Shire Silver is proud to sell our silver and gold trade cards. We believe that these show the world a better way to save, spend, and share precious metals.
Each card is the same size as a standard credit/debit card, but contains actual value - not just a representation of value. With a simple yet beautiful design for each denomination, these cards will impress everyone you show them to.
Part of the design was consideration for human factors like blindness and quick visual selection. They are about the same thickness as a credit card, and the shape of the window in the center of the card can easily be felt from the front, while the embedded precious metal can be felt from the back; making non-visual selection easy. The various colors and other markings aid fast usage as well, allowing immediate identification of the value of the card.
The lowest value card, the half gram silver card is, at current spot prices in $US, worth about $1. This puts it at levels that are similar to the values of one ounce of silver back at the start of the country. Anything less than this would probably be cost prohibitive to produce.
The one gram silver card is a nice base card.
The lowest value gold-only card contains 0.05 grams of .999 fine wire, making its value in $US approximately $5.
The mid-value gold-only card contains 0.1 grams of .999 fine wire, making its value comparable to a $10.
The 0.5 gram gold card is our highest value card at this time. At current spot prices this card is worth about $50 in Federal Reserve notes.
We have instructions on this website to guide people in making their own versions of these cards. We have uploaded non-branded card graphics that you may add your own brand and design to.
One of the most important features we were looking for in our quest is decentralization of production and distribution. In other words, anyone should be able to create these with limited and simple means. By dispersing the ability to create these cards far and wide, no one will be able to stop the people from taking back the power of the mint from the big banksters.
Brand vs. Model
Shire Silver is both a brand and a model. The Shire Silver model is basically the idea of putting pure precious metals into laminated cards with a printed card. Anyone can use the model to create their own version of the cards, as long as they don't use the brand.
While we aren't big fans of intellectual property laws, we do believe that in a truly free market there would be fraud prevention tools in use, similar to trademarks. We believe that our Shire Silver brand has value and we are interested in making sure that any cards using our brand are produced by us.
That being said, as long as any cards others make aren't explicitly made to look like ours or any of the ones we produce via co-branding, we're fine with it. Even mentioning that the cards you produce are using the Shire Silver model is alright with us. Just don't use "Shire Silver" alone as if it were one of our cards, or make the claim that it is something we produced.
Is it legal?
Yes! The cards are sort of a combination of gift cards and bullion. They can be traded between any two consenting parties for whatever purposes they wish. They key here is consenting - not everyone will be familiar with them, some may not understand the value, and some may just plain not like them. That's fine, as everyone has the right to decide for themselves how and what to trade.
Also, these cards can be considered as similar to coupons, air miles, or any of hundreds of other tools that businesses of all kinds use to gain more customers.
Admittedly we aren't big fans of taxes, but we do know that the government insists that pretty much every transaction you make is a potential taxable event. Even if you aren't using money but are trading a chicken for some firewood they think its a taxable trade somehow.
We've also heard of plenty of supposed loopholes that allow you to get away with not paying certain taxes. While some of them seem to have a reasonable basis, we've seen the government dismiss pretty much all of them with a wave of the hand, saying they are "frivolous". In other words, we aren't tax experts, but suggest that you rely on your own judgement and that of reliable and proven experts. Don't take our word on anything tax related.