Heads or Tales Coins & Collectibles
From humble beginnings to a precious metals powerhouse, our journey has been long & distinguished.
Our Search for Meaning
With 2 kids and rising costs, we couldn't figure out which end was up.
In 2007, Rob & Kira Gray – along with Ash & Sam – began a journey of exploration that would mark the beginning of their next chapter on planet earth.
We knew there was something wrong in the world. What happened to the American Dream we were told about as kids? Work hard, do the right thing, and we would live a prosperous life.
Try as we might, we just couldn’t get that to work for our family. We had to be doing something wrong, and we set our minds to figuring out just what it was.
We went on documentary overload. From ‘Who Killed the Electric Car’ to ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and just about everything in between, we went down the rabbit hole in our search for truth.
We found lots of issues, but uncovered very little in the way of answers & solutions. Everyone seemed to know what the problems were, but couldn’t agree on the root cause.
After more than a year of research, one thing was plainly obvious: at the bottom of every one of these injustices, the same demon stood out.
Imagine our surprise to discover that the Federal Reserve Note - the lifeblood of civilization - wasn't quite as Federal as we thought.
No more 'federal' than FedEx
In 1913, Congress authorized it's 3rd and final central bank.
As it turns out, at the very core of everything we found to be wrong with the world, was money. Money was the root of all evil, after all, so this made sense at first.
But what then what was the root of money? Money was just a tool for trade – a medium of exchange. It’s so basic that we rarely even give it much thought.
We came across a book – The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin – and got a slap in the face of truth.
Can you imagine what would happen if a group of the world’s most powerful men convinced our government to outsource the control & issuance of currency to them?
In 1913, that’s exactly what went down.
Our modern “money” is actually quite a bit different from historical money. Today’s “cash” is merely the ghost of money.
Real money – silver & gold – hold their value over time. They are an independent store of wealth, that can’t be created out of thin air at the whim of an unruly politician or greedy banker.
The problem was as obvious to us as night & day. So who then was doing something about the real problem – money?
A Private Voluntary Barter Currency
The Liberty Dollar & AOCS
Bernard von Nothaus starts a competing currency of his own.
We weren’t the only ones on a mission to fix the money. In fact, the Liberty Dollar – launched in 1998 – was way ahead of us. With silver certificates and hundreds of thousands of coins in circulation, we decided to throw our weight behind the existing network of “Regional Currency Officers” charged with promoting honest trade with good old-fashioned silver coins.
Unfortunately, the Liberty Dollar crossed the line in its pursuit of replacing the dollar, and the founder was charged with counterfeiting mere moments after we joined the team.
Learning from the Liberty Dollar’s mistakes, we set out to unite the stranded factions with coins that didn’t resemble US currency, weren’t called “dollars”, and were only traded as a private medium of exchange with willing participants.
We called it the American Open Currency Standard, and all it would need to be successful was a real country brave enough to join us.
About the same time we were getting our feet on the ground, the Lakota Indian Nation sent a delegation from Pine Ridge, South Dakota to Washington DC, to unilaterally withdraw from the Treaty of Fort Laramie 1868, reclaim their lands, and become their own nation once again.
To us, this sounded like a perfect opportunity for honest money to set the stage for trading once again amongst the nations and its people.
On November 24th, 2008, we helped launch the tribe’s official currency, starting with the Lakota Crazy Horse 1 Troy ounce silver medallion.
American Open Currency Standard - the Standard for Honest Trade
Making Money is Fun & Profitable
Our little family traveled from coast to coast to share our message.
It came as no surprise that our message of sound money & free trade was well received.
Homeschooling our young kids, we packed our bags, rented an RV, and drove to events around the country to show off our growing currency standard.
In just a few short months, we teamed up with dozens of like-minded individuals, organizations, politicians, and shared our story at events and rallies. We made a ton of friends & had the time of our lives!
We had the privilege to hang out with titans of the budding freedom movement like Congressman Ron Paul, Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, Ernie Hancock, bad-ass Adam Kokesh, Joby Weeks, and so many others. We were even invited to take an overnight train ride with the author of the book that inspired us to start down this path – G. Edward Griffin – and visit the very place the Federal Reserve Act was cooked up nearly a hundred years ago! If you look close at the Jekyll Island pic, you may even notice a yellow Don’t Tread on Me flag flying above it….
