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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.
The bill features a beautiful image of Caritas, the Virtue Charity.
Goldbacks can be, and are, used for barter transactions with anyone who recognizes the value of gold.
Caritas, or Charity, is the Virtue beautifully featured on Nevada’s 1 Goldback Denomination. This is her 1st appearance on a Goldback Design, and is notably patterned after a depiction of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Austin, Nevada.
Catholicism is Nevada’s most dominant religion and St. Augustine’s is the oldest Catholic Church building in the state.
Like all Goldback designs, the art contains many levels of symbolism. Some major symbols of Charity featured include: the Sierra Nevada Lily, which is in the container below Mary’s feet to the right; the Mary Magdalene Rose, in the container on the left; cherubs crowning Mary and Burning Hearts to either side of her; Charity’s lit candle in her hand, and Nevada’s sun, rising over the mountains seen through the window behind her.
Additionally, the window, the candlestick in the right corner of the window sill and the columns on each side of the design, are each inspired from St. Mary of the Mountains Catholic Cathedral in Virginia City, (now, Saint Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church & Museum), which was also an inspiration for this artwork.
The window below Mary’s dress hides the word “Love”, the symbol of a square, a compass, a wagon wheel, and rosary beads. The viewer will also note the ash tree, symbolizing marriage and Las Vegas’s status as the marriage capital of the world; and a family of ring-necked pheasants, which showcase the selfless acts of nurture and protecting their family and young.