Several coins created by the U.S. Mint in 1933, worth about $1 million apiece, were seized by the government. The double eagles, originally worth $20, are highly valued because they were never circulated.
A few years ago, one sold for $7.59 million, but that one coin is also the only 1933 double eagle legal to own; hence the seizure of the others. All of the remaining coins were believed destroyed before entering circulation.
The owner-collecter found the coins in an antique shop in Philadelphia, and sent the coins into the Mint for verification of authenticity. They confirmed the identity of the coins but shipped them to Fort Knox for “safekeeping,” as they believe the coins were originally obtained illegally through a cashier from the Philadelphia Mint.
The now-prior owners of the coins are preparing to sue the government. Do they have a case?
Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published August 29, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.