In the meantime, we helped mint hundred of thousands of coins for various causes, all while staying true to our mission of sound money. To us, after all, money became the root of all good.
And the adventure was just beginning.
Congressman Ron Paul's Final Domestic Monetary Policy Hearing
Gray to Congress: "Leave our money alone."
Honest money legislation is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
On August 2nd, 2012, we were invited to join Congressman Ron Paul at his final Domestic Monetary Policy
Subcommittee hearing and speak about Parallel Currencies & the Roadmap to Monetary Freedom – a subject near and dear to our hearts.
We were incredibly privileged to be asked to participate, and we knew that this was an opportunity not to be taken lightly. After all, whatever we said would be entered into the congressional record for all to see, for eternity.
The entire speech can be found online at the House Financial Service Committee website here, but our favorite part by far is this quote:
“No fair challenge can be made between honest men and thieves. Let me be clear that when I say thieves: I refer to the current private central bank and the men in government who allow it to exist.”
Just about the same time, our team was scrambling to figure out how to actually mint our own coins. Our vendor went out of business, leaving us holding the bag on the biggest order of our lives.
As it turns out, we weren’t as good at running a mint as we were at designing coins. And almost overnight, 6 years of work came to a disastrous end.
Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man.
J. Robert Oppenheimer – American theoretical physicist & father of the atomic bomb
Worldschooling in Thailand
With one suitcase and a battered reputation, we started over.
You would think that creating hundreds of thousands of coins and filling every order as promised for more than 6 years would be enough to overcome a few bumps in the road, but we were not so lucky. In fact, we were at the head of the biggest story in the precious metals industry anyone had seen or heard for years.
It was heartbreaking to see all we worked so hard to create go to zero, leaving partners, creditors, friends & family with nothing.
We fought for months to hold on to our assets, pride & reputation, and it nearly drowned us. By the end of 2013, we came to the conclusion that we can build it. The people that destroyed it can’t.
In serious need of sunshine & fresh air, we bought one-way tickets to SouthEast Asia, exploring Indonesia, Singapore, & Malaysia, eventually settling on Thailand as the place to call home and put our lives back together.
Even so, homeschooling the kids abroad was still an adventure, and the low cost of living afforded us the time & attention we desperately needed to hold our family together through the crisis.
By the end of 2014, we were well rested and ready to put our world back together. And with the help of one of our dearest friends, we were able to do just that.
We jumped on an opportunity to make licensed Frank Frazetta collectibles, and immediately set out to design & manufacture highly detailed miniature silver statues.
Silver Statues - Beautiful Art & Precious Metals - together at long last.
The Queen's Beasts
The Lost World
Gods of Ancient Egypt
Trying our hand at coin manufacturing again...
Rearden Metals Pte Ltd
With Thailand in the rear view mirror, we're off to the Lion City.
Building our statue business in Thailand was a ton of fun. We designed and brought to market more than a hundred different models, including the Frazetta Chess Set, Slave Queen, The Silversmith Collection and so much more. With our name recovered and reputation in good standing, we were ready to move on.
Singapore regularly ranks as the most expensive city in the world, and it is not a place to learn on the job or try stuff out. So we needed to move quickly if we were going to successfully build SouthEast Asia’s largest private mint.
We lucked out and picked up some amazing equipment at the NWT Mint auction in 2018. It took a few small miracles to get it all boxed up & shipped off to the other side of the world, but we pulled it off and by the end of the year we had our mint back online.
We launched a handful of new coins, including Silver Hobo Nickels & The Legalized Collection. And we never imagined that one of our creations from 2011 would circle back around and become one of the most famous coins in the world!
Bitcoin – once left for the trash heap – became the hot topic, and we pioneered a new industry-leading product from it.
Singapore turned out to be a great place for our free-range kids. They could jump on a train or bus at any hour of the day with no fear – it’s one of the safest places in the world! Plus, flights are cheap and Thailand, Bali, & Australia are just a few hours away. We had a great time in our 3 years of building the mint.
Industry leading products making headlines around the world
Our Debut at the World Money Fair
The Booteen Collection & Cold Storage Coins on the world stage.
In early 2019, we caught a last-minute opportunity to exhibit at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany. We caught the very last red-eye direct flight from Singapore and arrived 30 minutes before the doors opened.
We had been to lots of coin fairs in our time, but nothing could have prepared us for the scale and magnificence of this event. It was so much fun seeing the best and brightest minds and designs in one place.
