Taking cash/gold/pm's out of country

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Pegasus's picture
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Taking cash/gold/pm's out of country

Hey all,

Not sure if this has been discussed in other forums or not, but couldn't seem to locate anything. So here it is: I know that if one wants to take any more than $10K out of the country, that it must be declared. So let's say I wanted to take 100 1 oz. gold eagles out of the country, what would I declare, if anything? The 'legal tender' value of these coins is $20. so it seems to me that according to a literal translation of the law, I am only taking $2K ($20. ea. x 100) out? Is this correct? Same question for silver eagles.

Theoretically, I could take as much as 499 gold eagles out without having to declare the over $10K cash?

Opinions? Perspectives? Legal ramifications?


Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:31
jrobb316's picture
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I wonder this same

I wonder this same question... my wife is a permanent resident in the US so I could pack up and move someday if we so chose to.  The issue is that most countries don't allow you to bring "precious metals" and usually state, silver, gold, and diamonds, etc.  But they are supposed to be legal tender, so I don't know.  The only thing I do know is that I would not want to risk having my life savings being seized at customs by trying something like that.  A few coins I would just carry on, but 10 monster boxes, hmmmmm..

steeled's picture
Joined: 06/14/2011
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many women

especially of Indian and Middle Eastern decent, wear a considerable amount of wealth daily and very casually (22kt bracelets, necklaces, earrings)---sparkly stones attract far more attention, so plain gold works well for daytime/everyday wear.

think about trading a few monster boxes for some high karat baubles for the wifey-might even earn ya some brownie points. cool

p.s. they make 22k chains, bracelets, etc. for you guys, too--just don't do the Mr. T or unbuttoned shirt-Joe Disco look wink


you get as good as you give

arch stanton
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@ Pegasus

Unless you are talking about numismatic (pre'34) eagles the "face value" of a modern eagle is $50.00.  This might change your math, but does not answer your question.

Vypuero's picture
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I think travel by other than air

Use a ship.  You won't be as carefully monitored.  Best to have your own if possible, but I think they are much more lax, or enter a country that is lax and travel by land.  Another option is just to ship it - I know those are reviewed but they don't open every package and gold is small vs. some things that can be shipped.  Ship it with something very large like a car or furniture and hide it in there.

Big Rocks
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taking pm out of the country

you can't take 100 coins or anything like that they will be confiscated-not for their cash value but for their commercial value.  If you are transporting something of that much value you would have to declare it and possibly pay taxes on them. Failure to declare it subjects it to confiscation just like anything else beyond the limit for the country you are visiting.  People have been caught with large quantities of coins and the coins are seized by customs just like too much alcohol or goods for commercial use.  Or they'll think you're a terrorist.  some guy had 750 coins in Mexico city and lost them-he was moving there or so he said.  You can take a few-maybe 5 coins at a time and probably no one will care if they are for your personal use.  I do that- I have a plan B Thailand, and I'm slowly stocking it with some gold.  every year my wife and I go over there with a few coins.   She can sell them there and not being a US citizen is not subject to US taxes.

BTW that face value idea has been shut down in tax court several times so don't rely on that.  AND gold is not considered cash so you don't have to declare it.  Bottom line is tread lightly and if you have to move a large quantity ship it through a broker.

Captain Benny
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Please don't answer unless you have a clue

Some posts are completely wrong above!  If you live in the United States, you do not have to declare any gold or silver bullion __UNLESS__ it is both an official coin of the united states and the face value of the coins, cash, cashiers checks, already endorsed checks, etc is totaling more than $10k.  Just because you have to declare them does not mean they have a right to confiscate them.  It is not illegal to take currency out of the country in excess of $10k, it is just a requirement to declare it.

There is plenty of useful and valid information about this elsewhere online.  Big Rocks is absolutely wrong about having to pay taxes on carrying metals across the border as well.  People shouldn't post such crap... complete ignorance on their part.

If your coin is non-circulating legal tender, then guess what?  You don't treat them as if they were circulating tender!

“Money” means monetary instruments and includes U.S. or foreign coins currently in circulation, currency, travelers’ checks in any form, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form.

For proof http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/money.xml

Big Rocks
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Captain Benny you misunderstood

Try bringing 100 krugerands into the US without declaring them.  they will be confiscated.  If you declare them they are subject to customs duty.  It's the same as if you brought a case of booze or a sack of uncut diamonds.  And it's the same for many other countries-you can't bring goods above a certain value into a country without declaring them and paying any duties that may be required.

Taking them out no you don't have to declare them. 

as for whether eagles or krugs are considered circulating currency or bearer financial instruments you may have to go to court to prove your position.  For safety's sake you should consider gold coins at their real value and not the face value of say $50 for an eagle.  that position has definitely been shot down in court.   If you're caught with  a lot of gold the govt. will interpret those rules in their favor not yours.

pourty's picture
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What if?

What if you open a bank account with an overseas bank, then over the course of a few months cash in the gold and transfer the money there in smaller increments.  Then travel overseas and re-purchase the gold?

I have no idea, just thinking out loud.  I'm not wealthy enough to move out of country without a job waiting for me at the other end... and I can't think of which country I'd move to other than here anyway...

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