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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 31, July 30, 2006, Article 18

PRE-1933 COIN LEGISLATION ARTICLE

A government publication published a lengthy article on the
pending legislation on legalizing a number of questionable pre-1933
U.S. Mint issues:

"Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., has launched a crusade to free some
the world's most valuable coins.

Lucas has sponsored legislation that would mandate that any coin
manufactured by the U.S. Mint before 1933 -- but not properly
issued -- will no longer be declared the property of the federal
government. The cutoff date in the Lucas bill has real-world
implications, gaining tremendous support among numismatics."

"In 2002, a 1933 Double Eagle gold coin was auctioned off for
$7.6 million, ending a protracted legal battle between the Mint
and a coin dealer over ownership of the coin. Both parties split
the proceeds of that sale. In 2005, the Mint seized 10 Double
Eagle coins from the family of a Philadelphia jeweler.

Lucas argues that other coin collectors could be put in legal
jeopardy, especially over rare coins such as the 1804 silver
dollar and the 1913 Liberty head nickel, both of which have been
bought and sold dozens of times. Lucas, who started his coin
collection as a child, said the Mint has selectively targeted
owners of rare U.S. coins and its efforts have clouded the rare
coin market."

"But the Mint opposes Lucas' efforts. During a House Financial
Services Monetary Policy Subcommittee hearing last Wednesday,
acting Mint Director David Lebryk testified that while he recognizes
the desire of collectors for a clear title for coins and medals
sold in the secondary market, courts have repeatedly held that the
title of U.S. public property belongs to the federal government."

"I see no reason to reward collectors who happened to have acquired
coins illegally taken from the Mint," said House Financial Services
Monetary Policy Subcommittee ranking member Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.
"Courts are perfectly well-suited for this task."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[The legislation is well-meaning, but is it poking a stick into a
beehive?  Bringing the situation to the attention of other lawmakers
could have unintended consequences.   Could others introduce
legislation to bring equity by explicitly banning and calling for
the confiscation of other questionable coins?  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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