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Gold drama moves slowly

The latest round has begun in the legal drama deciding the fate of the 10 1933 $20 gold pieces in the possession of the family of the late Israel Switt, a Philadelphia jeweler who obtained them in the 1930s.

A federal appeals court is being asked to reverse its April decision that ordered the government to return the coins to the family, which has not had possession of them since 2005.

They had sent the rare coins to the Mint to be authenticated, and the government kept them, saying they had been stolen as none of them had been legally issued before President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued his gold recall order in March 1933.

Will the decision be different this time?

It might be.

Should we bet on a different outcome?

Probably not.

If this were a courtroom drama TV show there would be clever argument followed by the triumphant return of the coins to the family – all wrapped up in the course of an hour, or a two-hour special at most.

We collectors have been waiting for this to play out for 10 years right along with the family.

My hair has gone gray.

This has nothing to do with the trial and everything to do with the passing of a decade’s worth of time at my stage of life.

How much further this legal battle can be drawn out, I will leave it to the legal scholars to determine.

There is still the Supreme Court.

That would allow even more years to pass.

Legal drama, this may be, but popular entertainment it ain’t.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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