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Community Voice Responses (May 15, 2018)

From the Apr. 20 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:


Should the Mint sell its 1933 gold $20s to reduce national debt?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

The problem with this entire incident at the Philadelphia Mint Cashier’s office is that there was no indication that $200 in gold coin was ever stolen. I do believe that $200 of gold coin would be missed shortly after a cash count was performed. Did the head cashier intermingle 1933 double eagles to remove them from the office? Yes. Yet how was this any different from any other dealings by other Mint employees that used the United States Mint as a side business to supplement their income? Mr. Morgan comes to mind as someone that illegally used the Mint for his own enrichment.

The Half Union affair and the pilfering of the Mint pattern cabinet and the illegal production of 1913 nickels are all illegal to own as they were produced illegally or obtained illegally.

The prosecution of the 1933 double eagles was an attempt to create cover for the greatest theft of United States gold coin money ever perpetrated inside the United States. By executive fiat, real money was declared illegal, and it was the most egregious theft of wealth ever committed by a United States government. The culprit, a sitting President, had to be covered to avoid being lumped in with the Nazis as a thief of sovereign wealth. Jewish personal wealth and sovereign government wealth were stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

Israel Switt needs to be recognized as a savior of historic numismatic heritage of the United States and not a thief. The assumption of theft was created when the 1933 double eagle started to show up on the market. There is no official Mint Police report of any discrepancies that would have occurred if $200 in gold coin were discovered missing after a cash count.

The Langbord family is entitled to due compensation for protecting a numismatic treasure and the loss of $200 in gold coin.

Charles Dubelier
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

After considerable thought, I thought No! The debt has been more avoided than handled properly. If the financial circumstances were handled more evenly, I would vote yes! These gold coins are for a last resort. I can see that some things can be handled, but many elected officials still have a “for me” attitude. With this in mind, please reconsider for a moment, then conclude your own opinion.

Gary Kess
Sherman, Texas

No, do not sell coins, unless they could get a trillion dollars, because it would not make any notable impact to debt.

Joel Gossage
Temple, Texas

The national debt increases approximately $3.8 billion each day. That is about $2,638,889 per minute. If the coin sold for $10 million, it would cover almost five minutes. Seems like a waste of time.

Nick Weiss
Bensenville, Ill.

Each Mint should have one coin safely displayed with the story to include the name of the employee that secured the coin, the statutes or laws that were broken and how the coin came to be on display. This would serve as a warning to each and every employee that crime does not pay.

The remaining coins should be loaned to display at various museums, including the Smithsonian and numismatic museums that can prove the coin can be safely displayed.

Dom Cicio
Groveland, Fla.

Should fulfill what FDR started. Only fair and correct thing is to melt them in front of a public audience.

Christopher Luke
Dallas, Texas

Yes. The 1913 Liberty nickels are illegal productions also.

Wesley Ellis
Portland, Ore.

Weren’t all the coins confiscated in the past melted, as they say the law mandated? Wasn’t this case about the law, or did I hear wrong?

Name withheld

Absolutely not! The proceeds would only generate a tiny drop of revenue into a large $21 trillion bucket of debt. Besides, the money would most likely be utilized for everything else, except towards alleviating our shameful obligation.

Sam Lukes
Visalia, Calif.

While it would be good for whoever was lucky enough (and rich enough) to make such a purchase, the money realized would not cover one minute of the debt. It would be like removing a teaspoon of sand from the world’s beaches.

Tim Farricy
Syracuse, N.Y.

Yes! They already have them graded and “ready to go.” It’ll reduce the national debt’s interest by about 30-45 seconds worth of interest. But more important, it’ll be great for numismatics and maybe get some new “big” people interested in starting to collect.

Sincerely and seriously,

Craig Watanabe
Honolulu, Hawaii

Sounds like something more constructive than what our government has been doing with our tax dollars for the past decades of squandering.

Not sure their sales would really put a dent into our multi- trillion dollars of debt, but there are surely some collectors who would love to make the deal to own such a piece of history, and that those coins, had they been found in 1933 would have been melted.

Sure, go ahead with the sales.

Ken Kassen
Shawnee, Kan.

No. It may not help much in reducing the national debt. However, the story should be told maybe in a movie. I really believe it would be a very interesting story. It might get more people interested in coins and currency collecting again.

Steven R. Angle
Glendale, Ariz.

The federal debt is massively larger than the value of those few coins, so selling them would have a negligible effect on that. However, I think the government should sell them to generate publicity and raise the profile of coin collecting in the country.

Bill Eckberg
Address withheld

Sounds like a terrific idea. Sell only to museums, U.S. or global, with the condition that they cannot ever resell it to a private party, and if they sell to another museum, same.

While they are at it, they should give the Langbord family back their coins.

Robert Matitia
Address withheld

There should be no way the government profits from selling these coins. If the national debt was so important, why do they continue to spend more than they take in? It’s all BS.
Joe Gorak
Address withheld

Sure. Sell them. What’s the point of keeping them in a vault? They might bring a million each.

William Charles Schulz
Address withheld

No, the sale price will not be enough to put a dent in the national debt. Besides, we are just going to run up the credit card again. Retain it for those who have never seen a $20 gold piece, nonetheless a 1933 issue!

Michael McLoughlin
Address withheld

I’ve always felt that the United States Mint needs to return the confiscated gold coins to the owners they took them from. If not returned, then my thoughts have always been that every coin, pattern, error, etc., not officially released by the U.S. Mint be confiscated and treated in the same manner. It seems there is not justice with the U.S. Mint or our government when there are different penalties for some and not others. It’s a shame, because I don’t think our Founding Fathers would have ever wanted it to be this way.

As for the national debt, I feel that from the President on down the line, every one of them should be ashamed for the debt this country is in and what they’ve created for us citizens and our children, and sadly their children. The waste in this country by our government and the Mint itself, the cent, nickel, quarter programs, commemorative coins, dollar coins and the $1 bill (Federal Reserve), are prime examples, not to mention all the other things I could list but that would take up way too much space.

If we want to look at anything, I suggest a full audit of the gold reserves held within Fort Knox and other places, with that information made public, and then look at possibly taking care of the national debt with possibly a portion of the sales of that. Truthfully, that gold belongs to the American people. It’s been stockpiled long enough. These are just my thoughts, but I don’t think anyone in our government cares, nor anyone at the Mint. A good example is a two-page letter I sent by Priority Mail to the Superintendent of the Mint two years ago now with some issues and problems, and never received a response back, not even a form letter like is normally sent out. How’s that for customer service by the Mint.? I could go on, but don’t want to take up all your time. Thanks for letting me send in my thoughts and opinions.

Name withheld

I think that might be a good idea if we could be sure that the money would go to the national debt.

Larry Hearn
Address withheld

Sell! Sell all but one, of course.

Name withheld

Absolutely yes. The coins are part of the legacy of U.S. coinage.

I could care less about profits going to reduce the debt, but destroying them would be criminal!

Name withheld

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Are you a U.S. coin collector? Check out the 2019 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700 is your guide to images, prices and information on coins from so long ago.