double eagles . The Langbord family allege that they discovered the double eagles in a safe deposit box belonging to their grandfather, Israel Switt. After discovering the coins, the Langbords sent them to the US Treasury to be authenticated. The treasury confiscated them. Now the Langbords are suing to get them back.
In 1933, 445,500 double eagles designed by Augustus St. Gaudens , were minted. Franklin Roosevelt then issued an order prohibiting banks from paying out gold as well as all private ownership of gold. Virtually all of the 1933 Double Eagles were melted. The United States government has been confiscating virtually all 1933 double eagles saying that they were stolen from the mint. The government believes that Israel Switt was involved with all of the 1933 double eagle thefts. Switt, however, was never charged.
How did these coins escape the melting pot? The courts feel that the government will have to prove the coins were stolen. Meanwhile, an alternate hypothesis has arisen. A mint employee kept an open bag of 1933 double eagles on his desk, which he gave to people in exchange for $20 -- perfectly legally.
In my analysis, I have one question. The government alleges that the Langbord's knew that they had coins that their grandfather stole. Why then would they submit the stole coins to the treasury? Perhaps we will get the answer as the trial unfolds.