We were incredibly proud to present two of our latest creations: The Roman Booteen Authorized Replica Collection, as well as Bitcoin Cold Storage Coins.
For the Roman Booteen series, we would go on and replicate not just the Booteen Trap with the Golden Bait, but also Roman’s Gold Bug, Witch, and Seventh Circle of Hell. We even have a Booteen watch scheduled for production in the near future. The Banksy coin is a real challenge, but we hope it too will be a success soon!
Cold Storage Coins, on the other hand, got off to a bumpy start. While the product is great and works every time – it’s the most reliable cold storage wallet in the industry – the sales success depends heavily on retail interest in Bitcoin. But persisted we did, and sure enough the market came back around in 2019, resulting in a great year of custom cold storage wallets and sales success.
Our family looks forward each year to our trip to Berlin for the big event. We love arriving in Europe a few weeks early and traveling by train through our favorite places in Switzerland & Czechia, getting in some much needed family & relaxation time to recharge for another great year.
The returning hero, to complete his adventure, must survive the impact of the world. The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world.
Joseph Campbell – The Hero with a Thousand Faces
The Crossing of the Return Threshold
Almost exactly 7 years later, we're back to where it all began.
Although our journey is still in progress and the final chapter is far from written, we lived, learned & loved enough to bring our family back to the United States in 2021.
Seven years abroad – four of those years in Thailand and three in Singapore – taught us so much about the world, ourselves, and our relationship with it.
We enjoyed a massive amount of family time, raising our kids and letting them see & experience first hand what it’s like to build something – lose it all – pick yourself up and do it all over again. We do not yet know the long term impact these events will have on our children, and how it will shape them as they grow into adults and start lives of their own. We can only imagine it will teach them great things about courage, persistence & character.
We’re not heroes. We went on one hell of a journey, but didn’t save anyone from a burning building or fix the climate in the process. We’re just a bunch of ordinary people that went through a series of extraordinary events. We did make good on some old debts and right some wrongs along the way, and we are surely proud of this. If you’re one of the people still left to be made whole, let us know and we’ll work it out.
In the days since our return, we’ve continued our passion of creating cool things that tell great stories. And with such a great story to tell, we expect that to continue for some time.
We even started what will surely be our last mint here in Texas. It will mint our copper, silver & gold coins & collectibles, and Kira & I will continue to design, market & distribute products so that we can share these tales with you, our valued customers & collectors.
Patriot Coins & the Battle for America's Soul
Back in McKinney, Texas for the start of the next chapter.
Ashton & Samantha are having the time of their lives wrapping up their young adult years in school for the first time, rounding out their unconventional education with some old-fashioned classroom time.
In the meantime, our work family continues to grow with a dedicated team that shares our passion for excellence. We even managed to reconnect with some old friends from the previous shop, sharing with them the many tricks we learned from years of experience.
It’s scary to think of how little we knew in the early days of our minting career. Today, we know so much more than the first time we tried, and the establishment of our production facility has happened in record time, even with logistic delays, material shortages and port congestion.
We are building Patriot Coins to be the industry’s premier source for privately minted, unique precious metals collectibles. We will mint products that tell the story of our strange times, the battle between good & evil.
We’ve seen a lot of good in the world. Our time abroad has shown us so much beauty, and we encourage each of you to follow your hearts and expand your horizons as well.
But one thing is crystal clear to us: America is mankind’s Alamo in the battle for freedom.
The world – and its many diverse people & places – has so much to offer, and we encourage you always find the best of things wherever they may be and from whomever may trade them.
But if Freedom falls in America, it will be eradicated from the face of the earth. For our family & yours, we will do what we can to educate, unite & bring all Americans together under our shared principles of peace & prosperity, with Liberty & Justice for all.
From our family to yours, we invite you to share the adventure with us.
Tune in via email or Instagram. Keep tabs on our progress and whereabouts. Learn from our successes & mistakes. We love what we do and wish to share the abundance of our results with anyone that cares to pay attention.
If you like who we are, what we stand for, and how we’re doing it, pick up a tube of silver every now and then. Your acquisition lets us know we’re doing a good job and gives us the motivation (and profit) to keep going.
Thanks so much for your care & support!
Your friends in Liberty,
Kira, Rob, Ashton & Samantha Gray