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  #1  
Old 08-26-2005, 03:20 AM
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sojustask sojustask is offline
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U.S. Mint Confiscates 10 Rare Gold Coins

Not even a Finder's Fee for turning them in? I hope the lady is victorious in her lawsuit but chances are, the crooked government will win.

Lady Mod
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050825/..._ot/rare_coins

U.S. Mint Confiscates 10 Rare Gold Coins

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Mint seized 10 Double Eagle gold coins from 1933, among the rarest and most valuable coins in the world, that a jeweler says she turned in to determine their authenticity.

Joan S. Langbord plans a federal court lawsuit to try to recover them, her attorney, Barry H. Berke, said Wednesday. Langbord found the coins among the possessions of her late father, longtime jeweler Israel Switt, who had acknowledged selling some of the coins decades ago. She now operates her father's business.

David Lebryk, acting director of the Mint, had announced in a news release that the rare coins, which were never put in circulation, had been taken from the Mint "in an unlawful manner" in the mid-1930s and now were "recovered."

The coins, which are so rare that their value is almost beyond calculation, are public property, he said.

Berke said Mint officials couldn't prove the coins had been stolen, or were subject to forfeiture. But Mint officials said Thursday the double eagles could not have legally been taken from the Mint.

In 2002, Sotheby's and numismatic firm Stack's auctioned off a 1933 Double Eagle coin for $7.59 million, the highest price ever paid for a coin. That Double Eagle, believed to have been part of a collection belonging to King Farouk of Egypt, surfaced when a coin dealer tried selling it to undercover Secret Service agents.

After a legal battle, the dealer was permitted to sell the coin at auction on the condition he split the proceeds with the Mint. One of the term.s of the settlement was that it would set no precedent for any future double eagle that appeared.

In its statement, the Mint said officials were still deciding what they would do with the seized coins, which are being held at Fort Knox. They said they had no plans to auction them but would consider saving "these historical artifacts" for public exhibits. Other double eagle coins seized in the past were melted down.

Double Eagles were first minted in 1850 with a face value of $20. The 445,500 coins minted in 1933 were never put into circulation because the nation went off the gold standard. All the coins were ordered melted down, but a handful are believed to have survived, including two handed over to the Smithsonian Institution.

Langbord declined to discuss how the coins might have wound up with her father, who operated an antiques and jewelry shop for 70 years and died in 1990 at 95.

The Mint contends Switt obtained a cache of the gold coins from his connections at the Mint just before they were to be reduced to bullion in 1937.

Switt admitted in 1944 that he had sold nine Double Eagle coins, but he was not charged in connection with those transactions, according to the Mint.

The family attorney said the coins were found recently, and Langbord and her son, Roy, notified the Mint of the discovery in September. Mint officials asked to authenticate the coins, then confiscated them after doing so, Berke said.

He contended Langbord and her son never relinquished their right to the coins.

But Mint officials said Thursday that Berke was told from the beginning that the coins would not be returned because they were the government's property.


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Old 08-26-2005, 03:40 AM
CPA4 CPA4 is offline
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Re: U.S. Mint Confiscates 10 Rare Gold Coins

Sorry Sojust....if the coins were stolen, the heirs should not benefit.



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Old 08-26-2005, 12:44 PM
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sojustask sojustask is offline
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Re: U.S. Mint Confiscates 10 Rare Gold Coins

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPA4
Sorry Sojust....if the coins were stolen, the heirs should not benefit.
But, there is not one shread of proof established that this family stole the coins in the first place. In fact, it looks more like they had no idea the coins were stolen at all. And I think that it would at least be a nice gesture, considering the amount of $$$ the coins are worth, that the treasury would give the lady a nice finders fee. $100,000.00 or so is nothing compared to the millions they just recovered, right?

Lady Mod

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Old 08-26-2005, 06:51 PM
wake up wake up is offline
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Re: U.S. Mint Confiscates 10 Rare Gold Coins

Interesting article, thanks.



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Old 08-27-2005, 07:35 AM
CPA4 CPA4 is offline
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Re: U.S. Mint Confiscates 10 Rare Gold Coins

Quote:
Originally Posted by sojustask
But, there is not one shread of proof established that this family stole the coins in the first place. In fact, it looks more like they had no idea the coins were stolen at all. And I think that it would at least be a nice gesture, considering the amount of $$$ the coins are worth, that the treasury would give the lady a nice finders fee. $100,000.00 or so is nothing compared to the millions they just recovered, right?

Lady Mod

Not a shed of evidence? If the coins where never placed into circulation, how else would this family come into the coins? I am not saying that the family stole them, nor am I saying that they knew they were stolen, but the fact is, if they were never circulated, they would have to be stolen.

I do agree though, the lady should be given something for her turning them in. If she didn't know they were stolen, which I suspect she had no way of knowing, she is no different then you finding them on the street. This might also encourage others to do the "right" thing in the future.

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Old 08-28-2005, 03:49 AM
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sojustask sojustask is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: U.S. Mint Confiscates 10 Rare Gold Coins

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPA4
I do agree though, the lady should be given something for her turning them in. If she didn't know they were stolen, which I suspect she had no way of knowing, she is no different then you finding them on the street. This might also encourage others to do the "right" thing in the future.
That is what I was thinking. If she knew they were stolen she could have sold them on the black market and made a mint. Hell, the treasury wasn't looking for them, she probably could have still sold them on the open market and made a mint. This part is damning to the treasuries claim IMO:

"Berke said Mint officials couldn't prove the coins had been stolen, or were subject to forfeiture. But Mint officials said Thursday the double eagles could not have legally been taken from the Mint."

"In 2002, Sotheby's and numismatic firm Stack's auctioned off a 1933 Double Eagle coin for $7.59 million, the highest price ever paid for a coin. That Double Eagle, believed to have been part of a collection belonging to King Farouk of Egypt, surfaced when a coin dealer tried selling it to undercover Secret Service agents."

"After a legal battle, the dealer was permitted to sell the coin at auction on the condition he split the proceeds with the Mint. One of the term.s of the settlement was that it would set no precedent for any future double eagle that appeared."

"In its statement, the Mint said officials were still deciding what they would do with the seized coins, which are being held at Fort Knox. They said they had no plans to auction them but would consider saving "these historical artifacts" for public exhibits. Other double eagle coins seized in the past were melted down."

The lady and her son did the right thing:

"The family attorney said the coins were found recently, and Langbord and her son, Roy, notified the Mint of the discovery in September. Mint officials asked to authenticate the coins, then confiscated them after doing so, Berke said."

I think they either need to return the coins or give a finders fee. When honesty is punished by our government agencies, then it forces the people to become dishonest with them and lose trust. Of course this will lead people to become liberals. LOL.

Lady Mod


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