Let's settle this once and for all. I personally have witnessed my gold (or, at least, some of it) being marked as stolen in my inventory in the past. I've seen several comments around here from people who claim the same. Though none of us can yet explain it, I believe there's no longer any point in arguing that it does happen.

Also, if you'll pardon the quality, I do have an image to share of one of my current characters' gold in the inventory screen. I still don't know how this happened, but this does demonstrate that at least some of her gold is in fact marked Stolen. This was taken with my camera-phone.

enter image description here

However, some people still claim that gold cannot be flagged as stolen property. They even cite the venerable UESP as a source for this: "Gold is considered completely fungible in-game, and will never be marked stolen, or confiscated if you are apprehended by the guard."

So, I'd like us to settle this here now. For anyone with the time and will to play-test this, please document your findings here. I'm going to post mine below. I've not been able to reproduce the phenomenon so far, but I'm not inclined to give up because I know it can happen.

Good luck.

P.S.: If anyone's got a clue as to what may be causing this, but has not play-tested it yet, please feel free to mention your ideas in comments.

P.P.S: For the record, after I decided to take a break from play-testing this, I loaded up one of my other characters to play for awhile and found that she currently has some stolen gold on her. How much of the gold is actually marked stolen, I'm not inclined to figure out right now. Dropping small bits from a stack of more than 100,000 isn't exactly a user-friendly process on the PS3.

P.P.P.S: Since the comment-discussions here have gotten a bit long I've created a Skyrim Play-Testing chat room, where we can continue working on this issue without further bloating this thread. If you do participate there, please make sure that any details which may be relevant to future readers of this thread get posted to the Q&A or comments here.

  • 3
    I also have gold in my inventory flagged as Stolen. Easiest way to check how much is flagged Stolen is to punch a guard in Whiterun, then lower your fists and pay the fine. He'll take 40g plus all your Stolen gold. Subtract the gold you have left from the gold you had before, minus the fine. Jan 19 '12 at 6:27
  • 3
    Would be nice to see a screenshot of some sort. even if it is taken by a camera.
    – IAmGroot
    Jan 19 '12 at 13:10
  • @LudoMC - Thanks for the edit. I really wish we could up-vote edits.
    – Iszi
    Jan 19 '12 at 17:01
  • @desaivv - I think you and I should really get together in a chat room some time to clear up some of the confusion, and perhaps also coordinate our play-testing efforts. The stack of gold in the one character's inventory is indeed flagged as stolen, just like any other stolen item stack is. This is only visible when you open up a container, and go to the MISC section of your inventory - gold does not show up as an item in your inventory during normal browsing or trading.
    – Iszi
    Jan 19 '12 at 17:04
  • @JonathanDrain - Thanks for the confirmation and suggestion. I suppose I may give that a shot tonight.
    – Iszi
    Jan 19 '12 at 17:04

I power-leveled a character to 81, and gave her a full complement of Stealth perks. Additionally, she has some perks added to Smithing and Enchantment.

Then, I began taking her on a crime spree. Pickpocketing, breaking and entering, burglary... whatever I could do to get her some stolen gold. Here's what I've gotten so far.

Stolen Gold Test

Container   Amount  Marked? Notes
Chest       32      No      Whiterun - Ysolda's House
Pickpocket  9       No      Whiterun - Olava the Feeble
Coin Purse  20      No      Whiterun - Olava the Feeble's House (Cupboard)
Chest       17      No      Whiterun - Olava the Feeble's House
Cupboard    14      No      Whiterun - Uthgerd's House
Wardrobe    5       No      Whiterun - Uthgerd's House
Chest       32      No      Whiterun - Uthgerd's House
Cupboard    1       No      Whiterun - Carlotta Valentina's House
Chest       32      No      Whiterun - Carlotta Valentina's House
Chest       35      No      Whiterun - Heimskr's House
Pickpocket  6       No      Whiterun - Danica Pure-Spring
Pickpocket  46      No      Whiterun - Nazeem
Wardrobe    8       No      Whiterun - House Grey-Mane
Cupboard    7       No      Whiterun - House Grey-Mane
Chest       11      No      Whiterun - House Grey-Mane
Chest       9       No      Whiterun - House Grey-Mane
End Table   5       No      Whiterun - House Grey-Mane
Pickpocket  6       No      Whiterun - Avulstein Grey-Mane
Pickpocket  13      No      Whiterun - Amren
Pickpocket  11      No      Whiterun - Ahlam
Cupboard    9       No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr
Coin Purse  28      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Cupboard    8       No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Wardrobe    12      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Wardrobe    6       No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Coin Purse  60      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters (WITNESSED)
Coin Purse  56      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
End Table   6       No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Coin Purse  50      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Chest       11      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Coin Purse  22      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Chest       21      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Chest       21      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Coin Purse  54      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Coin Purse  32      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
End Table   5       No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters
Coin Purse  44      No      Whiterun - Jorrvaskr Living Quarters

Where the Container is a Coin Purse, those are just coin purses lying about loose somewhere. For Containers marked Pickpocket, these are coins taken directly from an NPC via pickpocketing. See the Notes column for further details on all.

