Yes, in this country, from 1933 to 1974 it was illegal for U.S. citizens to own gold in the form of gold ingots, without a special license. On January 1, 1975, these restrictions were lifted and gold can now be held freely in the United States without licenses or restrictions of any kind. Gold can now be owned as a non-monetary product, such as a top rated gold IRA. However, any attempt by private citizens to reintroduce gold money as a medium of exchange will be quickly challenged by the government as an illegal competition against its monopoly on paper money.
The ownership of gold was not legalized to restore solid money, but because the government no longer considers gold to be important. The United States Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934 required that all gold and gold certificates held by the Federal Reserve be surrendered and become the sole property of the United States Department of the Treasury. It also prohibited the Treasury and financial institutions from exchanging one-dollar bills for gold, established the Exchange Stabilization Fund under the control of the Treasury to control the value of the dollar without the help (or approval) of the Federal Reserve, and authorized the president to establish the value of the dollar by proclamation. A year earlier, in 1933, Executive Order 6102 made it a crime for U.S.
citizens to own or exchange gold anywhere in the world, with exceptions for certain jewelry and collector coins. These prohibitions were relaxed starting in 1964: private investors again granted gold certificates on April 24, 1964, although the obligation to pay the certificate holder on demand in kind of gold would not be respected. By 1975, Americans could freely own and trade gold again. The United States was still suffering the negative effects of the 1929 stock market crash in 1934, when the Gold Reserve Act was enacted.
President Roosevelt was challenged to reduce unemployment, increase wages, and increase the money supply, but the United States' strict adherence to the gold standard restricted him. The Gold Reserve Act, which prohibited the export of gold, restricted the ownership of gold and stopped the convertibility of gold into paper money, helping it overcome this obstacle. This law ratified the previous Executive Order 6102, which required that almost all gold be exchanged for paper money. Roosevelt justified the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 by saying that, since there was not enough gold to pay all holders of gold-related obligations, for the sake of justice, the Government should allow no one to be paid in gold.
In the cases of the consolidated Gold Clause (known independently as Perry v. U, S.