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Old Feb 12, 2008, 03:01 AM   #1
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A Rare U.S. $15 millions Gold Coin Was Found in a Closet

An egyptian couple when cleaning their room found a rare us double eagle gold coin. The experts valued it: $15 million. It is a very beautiful coin, indeed. it wasn't found today, but have read about it today.
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Old Feb 12, 2008, 08:24 AM   #2
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Aren't the 1933 Gold Eagles considered property of the US Government because they were confiscated as part of the move away from the gold least that's what I thought held for a few pieces auction here in the States. If I remember correctly, the last one to come up for auction had to be approved by the Treasury Dept. and some portion of the funds from the sale went to the government.

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Old Feb 12, 2008, 08:59 AM   #3
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I believe it still stands that there is only one example of the 1933 double eagle that is legal to own. It was auctioned a few years ago for around $7.5 million and was the King Farouk specimen. It was originally confiscated by the US Secret Service from dealer Stephen Fenton while he was transporting it, but was allowed to be sold and half the funds given to the government when the court decided it was legal to own and the government illegally confiscated it.

Three years ago the decendents of Izzy Switt, a coin dealer and jeweler from Philadelphia, who handled most (all?) of the 1933 double-eagles, found 10 examples Izzy had hid away. The coins were submitted to the US Mint for verification, with the understanding the coins would be returned. Of course, the government confiscated them after authenticating them and gave no compensation to the owners, invoking the same argument as usual that the coins were illegally taken from the mint and were never legally issued. The Farouk specimen gets around this argument because that piece, and only that piece, has an export license issued by the US government. Since the government authorized the export license, the court decided the government acknowledged King Farouk could legally own the coin.

Personally, I think the whole thing is a bunch of hogwash. The US government minted the coins and released them to be distributed as usual. And even though they may have been minted after Roosevelt enacted Executive Order 6102 banning ownership of gold coins, these would still have been exempt as collector coins were exempt from the order.

The 10 pieces confiscated recently are being displayed at various times at shows by the government and are still the subject of a lawsuit by the Langbords to get them back. If I were them, I would certainly try the angle that Executive Order 6102 in and of itself was unconstitutional and all effects of it should have been voided and unenforceable. The Order made it illegal for US citizens to own or possess circulating gold coins. That is a violation of personal property rights, but I can't remember off the top of my head what part of the Constitution or Bill of Rights it violates (people should be thinking how this also relates to the proposed "cultural patrimony" of non-US coutries trying to illegally seize common coins from their collections).

And don't even get me started about fiat currency once we were off the gold standard.

By the way - I would also be interested in learning whether the newly found 1933 specimen is even authentic. I would be willing to guess it's a fake, especially with the story about its finding.

--Zach Beasley
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Old Feb 12, 2008, 10:55 AM   #4
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1933 Double Eagle

What timing, I just finished reading the book on this coin by Alison Frankel. Zach's post pretty much sums up what is in the book except that according to the Gummint, the coins never went to the mint cashier for distribution and therefore were not officially issued, therefore stolen. Of course, the same can be said for 1913 V nickels, 1885 trade dollars, most 1804 silver dollars, a not too long, but very pricey list. Oh yes, one more thing, the sale of the Farouk specimen was a compromise between the government and Fenton, possibly because the Secret Service realized that the export license might cost them the case.

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