For years we've been following developments in the case of the 1933 $20 gold coins obtained from the Philadelphia Mint by dealer Izzy Switt. His descendants have been fighting a legal battle against the U.S. government over control of the rare coins. The story is heating up again, with new legal action this week. Stay tuned to the numismatic press, and don't be surprised if headlines begin appearing in the general press as well. Here's an article by David Ganz from Numismatic News, available on NumisMaster.com.
Another epic litigation is set to start July 7 as the U.S. government takes an old woman to court in Philadelphia. Of course the object is not typical, for the woman, Joan Langbord, and her sons are fighting to legalize and force the U.S. Mint to return to them 10 $20 gold coins dated 1933.
You would too if you once had coins in your possession worth $75.9 million.
The Langbord family places their trust in Barry Berke, a New York lawyer who worked miracles for British dealer Stephen Fenton when he was trapped in an FBI sting operation involving an identically described coin. It was eventually sold at public auction for $7.59 million and the profit was split between the U.S. Mint and Fenton.
Could a similar outcome occur again?
The Langbords probably hope so.
Joan Langbord is the daughter of Israel Switt, a Philadelphia jeweler and occasional coin dealer who evidently handled every 1933 double eagle that entered circulation, or at least left the Mint. Mrs. Langbord claims to have found the coins in a family safe deposit box.
She sent the coins to the Mint in 2004 to assure that they were authentic – they are– and then sat back while the Mint said she couldn’t have them back.
To read the complete article, see:
Langbord Case Back in Court
Wayne Homren, Editor
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