Federal Judge Backs Government Seizure of Rare Gold Coins

The coins were found in a family safe deposit box but the government claims the coins were most certainly stolen from the US mint at some point


Ten of the rarest and most valuable coins in the world were almost certainly stolen from the federal mint in Philadelphia and therefore belong to the U.S. government and not heirs of a coin dealer who found them in his safe deposit box, a federal judge ruled.

The Augustus Saint-Gaudens double eagles $20 pieces were among some 445,500 struck during the Great Depression. But nearly all were pulled out of circulation within weeks as President Roosevelt ordered U.S. banks to abandon the gold standard. It was originally believed that all but a pair of the double eagles was melted down into gold bars. One of the surviving coins fell into the hands of King Farouk of Egypt, and sold for more than $7.5 million at a Sotheby's auction in the summer of 2002.

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  1. And in a stunning act of wealth destruction they’ll probably melt them down, killing their numismatic value.

  2. In other news, the rightful owners of silver Liberty Dollars remain without their property, years after it was seized in a multistate federal raid on the warehouses where the bullion was kept as backing for LD paper currency. Allegedly, the precious metal was cited as evidence in the trial of LD founder Bernard vonNotHaus. The Federal government secured a conviction against BvNH for “counterfeiting.” But there is no law that says the owners of the LDs can’t possess them. On the other hand, the government wants to claim the property via asset forfeiture methods. Here again, we are talking about millions of dollars of property, which the government has stolen from its owners. Turning justice upside down, the owners — after having financed the wrongful seizure through their tax dollars in the first place — must sue at their own expense to get the property back, despite the fact that THEY have done nothing wrong, and nobody has challenged the private ownership of the property.

    How can we, the people, get the government to do the right thing, without going further in the hole?

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