The Battle Over The Double Eagles
The double eagle is one of the rarest coins in the world but it turns out that there may be more of them around than was previously though. Recently, 75-year-old Joan Langbord brought a collection of double eagle coins in to a coin dealer. Until the collection came to light, only one other of the gold coins, minted in 1933, was known to be in private hands and that one sold at Sotheby's for $7.9 million. But when Mrs. Langbord brought her coins to a dealer they were seized and brought to Fort Knox. The US government claims the coins, considered by experts to be the rarest and most valuable in the world, were stolen from the mint in Philadelphia during the Great Depression. Langbord's father, Israel Switt was a suspect in 1937 for lifting double eagles when the rest of the coins minted three years earlier were destroyed. Switt sold nine of the coins to private collectors over the next decade before he finally surrendered the rest the coins (or so authorities thought until Mrs. Langford found her father's collection and brought it to a coin shop). The family wants the coins back so they can sell them like any other coins. One person who will certainly be watching the case is the owner of the other double eagle. If Mrs. Langbord loses, the value of his coin becomes even more assured but if the other coins hit the market the value goes from almost $8 million to around $800,000 overnight. Personally, I'm rooting for the old lady.