Rich Mantia submitted this query about the infamous 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles.
Another great issue of the E-sylum! The variety of topics and participating writers is overwhelming. The images of David Lange's library shelves filled with largely empty numismatic storage albums is truly "hardcore". A numismatist with scores of unfilled coin albums in a clean organized atmosphere is a true bibliophile.
Then there is the contribution from Ron Guth depicting George Kolbe at work. Again, a clean organized atmosphere while surrounded by the most important volumes in numismatics. It seems that these two gentlemen are setting a standard and dispelling the myth that book aficionados have dusty, musty piles of disheveled unread books cluttering every corner of their living space while calling it a library.
Who says bibliophiles clutter their houses with books? You been talking to my wife?
My questions to those who might know regards the images of the 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle as Lot #70 on page 52 of the Stack family auction catalog from George Kolbe. It seems that repeatedly in any written context whenever this particular coin is mentioned the statement is made that all of the previously confiscated 1933 Saints that came into the possession of the United States Secret Service were "in fact" melted, except those in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian.
While I have personally seen that the Secret Service retains every counterfeit currency note that they recover as a reference library of sorts, I can't imagine that since they don't destroy these counterfeit notes that they would destroy the 1933 Double Eagles either. The few 1933's that have been confiscated clearly don't take up much space and they are meticulously recorded as to their sources, which would assist in an ongoing investigation since their first appearance after FDR's Executive Order halting their release. The destruction of the confiscated 1933's would seemingly harm the means for the Secret Service to authenticate future confiscated coins through die analysis.
I have never seen, nor heard of an official document that verifies the destruction of any 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle. Are there any documents that provide dates and times of ANY 1933 Saint being melted and where would it have been done? If a melt occurred, how was the recovered gold recorded and what new form did it take? Has the speculation and presumption of melting after confiscation been taken as fact when there is no proof?
Provided that these coins do still exist the current legal ownership issue of the 10 confiscated specimens would have an effect on the return of the previously confiscated specimens as all would appear to have legality for their current and former owners. Can the subscribers and readers provide some insight for me?
Well, the case is still being litigated and there are some E-Sylum readers in-the-know who are acting as expert witnesses on both sides of the case. I'm not sure if anyone who can tell us would be willing and able to step forward at this time, but perhaps someone in our cadre can shed some light on this for us.
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