Skip to comments.Judge Says 10 Rare Gold Coins Worth $80 Million Belong to Uncle Sam
Posted on 09/07/2012 5:47:04 AM PDT by shove_it
In 2003, Switt's family, Joan Langbord, and her two grandsons, drilled opened a safety deposit box that had belonged to him and found the 10 coins. When the Langbords gave the coins to the Philadelphia Mint for authentification, the government seized them without compensating the family.
The Langbords sued, saying the coins belonged to them. In 2011, a jury decided that the coins belonged to the government, but the family appealed. Last week, Judge Legrome Davis of the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania, affirmed that decision, saying "the coins in question were not lawfully removed from the United States Mint."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Here's a case of bad choice of appraiser.
Hope they win on appeal.
I’d heard about this case and others. The best thing to do when you find such coins is to melt them down.
I cannot believe that they were this stupid!
You take them to the government when you have thousands of appraisers listed in the Yellow Pages???
Even at that, only take one and don’t blab!
After President Theodore Roosevelt had the U.S. abandon the gold standard, most of the 445,500 double eagles that the Philadelphia Mint had struck were melted into gold bars.”
It was that damn Communist FDR, not Teddy Roosevelt who stole the people's gold coins!!!!!!!
If you put yourself at the mercy of the State, anything can happen to you. It is better to avoid them at all costs.
Just like Hitler
KGB..this is what happens when people belong to the government instead of the government belonging to them. they take everything.
Melting them down would have destroyed their numismatic value - which in this case was considerable.
it doesnt matter..the government should on take them
The full story is rather complicated and can't be summed up in a Yahoo article. Suffice to say the grandfather of the boy claiming ownership was involved in illegal coin dealings with employees of the mint. Because the coins were never issued the only way they left the mint and weren't melted down is if a mint insider stole them from the mint - so they remain U.S. government property.
His “Bank Holiday” stole their savings. I hate that Commie SOB. He was one of the WORST of American Presidents and yet stands tall in the DemocRat Pantheon.
The only decent Presidents the DemocRats produced were Jackson and Polk.
YOU are as clueless as they are!
Thousands of people own and legally buy, sell, and trade U.S. gold coins, minted before the confiscation.
They are NOT illegal to own or sell.
No... go to PCGS and have them appraised and slabbed. Personal property is personal property, appeal asap.
My hubby has been collecting gold slabbed coins for 20 years. We’re good, retirement is two years away.
The original confiscation of gold was unconstitutional. If so, these coins should not go to the government. I hope the apellate courts see it that way.
“...Langbords gave the coins to the Philadelphia Mint for authentification...”
This is the most difficult part of the story to understand.
What exactly did they think would happen and who advised them to do this?
sory..the gov should not take them..will they melt these down..no ..someone will wind up with them in their collection.
“It was that damn Communist FDR, not Teddy Roosevelt who stole the people’s gold coins!!!!!!!”
Right you are.
While I doubt there is anyone on the FR who detests this out of control federal government more than myself, based SOLELY on the article, it looks like these coins might have been obtained illegally hence the ruling in favor of das government.
If the family thinks otherwise then they certainly should appeal.
Why don't you use some of your coins to buy a clue? These coins were never issued. Never. They aren't coins that were issued, but were not turned in when FDR seized the gold. These coins left the mint in somebody's sock. Which is why grandpa never sold them -- he knew (expletive deleted) that they were hot.
The article does not state whether the mint was selling some of the gold coins to dealers at this time or not.
If they were all supposed to have been turned in, then the cashier basically stole the coins, no matter whether he sold them or gave them away. One cannot legally give or sell stolen property, even if the person receiving it did so in good faith.
However, if the government was allowing some of these coins to be sold to collectors at that time, then the government needs to return them to the family.
These specific coins were stolen goods received directly by Israel Switt from the thief.
There is a reason why he hid them in a safe deposit box and did not insure them.
“What exactly did they think would happen and who advised them to do this?”
“The government is your friend! They are here to help you!!!”
Too many "tell me how you feel" assignments in journalism classes, I guess.
The article - which is quite sloppily written - does not state this.
