The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 37, August 28, 2005, Article 6


I'd been surprised that the popular press hadn't picked up
more on the story of the ten "recovered" 1933 double eagles.
Aside from the one New York Times story, I'de seen nothing
outside of the hobby publications. But this week (August 25)
the Philadelphia Inquirer picked up on the story, attempting
to interview Joan Langbord, who now runs her father Izzy
Switt's antique and jewelry shop on South Eighth Street.

"Standing behind a counter in her shop, 75-year-old Joan
Langbord yesterday agreed that there was a fascinating story
in the disputed double eagles that her father had, but she
declined to tell it.

"I have nothing to say, sir," she said. "Until this is resolved,
there is nothing I can say."

Berke also declined to provide any details about when and
where the coins were found, except to say that the discovery
was "recent."

Berke said Langbord and her son, Roy, voluntarily notified
the Mint in September of the discovery of the coins."

"Switt was a cantankerous man who ran a cluttered shop
filled with antique jewelry and silver table pieces.

He was described in his 1990 obituary as the "dean of Jewelers'
Row," a short, roly-poly man who wore cheap suits, kept a
messy shop, and disliked bothersome customers so much that
he kept a "closed" sign on the shop door during business hours.

But he was considered a master at his trade. Other jewelers,
describing Switt after his death, said that amid the clutter in his
store were the finest diamonds, sapphires and other jewels in
the city.

Switt started in business in 1920 and kept working until shortly
before his death at age 95.

He traded heavily in gold. He cultivated relationships with people
who worked at the Mint. And that is how, according to the Mint,
he obtained a cache of double eagles in February and March
1937, shortly before the coins were reduced to bullion."

To read the full story, see: Full Story

The same day the Associated Press came out with their
own article:

"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."

To read the full story, see: Full Story

David Tripp was interviewed on National Public Radio
Go to the following web page and click on "Listen" to
hear the interview: Interview

[Let's see now: they're among the most rare and valuable
U.S. coins in existence, but they're illegal to hold. The
Secret Service had come calling for them in 1944, and these
ten have been hidden ever since. The Sotheby's auction
catalog and David Tripp's book came out and reminded
the world that Switt once had these coins. And the family
just accidentally "found" them? Barring evidence to the
contrary, the story just might hold water in court, but this
will get interesting, folks. Who here thinks it's just a
coincidence that these coins were "found"? -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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