Saturday, February 16, 2013

USA 1933 gold double eagle

In 30 July 2002, the USA 1933 gold double eagle make it into the record for the highest price ever paid for a coin in auction at $7,590,020 including buyer fees. Sotheby's and numismatic firm Stack's auctioned off a 1933 Double Eagle coin for $6.6 million, plus a buyer’s fee of 15% for a total price $7,590,020. However, the record has been broken by a 1794 silver dollar sold for USD$10,016,875 (price includes the buyer's commission) in Stack’s Bowers Cardinal Collection auction; 1794 silver dollar sells for US$10mil.

1933 double eagle gold coin is a legend in coin collecting. In 1933, 445,000 gold Double Eagle coins were minted but no specimens ever officially circulated and nearly all were melted down.

lady liberty

bald eagle

The coin obverse design show a rendition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' full length figure of Lady Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left. The reverse show a Bald eagle in flight, backed by a glory, with motto "IN GOD WE TRUST".

Chronology of 1933 Double Eagle:

15 March 1933 - 445,500 specimens of this Saint-Gaudens double eagle were minted (last year for double eagle production).

5 April 1933 - President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102, People were ordered to turn in their gold and no more gold coins were to be issued for circulation.

Executive Order 6102, Section 2.
All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, with the exception of the following:
(a) Such amount of gold as may be required for legitimate and customary use in industry, profession or art within a reasonable time, including gold prior to refining and stocks of gold in reasonable amounts for the usual trade requirements of owners mining and refining such gold.
(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100.00 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.
(c) Gold coin and bullion earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.
(d) Gold coin and bullion licensed for the other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including gold coin and gold bullion imported for the re-export or held pending action on applications for export license.

1937 - All the coins were destroyed by the Treasury and melt them into gold bars. Only two of the coins survived as part of the official US coin collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Two of the $20 double eagles were presented by the United States Mint to the U.S. National Numismatic Collection, and they were recently on display in the "Money and Medals Hall" on the third floor of the National Museum of American History.

1940's - 10 of the coins surfaced in the 1940's, the US Secret Service tracked down nine of them and destroyed them. a Texas dealer sold one of the coins and it was on the way out of the country on 22 February 1944. The missing double eagle was acquired by King Farouk of Egypt.

1952 - King Farouk was deposed in a coup d'etat, and many of his possessions were made available for public auction (run by Sotheby's) – including the double eagle coin. The United States Government requested the return of the coin, and the Egyptian government stated that it would comply with the request. However, at that time the coin disappeared and was not seen again in Egypt.

1996 - British collector Stephen Fenton was arrested in New York City after trying to sell the coin to undercover US Secret Service agents. Under sworn testimony, he insisted the double eagle had come from the collection of King Farouk, though this could not be verified.

30 July 30 2002-A 1933 double eagle was sold to an anonymous bidder at a Sotheby's auction held in New York for $6.6 million, plus a 15-percent buyer's premium, and an additional $20 needed to “monetize” the face value of the coin so it would become legal currency, bringing the final sale price to $7,590,020.00. Half the bid price was to be delivered to the United States Treasury, plus the $20 to monetize the coin, while Stephen Fenton was entitled to the other half.

September 2004 - Israel Switt daughter, Joan Switt Langbord, told officials at the US Treasury that she had found 10 more 1933 Double Eagles in a safe deposit box. She asked the Treasury Department to authenticate them.

July 2005 - the coins were authenticated by the United States Mint, working with the Smithsonian Institution, as being genuine 1933 double eagles.

August 2005 - The United States Mint announced the recovery of ten additional stolen 1933 double eagle gold coins from the family of Philadelphia jeweler Israel Switt, the illicit coin dealer identified by the Secret Service as a party to the theft who admitted selling the first nine double eagles recovered a half century earlier.

28 October 2010 - United States District Court Judge Legrome D. Davis released a 20-page decision.

20 July 2011 - after a 10-day trial—a jury decided unanimously in favor of the United States government concerning ownership of the ten additional double eagles. The court concluded the circumstantial evidence proved that Israel Switt illegally obtained the coins from the United States government and they are still government property. The decision was affirmed on August 29, 2012, and the plaintiffs plan to appeal.

29 August 2012 - U.S. District Judge Legrome D. Davis wrote in his decision for Joan Langbord appeal "The disputed double eagles were not lawfully removed from the United States Mint and . . . remain the property of the United States."

For a list of others world expensive coins, you can read it in my post; Top 5 Worlds Most Expensive coins.

Source: Wikipedia.