double eagles from the Langbord family. The Langbords claimed they discovered the double eagles in a safe deposit box belonging to their grandfather, Israel Switt. The government claimed that Switt stole them. See my previous entry on the 1933 double eagle trial for details.
The result of the case leads me to several conclusions:
- All other 1933 double eagles will remain in hiding. It is highly unlikely that the government has seized every 1933 double eagle that escaped. When the Langbords found the double eagles, they gave them to the treasury to authenticate. No one else will make that mistake.
- Other coins that were not legally released by the mint could be in trouble. Will the government attempt to seize 1913 liberty head nickels, the 1804 silver dollar, or other coins made clandestinely at the mint? So far the government has been fixated solely on the 1933 double eagles. Other coins are probably safe for now, but should a collector pay millions of dollars for a coin that the government may later seize?
- What will happen to the seized double eagles? For now, the government says it will display them. Will they be auctioned in the future?