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Inheritance lost over Federeal reserve challenge on 1933 gold Double Eagle coins

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Source: Feds Win $80m Rare Coin Case


On Wednesday, in the trial for a Philadelphia family’s inheritance of 1933 double eagle gold coins, the jury reached a verdict.


Joan Langbord, 81, and her two sons lost their case to maintain ownership of the 10 gold coins.


The double eagle coins, minted in 1933, were $20 coins that were recalled by the U.S. Treasury that same year when Franklin Delano Roosevelt took the country off the gold standard.


At the time, all 445,500 coins were to be melted down, and they should have been gone by 1937, with the exception of two coins saved for the Smithsonian.


Joan Langbord’s father, jeweler Israel Switt, came into possession of a number of these coins, illegally, according to the U.S. government and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero.


In 2003, Langbord found the 10 coins in 2003 in a safety deposit box she inherited from her mother.


Until that time, she had never thoroughly examined the deposit box and was unaware of what it contained, according to Philly.com.


But one double eagle coin was auctioned in 2002 for $7.6 million, a coin that could be traced back to Israel Switt.


This auction price means the store that Langbord found could be worth an estimated $80 million.


But they should not even be in circulation, said the U.S. government.


Since 1937, around 21 of these double eagle coins have resurfaced, all traced in some way to Switt.


That year he had been stopped while boarding a train and was found to be carrying around 100 gold coins, which were immediately seized, according to NBC Philadelphia.


10 more coins were traced to him in 1944, and he claimed that he couldn’t remember where they had originated.


According to Romero, Switt most likely had help from a corrupt Mint official. The family’s lawyer, Barry Berke, argued that there is no evidence he had received these coins illegally.


According to Berke, there was a period of time in 1933 when coins were still circulated before the law was concrete. Switt had a license to deal scrap metal, which often led him to deals with the Mint. He could have easily traded gold ounces for the coins.


However, the jury did not agree, and they ruled that the seizure of the coins was legal. The government has taken the coins back for good.


“People of the United States of America have been vindicated,” noted Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero.


Try telling that to the Langbord family...


Kind regards


Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Thanks Scott, I recently watched the documentary on the Double Eagle coins, fascinating stuff, but unfortunately unlucky for Longbord family.

Imagine winning the Lotto and being told days later 'Sorry, you are not a winner'

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