25 South Dakota Goldback Note - Laurea

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Currency Containing 1/40th 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 final new Virtue for the South Dakota 25 Goldback Denomination is Laurea or Honor. This illustration was largely inspired by one of the legends told about Maiden’s Isle on Lake Kampeska, one of South Dakota’s glacial lakes. There are many legends and stories about many of the glacial lakes, but this story is about a young woman named Minnecotah who was in love with a hunter from another area. In the legend, many local men wanted to marry her, but she was waiting for her true love from Wahpeton. In order to delay their advances, she told them that she would marry the man who could throw a stone the farthest into the lake.

About the Design:

The men did so for days, with Minnecotah encouraging them and delaying further by saying that she could not tell who had thrown the farthest because of the waves. For a while this worked and an island began to form in the lake. Then, realizing that the contest was a ruse, her suitors kidnapped her and placed her on the island they had created, giving her no food, in an attempt to force her to either choose one of the suitors or die of starvation.

Minnecotah decided to remain true to her love and honor the commitment they had made to one another, deciding to not choose one of the suitors. While she was living on the island, waiting for her true love, a white pelican brought her fish and berries to help her survive. Eventually, the hunter she loved returned and took her away to live with him. When the suitors from her tribe discovered that she was gone, they believed the sun god had sent the white pelican to take her away.

Laurea stands on a stone island in the lake, representing Maiden’s Isle from Lake Kampeska. A pelican can be seen flying above her and raspberries can be seen in the foreground. Also present in this illustration are many elements from the Lakota legend of the flute, the legend of how the porcupine got its quills,  and the legend of the dream catcher as told by the Aktá Lakota Museum & Cultural Center. She encourages the viewer not only to honor their commitments and keep their word, but to praise the Maker of all, even through one’s trials, by the accompanied inscription “Honor to the Giver”.

Location: South Dakota Twenty Five Goldbacks

Gold Content: 1/40th Troy Ounce 24K Gold

Purity:  .9999 Gold Layered On a Bill

Size: 2 9/16 in (6.5 cm) width 6 1/8 in (15.55 cm) height



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