I was just browsing by Mark’s Digital Money World Blog and noticed his brief overlook at Crowne Gold and I got the inspiration to write a more detailed review of this wonderful digital gold provider.
Mark mentioned that Crowne Gold is “one of the most experienced digital gold operators in the industry”. I’ll take his word on this one as he has more experience in this arena than me. But what interested me is this bit of info about Crowne Gold:
1. They fought the IRS allegation of being a tax evasion scheme and won
2. Fought the US Federal governments allegation of being an illegal money transmitter, and won
3. Been issued a full compliance on the operational side of issuing a currency secured by gold in the USA
4. Own a mint that will send one troy ounce gold medallions for Crowne Mint to clients who request their physical gold holdings
5. Provides secure server placement in friendly jurisdictions
6. Provides 100% of the business of brokering gold and silver as well as issuance of a digital gold medium of exchange
7. Own the Precious metal seat on the Panama commodity exchange
8. Client gold is subject to monthly audit by both U.S. certified public accountants and internationally certified accountants.
Now let’s get into some more detail. I will do this in FAQ format.
Where is Crowne Gold based?
The company is registered in The Republic of Panama but their customer service center is located in Carson City, Nevada, USA. Should you be concerned about this? No, because Crowne Gold is not under the jurisdiction of the United States. Also, from the above text you can see that Crowne Gold has managed to survive attacks by the United States Government and other meddling government institutions.
Now that I’ve said that, I think all you United States Citizens should read this excerpt taken from Crowne Gold’s website:
Due to increased alarm regarding terrorism, international drug dealing, money laundering, and concerns over untaxed income, the U.S. government has commenced scrutiny of a number of industries not formerly required to provide reporting on the sales activities of U.S. persons. On February 3, 2002 new software programs were installed by Crowne Gold, which will generate 1099-B reports for all U.S. Persons. The U.S. 1099-B form is an Internal Revenue Service document designed to list total annual SALES made through the Crowne Gold system, (not purchases), so in order to determine profits or losses sustained on the annual SALE of gold and silver a separate profit analysis report will be provided to clients of the system.
All account holders, be they U.S. persons or otherwise, will receive an annual profit or loss compilation based upon SALES and the purchase price actually paid for the gold or silver sold. Profit analysis is based on the accounting principal of “first in, first out.”
Please note, that the purchase of precious metal DOES NOT constitute a taxable event, only the SALE of an item triggers the calculation of profit or loss.
Note that this applies to US Citizens only! Despite what the IRS would like to think so, it does NOT have worldwide jurisdiction.
How do I go about funding my Crowne Gold account?
At the moment all transactions are handled via Bank Wire. I did see an option somewhere in their user account panel to fund via credit card but since I see no mention of that on their main website I will assume that the credit card funding options is now defunct. Here are the fees for bank wire funding:
|$1,000 up to $50,000||5 percent|
|$51,000 up to $250,000||4 percent|
|$251,000 or more||3 percent|
How much does it cost to transfer gold to another Crowne Gold account holder?
Hmm, now this is something that I do not like about Crowne Gold:
When you access the option to Make exchange and move gold to another e-mail address (public account number) a minimum fee of US $7.50 in the equivalent weight of gold at the then current spot price is assessed your gold exchange account. If the amount being transferred is greater than $400, the transfer rate is increased as follows: 0.005 (1/2 of 1%) on the first $75,000; plus 0.0025 (1/4th of 1%) on amounts from $75,000 to $250,000; plus 0.00125 (1/8th of 1%) on amounts that exceed $250,000.
Although this makes small transfers impossible, it does have one additional benefit of making Crowne Gold extremely uneconomical for use by your run-of-the-mill HYIP programs.
Can I take physical delivery of my gold, and if so what are the fees involved?
Yes Sir, you sure can!
The purity rate for gold traded on the world’s commodity markets is .995 and is the standard at which “Spot Price” is determined. The traditional “Spot Price” you see quoted on this site is updated regularly in accordance with world market pressures and constitutes the buying and selling rate (less commissions) for .995 gold. When taking delivery of custom designed coins and small bars there is a premium charged above the spot price to pay for the increased purity of the gold products to .9999 fine; the highest gold purity rate available anywhere in the world. The following bullets reflect the “other” costs embedded in the single add-on charge for each ounce of gold delivered as set forth below:
* Shipping and insurance to the mint from an accredited warehouse of one of the three world commodities markets
* Refined purity upgrade from .995 to .9999
* Fabrication costs charged by the mint for processing gold into medallions and small bars
* Shipping, insurance and vaulting costs to a secure fulfillment center
* Shipping and insurance costs from the fulfillment center to your desired final destination
Rates below include all the costs set forth above.
* Gold Internet Dollar coin shipped within U.S.: Spot Price + 20%
* Gold ten-ounce bars shipped within the U.S.: Spot Price + 20%
* Gold Internet Dollar coin shipped outside U.S.: Spot Price + 25% *
* Gold ten-ounce bars shipped outside the U.S.: Spot Price + 25% *
* Duty, custom, or import charges are the responsibility of the receiver
How much does it cost to store my gold with Crowne Gold?
Gold is stored under Crowne Gold’s third-party vaulting arrangements for 1% per annum. The annual fee is divided into 12 parts and assessed monthly.
How much does it cost to exchange my gold to national currency?
Sell your gold at the quoted gold spot price when you place your sell order. A minor 0.005 service fee (1/2 of 1%) is assessed at the time of sale leaving 99.5% of your cash balance available to you for payout via check, money order, or wire transfer. Bank fees and air courier charges for any form of exchange other than a normal check sent by mail will be passed on as required.
*Outgoing wires are $35 plus bank service charges. *
As far as I can tell this by far the cheapest way to “out exchange” your digital gold holdings. With most e-currency exchangers you pay fees in the range of 1-5% !
Now for a slightly minor issue. In my humble opinion Crowne Gold’s user interface could use a bit of an “face lift”. Another thing that sort of caught my attention is that their website has a template that looks suspiciously like one used by a former producer of e-currency exchange software called Gold-PHP (they used to provide some software called EXS Pro). That company has long since disappeared, and it turns out that they were a bunch of crooks. They ran with $2000 of my funds! So I hope that indeed they did not get that company to code their backend because I would be suspect them of leaving a nice backdoor, but I guess this is just my paranoia talking.
In conclusion, I think it may be safe to characterize Crowne Gold as sort of like BullionVault but with the ability to transfer gold to other accounts slapped on.
That does it for another one of my reviews. I hope you found it informative and if you wish to open an account with Crowne Gold just click on any of the links in this review, or if you’re too lazy to scroll up, then click over here. What can I say, I’m a big referral whore – lool!
Alan out – beam me up Scotty.