The Marked column denotes whether or not the gold ended up marked as stolen in my inventory. All of the gold documented above was marked in red, or flagged with the "Steal" action when I acquired it.

I've also done a bit of testing on some other suggestions.

  • Pickpocket, die, reload, kill & loot does not seem to work.
  • Reverse-pickpocket & re-pickpocket doesn't seem to do the trick.
  • the amount of coins is random. Jan 19 '12 at 5:38
  • 2
    I know the amount of coins is random, but I figured it is possible that the bug may be triggered by certain amounts. That's why I included it in my documentation.
    – Iszi
    Jan 19 '12 at 5:59
  • @desaivv Actually, the "Marked" is for whether or not the gold ends up marked as stolen in my inventory. All of the gold documented above was marked as "Steal" when I acquired it. Thanks for the Bedlam job suggestion. I'll have to get my character into the Thieves Guild and give that a shot.
    – Iszi
    Jan 19 '12 at 13:51
  • @Iszi — Did you drop, store, or otherwise divest yourself of the gold you held before each test? When you view a stack of items in your inventory, only the stolen status of one particular item is shown, and I have not seen a pattern to which (other than that it isn't necessarily the most recently acquired).
    – Ben Blank
    Jan 19 '12 at 15:40
  • @BenBlank - I believe another question on this site addresses your concern. I'll try to find and link it for you. The short of it is: If you hold multiples of an item, and any one of those is stolen, then the item will be marked stolen in your inventory until you've unloaded the quantity which is stolen. Example: If I have 100 Iron Daggers, and 20 of those are stolen, the Iron Daggers in my inventory will show the stolen flag until I've un-loaded 20 Iron Daggers. Stolen items are always on the "top" of the stack.
    – Iszi
    Jan 19 '12 at 16:59

While testing, I found (stumbled really) some 'stolen' gold. However, when I tried to attack a guard to check the 'confiscated stole gold' method, I accidentally attacked him with a Elven Axe of 25 ice+fire damage. Which crit him. Long story short, I had 1000 bounty on Whiterun now yay!

However, I had quicksaved before attacking the guard, and when I loaded, the 'stolen' tag was gone. Maybe this is an graphical bug, mixing with other stolen stuff on your inventory?

Testing a bit further, I noticed that sometimes (about 10%~) you get the 'stolen gold tag' when you reverse-pickpocket the gold to someone, then pickpocket it again. And always when I quick saved+loaded the tag was gone.

My guess: Maybe the stolen tag sticks on the 'selected item' object in the programming, and when you switch to the gold, the tag continues on it: however, it's only on the 'selected' gold object, not on the real gold.

  • Thanks for sharing the details. I'll see if I can play-test this later tonight, though I can't remember a time where my character has reverse-pickpocketed and re-pickpocketed any gold.
    – Iszi
    Jan 19 '12 at 19:40
  • I tested this some on my PS3 (no quick-save function, but I did do saving and re-loading) and wasn't able to find that reverse-pickpocketing or save-and-reload had any effect. However, now that I notice you did say "about 10%", maybe I'll give it a few more shots.
    – Iszi
    Jan 20 '12 at 15:06
  • I also noticed that, since last patch, I didn't found any more 'stolen gold'. However, there's no mention to it in patch changelog =Z Feb 7 '12 at 17:42
  • Is that on PC? Far as I know, 1.4 isn't on the PS3 yet.
    – Iszi
    Feb 7 '12 at 17:45
  • Yeah, that's on PC. Feb 13 '12 at 19:00

I had around 37,000 gold on me at the time and it was marked as stolen. I began storing all of my gold in one of my homes in increments of 5 - 10 thousand all around the house (you can probably just store most in one container as long as you store it in small amounts) except for 250 for a bounty I owed at the time and when I checked all the gold I had stored it was no longer marked as stolen but the 250 in my inventory was still marked as stolen. out of pure curiosity I began storing this gold in increments of ten and 5 around my home until only five gold was left in my inventory. the five in my inventory was no longer marked as stolen and none of the gold that I had randomly stored was marked as stolen. I can't guarantee that this will work for everyone or that it will work every time but I hope this is helpful. it is not as time consuming as it may seem.


It stands stolen because you have stolen money that lies on the ground or a table, etc. But if you steal from a drawer or a chest, etc, it doesn`t stand stolen.

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