From 1930-something until 1970-something (?) – I’m unsure of the dates, but 1960 is definitely in there – Americans were not permitted to own gold. It was an anti-panic measure of the Depression that stuck around until the government noticed how much of the money supply was going overseas to buy off-shore Krugerrands.
Now, obviously, jewelers and those working in certain other industries must have had an excemption; I suppose it was in the form of some kind of license, and it is reasonable that a felony conviction might be a bar to obtaining that license.
(There was also, of course, a numismatic excemption and an excemption for finished jewelry.)
John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams