Philadelphia Family Inheritance Seized by Federal Government

A federal jury has ordered a family’s set of rare 1933 “double eagle” gold coins to be returned to the federal government due to their illegal release to the public.

According to the ruling, the set of coins, arguably some of the rarest and most valuable coins ever minted by the federal government, were illegally in the possession of the late Philadelphia jeweler Israel Switt, who was rumored to have acquired them in the 1930’s from a “shady” cashier at the US Mint. However, his daughter Joan Langbord, who found the coins in a bank deposit box her father owned, claims that the coins were legally acquired by her father, and that the government’s case isn’t strong enough to order the seizure of the coins.

The “double eagles” were minted in 1933, and nearly half a million were made. Upon getting off the gold standard, though, the US government ordered them destroyed. Fewer than 25 escaped destruction; two were given to the Smithsonian, and the rest were missing up until now.

These coins were made during a time when the dollar was tied to gold, when you knew that your dollar actually had value that wasn’t arbitrarily determined by bureaucrats in the Federal Reserve. Sadly, President Roosevelt took us off the gold standard in an effort to have more control over the economy, which was in a post-Depression slump, and he thought more government control would make the economy stronger.

They never learn do they? 

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