Monday, August 25, 2008
The 1933 Double Eagle
The 1933 double eagle is the most valued coin to date. It's a twenty dollar gold coin used by bankers from the gold rush in 1849 until 1933. The reason that it is so valuable is that in 1933 president Roosevelt stopped the production and none of these coins were officially placed into circulation. On April 5 1933 it was passed that the 1933 double eagle was to be recalled and melted down, it was considered illegal form that day forth. There was none known to have made it out but two sent to the Smithsonian for display, so they thought. In 1944, 1 turned up and was sold to the king of Egypt. After the king's death in 1952 it recirculated, but when the American secret service tried to reclaim it it quickly disappeared again. In 1952 the secret service found 8 and they were melted down. In 1974 the president changed the law so that any more found will not be melted. For forty years there hadn't been any sign of the infamous 1933 double eagle coin. In 2001 one turns up at a dealer in New York. The dealer started claiming that someone sold it to him over the counter, then changed his story and said that it came from Egypt. After a legal battle it was decided that they would auction this one and split the profits ($7,590,020) between the government and the dealer. In 2004 the dealer dies and his heir turns up with ten more 1933 double eagles, which of course the secret service confiscated. They are now being held at Fort Knox. The new owner of the coins has got a lawyer and is trying to have them returned. One turned up in Egypt recently in a closet full of old junk. It's still illegal today to posses the 1933 double eagle except the one auctioned in 2002. It's believed that the twenty that have turned up so far were stolen by a cashier for the mint that replaced them with older double eagles.