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Government 1933 coin seizure upheld

Ten rare 1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 gold coins belong to the U.S. Treasury, not the family of a Philadelphia jeweler, a federal jury ruled July 20.

The 1933 double eagles, worth millions dollars, have been at the center of a legal tug-of-war between the family of jeweler Israel Switt and the government.

Switt’s daughter, Joan Langbord, said she had no idea how the coins ended up in her father’s bank deposit box, but they belong to the family.

The government argued that the coins were among 445,500 gold coins minted in 1933 that were supposed to have been destroyed, and that there was no legal way they could have left the Philadelphia Mint.

The U.S. Secret Service has suspected that Switt and a cashier at the Mint were involved in the removal of the 10 coins and others from the facility.

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“The verdict has vindicated the fact that the coins are national numismatic treasures that belong to all Americans,” according to an official statement from the Mint.

“A decision on where the coins will be stored or displayed has not been made. … The pieces will remain at the United states Bullion Depository at Fort Knox until such decisions are made.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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