A group of 10 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagles seized by the Secret Service will be put on display Aug. 16 by the U.S. Mint at the opening ceremony of the American Numismatic Association?s World?s Fair of Money in Denver.
Only one 1933 $20 can be legally owned. It sold in New York City during the 2002 ANA convention for $7.59 million. The others the Mint claims were illegally removed from the Philadelphia Mint more than 70 years ago. They were owned by the daughter of Israel Switt, who was once a jeweler in Philadelphia.
Existence of the 10 gold coins owned by Joan Langbord came to the government?s attention in September 2004 when her family attorney approached the Mint about them. They were authenticated with the help of the Smithsonian Institution June 21, 2005, and this news was revealed to the numismatic hobby Aug. 11, 2005.
The coins are housed by the Mint in Fort Knox, Ky., in the facility that stores much of America?s 260 million troy ounces of gold bullion reserves.
It has been feared that the coins will ultimately be destroyed, so this might be the only opportunity for collectors to view the valuable coins.
The Mint has maintained since the 1940s that the coins were never legally issued. Over the years examples have been seized, including the one now in private hands, which was taken in 1996. It was legalized after lengthy negotiations and when it came to light that King Farouk of Egypt was granted an export license from the U.S. Treasury for one of these coins.
All that the Treasury has said is that it does not intend to monetize, issue or auction the 10 1933 double eagles.
The coins will be introduced to the hobby by Mint Deputy Director David Lebryk before the ribbon cutting.