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The mystery of the Double Eagle gold coins

Posted By yihan On August 29, 2011 @ 7:23 am In Money Watch | Comments Disabled

Susan Berfield
MSNBC [1]
Monday, August 29, 2011

The most valuable coin in the world sits in the lobby of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in lower Manhattan. It’s Exhibit 18E, secured in a bulletproof glass case with an alarm system and an armed guard nearby. The 1933 Double Eagle, considered one of the rarest and most beautiful coins in America, has a face value of $20 — and a market value of $7.6 million. It was among the last batch of gold coins ever minted by the U.S. government. The coins were never issued; most of the nearly 500,000 cast were melted down to bullion in 1937.

Most, but not all. Some of the coins slipped out of the Philadelphia Mint before then. No one knows for sure exactly how they got out or even how many got out. The U.S. Secret Service, responsible for protecting the nation’s currency, has been pursuing them for nearly 70 years, through 13 Administrations and 12 different directors.

The investigation has spanned three continents and involved some of the most famous coin collectors in the world, a confidential informant, a playboy king, and a sting operation at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. It has inspired two novels, two nonfiction books, and a television documentary. And much of it has centered around a coin dealer, dead since 1990, whose shop is still open in South Philadelphia, run by his 82-year-old daughter.

“The 1933 Double Eagle is one of the most intriguing coins of all time,” says Jay Brahin, an investment adviser who has been collecting coins since he was a kid in Philadelphia. “It’s a freak. The coins shouldn’t have been minted, but they were. They weren’t meant to circulate, but some did. And why has the government pursued them so arduously? That’s one of the mysteries.”

Full story here. [1]


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URLs in this post:

[1] MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44288821/ns/business-us_business/#.TlugJ8016Ko

[2] American Eagle gold coins sold out after spree: http://www.prisonplanet.com/american-eagle-gold-coins-sold-out-after-spree.html

[3] Judge Says 10 Rare Gold Coins Worth $80 Million Belong to Uncle Sam: http://www.prisonplanet.com/judge-says-10-rare-gold-coins-worth-80-million-belong-to-uncle-sam.html

[4] US Mint to Suspend American Eagle Gold 1-Ounce Coins: http://www.prisonplanet.com/us-mint-to-suspend-american-eagle-gold-1-ounce-coins.html

[5] Mint To Start Selling 2011 American Eagle Silver Coins At 75% Premium To Paper, As Senators Propose Eliminating Capital Gains From Precious Metal Transactions: http://www.prisonplanet.com/mint-to-start-selling-2011-american-eagle-silver-coins-at-75-premium-to-paper-as-senators-propose-eliminating-capital-gains-from-precious-metal-transactions.html

[6] US Mint Sells Record 4.2 Million American Eagle Silver Coins In November: http://www.prisonplanet.com/us-mint-sells-record-4-2-million-american-eagle-silver-coins-in-november.html

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