10 South Dakota Goldback Note - Harmonia

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Currency Containing 1/100th Oz .9999 Fine Gold

The Goldback is the world’s first voluntary currency to be made of a spendable, beautiful, small denomination, physical gold.

When the Utah Legal Tender Act passed in 2011, the state became the first in recent times to recognize certain forms of gold as legal tender. Gold once again established a level of official recognition as money.

Since then the technology for minting physical gold into a spendable form for small transactions has developed. The makers use cutting-edge vacuum deposition technology to layer each bill with .9999 fine gold in exacting quantities. Goldback bills carry a precise amount of pure gold between layers of polyester which makes them resilient and durable.

South Dakota is the 5th state to be commemorated on Goldback bills. According to the Sound Money Defense League, the state ranks second in the nation in the effort to restore honest money.


The Virtue Harmonia, or Harmony, makes her debut on the South Dakota 10 Goldback Denomination. Accompanied by the phrase “Live in Harmony”, Harmonia appears as a modern interpretation of the Greco-Roman Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, fertility, and young women. As such, she is surrounded by many symbols of those things. She holds a drawn bow, with an arrow on the string, ready to release. Behind her, a crescent moon rises in a cloudy sky, a symbol of healing and light in the darkness. Around her are depictions of Canada geese, a pronghorn antelope, mule deer antler sheds, and ring-necked pheasants, representing just some of the animals that make South Dakota a world-renowned hunting destination in the United States.

About the Design:

She wears a belt that has diamonds and stylized feathers at her waist. The diamonds represent the incredible value of women to humankind. The feathers are representative of two things. First, they represent each of the types of fowl that can be hunted in South Dakota; both ground dwelling birds like quail, turkey, and the state bird, the ring-necked pheasant; and migrating birds like ducks and geese. Second, and deeper still, these feathers also borrow from the Greek tradition that fowl feathers are sacred and they are placed at her waist above her womb to indicate the sacred nature and beauty of both womanhood and childbearing.

Harmonia is an excellent representation of ecological balance. As a classical representation of both the wilderness and the hunt, this Artemis inspired virtue symbolizes the hunt as a natural part of an ecosystem. The best practices of wildlife conservation and harvesting are both needed for a healthy ecosystem to thrive. South Dakota strives for this type of balance in its policy and practice.

In a similar way, the hunting dog with Harmonia, who also has a collar of laurel leaves, represents a resonance of purpose and execution of will through direction and obedience to direction. 

Her bow and arrows have special significance here as well. The bow is a tool that requires much practice and mastery in order to be accurate and proficient. It requires discipline in practice and intent in its use. The arrow represents direction, focus, and speed. If the arrow is made true it will fly correctly and, combined with true aim, will hit its target. When these two symbols are used together, they embody a sense of dedication and focus that results in a capable effort and successful endeavor. They are the harmony between practice and intent, and result in the victory of obtaining one’s goal. That victory is represented by the crown of laurel leaves that wreath Harmonia’s head. 

Location: South Dakota Ten Goldbacks

Gold Content: 1/100th Troy Ounce 24K Gold

Purity:  .9999 Gold Layered On a Bill

Size: 2 9/16 in (6.5 cm) width 5 5/8 in (14.25 cm) height


Tags: Currency, Gold, Goldback, Goldbacks, South Dakota, Specie Legal Tender

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