Notes from the Past

Mint Mails Gold

The San Francisco Mint recently transferred two billion dollars in gold 1,600 miles inland to the Denver Mint.  It was shipped by mail under heavy guards and the postage amounted to $410,000.
January 19, 1935

$410,000 Postage But No Stamps

A few weeks ago, I published a note here to the effect that the recent shipment by mail of two billion dollars in gold from the San Francisco Mint to the Denver Mint, cost $410,000 in postage.  I. J. Koontz of the San Francisco Mint advises me that no stamps were used on this shipment, which in fact, he feels, might have some bearing on the present value of used high value U. S. stamps.  

- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
February 9, 1935

Posted August 4, 1999

Editor's Note:  The Mint got a great price break on this shipment.  $2 billion in gold was 57 million troy ounces at the then price of $35 per troy ounce.  If you ignore the differences between troy and avoirdupois, the first class rate (3 per oz in 1934) would have been $1.7 million.  And that didn't even include the cost of of registration!!  (First class postage was required for registered packages.)  This must have been the biggest-ever negotiated discount for bulk rate!  Registration would have been $2,000,000 at the existing rate of $1 per $1000.  Of course, it could have been sent unregistered via 4th class -- parcel post -- rates of about 10 per pound.  This would have cost about $350,000.  Each package would be limited to 70 pounds -- about the size of one gold bar.

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