present-day Federal Reserve Note, a completely valueless currency.
Protecting the Standard
As administrators of The Standard, the AOCS team is charged with ensuring that all copper, silver and gold medallions produced bearing our mark – AOCS APPROVED – contain the specified weight of only investment-grade .999 fine silver, .999 fine copper or .9999 fine gold. In fact, the AOCS guarantees every medallion produced by our authorized minting facilities.
By approving only investment-grade copper, silver and gold, the AOCS eliminates the opportunity for gradual debasement over time through generational shifts in purity requirements.
In addition to guaranteeing the weight and purity of each Approved medallion produced, the AOCS sets the standard for what is to be expected from freshly minted uncirculated medallions. The AOCS authorizes three grades of medallions:
- Proof-Like (PS): deep mirror finish with no scratches or fingerprints – considered near perfect
- Brilliant-Uncirculated (BU): often features a satin or “matte” finish, no scratches or fingerprints, no signs of wear, however the medallion may have blemishes associated with hi-volume machining processes
- Bullion (BN): our lowest quality and most easily trade-able product line, bullion medallions may have light scratches or other marks from the process of minting, packing or shipping
Though AOCS Approved medallions often exceed the quality standards established and documented herein, please note that AOCS medallions are not sold as numismatics. AOCS Approved Currencies are designed for the barter marketplace and are often most valuable when traded for goods and services.
To keep our promise, the AOCS team monitors every facet of the production process, ensuring that only trusted and top-quality producers and industry experts are utilized, from mining and refining, to die sculpting and minting, through to fulfillment and delivery. Our commitment to excellence often keeps AOCS Approved medallions from being the cheapest or the fastest to reach market. We believe, however, that our partners are willing to accept these exceptions in the spirit of doing business with an organization that refuses to compromise our commitment to quality in trade for a quick buck.
We predict that the marketplace will continue its shift from a preference of government minted coins to the private standard of excellence – AOCS Approved. Our mission is to produce a top-quality, reliable series of medallions so that those who trade AOCS Approved medallions know exactly what they’re offering, and those that accept them know to look for the “AOCS APPROVED” mark, ensuring they know exactly what they’re receiving – the free market’s standard of excellence.