Double Eagle Gold Coin: The illegal coin That Makes Legends

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It has been as early as 1933, that the government of the United States had started to issue gold coins on regular basis. The 1933 double eagle gold coin was a 20 USD coin. The coin holds the record of one of the most expensive coins in the world. A specimen of the coin was sold for 7.59 million USD. Although 445, 000 coins were minted, not many of the double eagle gold coins survive today.

Post 1933 journey of the remaining coins is nothing short of a periodic drama and a spy thriller. President Roosevelt ordered that circulation of gold coins was not allowed any more. The collectors were left alone. The coins were turned in to the banks by people who gave them other types of currency. Most of the coins were melted. Two coins were however presented to the U. S. National Numismatic Collection.

But later it came to be known that a number of other coins survived the fate. The coins were illegal to possess. It seems however that George McCann of the US Mint was able to sneak out some coins. Around 20 have been recovered so far. It is assumed that at least nine coins went to collectors from the hand of Israel Swit, a jeweler in Philadelphia. By the coming of 1944, the United States Secret Service started efforts to recover the coin.

While seven coins were recovered in first year itself, one coin was still eluding the hands of Secret Service. In 1944, the coin passed to hands of Egyptian monarch who held it until 1952 when he removed by a forced coup. The new government promised that they would return the coin, but the coin disappeared altogether. It was never seen again in Egypt.

A double eagle gold coin was recovered from British dealer Stephen Fenton. Fenton was detained after the Secret Service caught him from a New York hotel. Initially Fenton claimed to have purchased the coin from a shop. After some time, he admitted in his testimony that this was the missing Egyptian coin. Matters went to court and the court ruled in favor of Untied States government.

The decision took place in 2001. Soon after its seizure, the coin was transferred to a vault in World Trade Center. When the Treasury won the ownership of the coin, it made the coin a legal tender once more. The coin was transferred to Fort Knox and barely 2 months later, the September 11 attacks occurred. The coin was subsequently auctioned off for $7,590,020 with the 20 dollars being the cost of monetization.

In 2005 the U.S. Secret Service declared that they had recovered 10 more coins from heirs of Israel Swit. Since not even a single double eagle gold coin of the 10 has been monetized, they remain a property of the government of United States.

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