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'I am a hardcore contrarian and the only way I want to own gold is physically, in the form of national one-ounce coins in my own immediate physical possession. While I think GLD is a great idea I have never owned any and probably never will. For me gold is a physical asset I control and the ultimate insurance policy against the always-possible (but quite improbable) total systemic meltdown. In such a doomsday scenario all paper gold will be useless or inaccessible at best and physical [gold] will be all that matters.'
'[GLD] is not physical gold and will never replace it. It is a paper asset designed to track the gold price and nothing more. It is not a substitute for gold in your own physical control if you are a gold investor. It is not designed for you if you are already a gold investor; it is for your friends and family members who wouldn't buy a gold coin if their life depended on it, but they may put a few percent of their capital into a stock that tracks gold. GLD is for the mainstreamers, not the contrarians.'
Pirate or Privateer?
These terms can be confusing if you mix time periods together. State agents are classical pirates, because they take what they want by force. Privateers of old were merely legal pirates working for the State. The alleged legitimacy of the State magically transformed their crimes of piracy into legal plunder, at least on paper.
Modern Pirates (as defined and used here) are not State agents and they do not voluntarily share their wealth with the State, quite unlike the privateers of old. Pirates also do not seek the State's permission to live as they wish; they are truly independent operators, much more so than the privateers of old.
A critical distinction between Pirates and privateers is the use of force to obtain what one seeks. Privateers of old used force, but Pirates don't. This means Pirates are moral, noble, efficient, and effective, unlike State agents. It also means that Pirates are not privateers.
Privateers are State agents, Pirates aren't. This means that Pirates are free men, unlike the privateers of old, who were subject to the State's terms of employment. Failure to comply with the State's terms of employment made pirates out of privateers of old.
Pirates would never condone privateer behavior, let alone take part in it; it is not in their nature as free men. Privateering makes one a slave (and potential target) of the State, never a recommended move for anyone who values their freedom and privacy.
Pirates ensure that both parties are satisfied with deals, while ensuring that the State receives nada in the process. Privateers are State agents with guns, but Pirates are businessmen with brains. This does not mean that Pirates are criminals engaged in illegal activities; Pirates simply use existing laws to their advantage. If you want to be a Pirate, you must do your homework first.
Don't forget: legal is an artificial construct and often an arbitrary distinction that is beneficial only to State agents. It is also the magic wand that State agents wave to transform heinous crimes into socially acceptable behavior, using ink on paper.
Pirates live their lives; they do not obsess over ink on paper. A law is black ink on paper; fiat currency is green ink on paper. Neither is intrinsically beneficial. Pirates recognize this so they devise ways to profit in spite of the State's ink on paper.
Quote for the Week 
'The American's conviction that he must be able to look any man in the eye and tell him to go to hell is the very essence of the free man's way of life.' ~ Walter Lippmann
This is a very nice precious metal website; it is very well organized and easy to use, with plenty of useful information and great photos of bullion coins and bars.
Legal Tender Coins 
Legal tender laws and fiat currency are abominations, but legal tender coins can be very useful. State issued bullion coins with a face value are also legal tender. The face value allows bullion coins to travel across national borders without the taxation or fees otherwise imposed by many countries on bullion itself.
If you want a stash outside of the U.S. , you can easily start one simply by crossing the border with some legal tender bullion coins in your pocket. Multiple stashes can be very convenient, especially if they are in different locations, or in different nations.
If you have two stashes'one in the U.S. and one in Canada'both containing Eagles and Maple Leafs, you can freely travel back and forth, confident that the coins in your pocket are worth much more than their face value, should you ever need to sell any, on either side of the border.
Recently, a one-ounce platinum Eagle with a $100 face value had a sale value of $1025; a one-ounce gold Eagle with a $50 face value had a sale value of $562; and a one-ounce palladium Maple Leaf with a C$50 face value had a sale value of $284.
What is the likelihood that a national border guard will ever give you any grief for carrying legal tender in your pocket that is also coin of the realm?
Buy bullion coins on down days'even in a secular bull market'in an effort to quickly cover the spread on your coin purchases, in addition to paying less for each coin.
JCN: Who Becomes a Pirate?
One day you wake up and realize that everything is now strange to you; nothing seems to make any sense. The moral code that was your compass has been overthrown. The old heroes who were once admired are now denigrated. Wrong is now right; what you thought was right is now wrong. You view your neighbors as foreigners and the State as the enemy of all that you hold dear; maybe you are now the foreigner. God is not in his heaven and all is not right with the world; you are now a stranger in your own land.
You have three choices: convert, be viewed as an eccentric misfit, or become a Pirate. Being a Pirate often means setting out on a voyage to find a new home; it does not mean going to sea or becoming a thief. It means knowing where you are and knowing what you are looking for. Pirates seek a place to call home among other people who make sense to them. This requires taking risks and the path less traveled. It also means leaving many familiar people, places, and things behind in the process.