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Probably the biggest story in numismatics to come along in years was announced by the US Mint this past month when the following press release was posted on the Mint's web site on August 11th. Press Release It is, as most are likely aware, the story of ten 1933 $20 St. Gaudens gold double eagles that were voluntarily turned into the Mint.
You can't pick up a coin related magazine without seeing an article or story on the subject. It seems the family that turned the coins in only wanted to have them authenticated. But the Mint looked at it differently and is holding the coins with no intention of returning them. How this will play out is anybody's guess. But there is already talk of lawsuits and litigation.
Whichever way it goes, it is bound to have a profound impact on the hobby. If it goes in favor of the family then it raises the question of the legality of ownership of other coins that have long been thought illegal to own or possess like the 1974 aluminum cent or the 1964 Peace dollar. If it goes in favor of the US Govt. then it also raises the question of the legality of ownership of many coins that have been bought and sold on the coin market for decades like the 1913 Liberty nickels or the 1894-S dimes. There are many other coins that would fall into each category. But all of them, in both categories, still have shadows of doubt surrounding them - are they legal to own or are they not ? And the current situation with the 1933 double eagles may well determine the answer.
That's about it for now - I hope you enjoy this as well as future issues of - The Tarnished Truth.
|Doug Prather, editor|
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Just a bit off topic, but still coin related - in what year and where was the first "coin-operated" telephone, better known to us as the pay phone put into use ?
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