2012-11-15nytimes.com

Mr. Tapiero, a portfolio manager at several hedge funds over the last two decades, realized quite quickly that it was harder to fulfill his desire [for physical gold ownership] than he had thought. When he called up one bank he patronized in his day job, he learned it had a minimum purchase amount of $20 million worth of physical gold. Even at that amount, he could not have access to it; it would have to stay at the bank.

...

... suspicion that there was interest in owning this kind of physical gold led Mr. Tapiero and a friend, Steven Feldman, to form a company, Gold Bullion International, in 2009. It allows people to buy bullion but also to have access to it and, if they want, have it delivered to their home or anywhere else. Their customers range from chief executives and entrepreneurs to housewives and grandparents buying for their grandchildren.

Mr. Tapiero described their challenge as, "How do we start a company that can provide physical gold -- have it delivered, but also have it stored outside the banking system -- to the retail customer?"

His theory was that gold had been misunderstood in the United States in a way that it had not been in the rest of the world. He attributed this to the inability of individuals to own gold for some 40 years, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 ordered any American holding more than $100 worth of gold to exchange if for $20.67 an ounce. He did this to prevent individuals from hoarding gold during the Great Depression, and the restriction wasn't lifted until the 1970s.


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