But the historical fact is that these coins were never circulated, the coins in question were stolen by a mint employee, and were sold illegally.
Those damn sneaky REPUBLICANS!............./s
That phrase was first spoken by General Custer.
Yes, that is also how I understand it.
Now, that being said, the gov’t cold make a quick $80M by selling them. I can’t afford one, but it would be nice to know that they were safe in private hands. I don’t trust the gov’t not to melt them down out of spite.
But be cautious; a lot of those "appraisers" will make you an offer well below market, or ask "how much do you want for them?"
Your statement makes me (ahem) them cringe at the thought of the loss of physical American history that will outlive our nation.
—another example of why I may as well remove the last four words from my byline-—
Do these mints still have the molds for these rare coins, in other words, are they still able to make 1933 gold/silver coins, or any other year — if they really wanted to???
St Gaudens Double Eagle PING
But be cautious; a lot of those “appraisers” will make you an offer well below market, or ask “how much do you want for them?” ...More than what they got.
No, no! It was General Sherman on his road trip through Atlanta to Savannah!.........
“All your property are belong to us”...U.S. Government
The original plan, mentioned in the court filings I believe, was to display them for the public at the Mint.
It was not their property.
—Melting them down would have destroyed their numismatic value - which in this case was considerable.—
The value is zero now.
It’s the ol’ “10% of something is better than 100% of nothing” axiom in action.
This may not be the story I was thinking of, then. The one I was thinking of was the coins that were never released to the public, yet someone had them. It means they were stolen property and could be recovered.
Sherman and the first urban renewal program. Just think of all the jobs created. Why....the GDP probably rose a full point.
“The original plan, mentioned in the court filings I believe, was to display them for the public at the Mint.”
That would be good. They’re beautiful coins. It would motivate me to visit the mint.
From the book “Double Eagle”:
“The 1940s investigators concluded that all of the Double Eagles that got out of the Mint had passed through the hands of a Philadelphia jeweler named Israel Switt. Though the lead Secret Service investigator pressed for charges to be brought against Switt, the Philadelphia U.S. attorney said the statute of limitations had expired. Switt was never prosecuted for the theft of the coins from the Mint.
In 2005—after the auction of the $7.69 million coin—Switt’s daughter and grandson miraculously “found” 10 1933 Double Eagles in a safe deposit box that had belonged to Switt. Switt’s grandson, a law school graduate named Roy Langbord, hired Berke to figure out how to keep the coins in the family’s possession, even though the government maintained they were contraband that had been stolen from the Mint.
Berke’s canny strategy was to turn the coins over to the government, but only for purposes of authentication. Then when the government refused to give the coins back—as Berke surely knew it would—he sued, claiming the coins had been illegally seized from the Langbords. And though assistant U.S. attorneys in Philadelphia argued that the Langbord family had unclean hands, Judge Davis ruled that the Langbords’ constitutional protections had been violated. Now the burden of proof lies on the government, which must establish that the Langbord coins were stolen—even though everyone connected with the coins’ disappearance from the Mint and the initial investigation of the alleged theft is long dead.”
After reading the article, as much as it sucks for the family, the judge got this one right. The coins were STOLEN, and that is all that matters here.
The fact that the victim here was the Government and that it was and will be now a travesty if these coins are destroyed has nothing to do with whether or not the judge ruled correctly — he did.
Turn this around and make these a private item — Money, art work, coins, vintage car, jewelry - take your pick. if that item is STOLEN from you and then said item is subsequently sold by the thief to a third party the item is still YOUR PROPERTY.
The same principle applies here, the coins are still the PROPERTY of the U.S. Government.
Jackson and Polk were both Tennesseans. Plus, Tennessee voted against Al Gore, thus preventing the USA from getting one of the Worst Democrat presidents. :)
Unlikely. In an earlier case involving a '33 Double Eagle (several other Double Eagles have already been seized by the U.S. Government, almost all of which have a proven provenance through Israel Switt) the Government signed an agreement that it would never issue any '33 Double Eagle.
Well, there was certainly low unemployment in the minority demographic at the time......
I probably misunderstand the phrase “statute of limitations”, but wouldn’t that apply here?
But they lacked “upward mobility”.