fsck1nhippies (2642761) writes "Joan, Roy and David Langbord drilled open a safety deposit box and found inside 10, tissue wrapped coins. The 1933 Double Eagle gold coin holds the record for the highest price paid at auction for a US coin. In early '33, over 440,000 of the coins were struck at the Philadelphia mint. On April 5, 1933, less than a week after the minting, President Roosevelt signed an executive order criminalizing the possession of monetary gold.
It was originally thought that the Smithsonian held the only two remaining examples of the coin. Several investigations have turned up more instances of the coin. In 2002, King Farouk of Egypt presented one at auction, bringing the count to three. This coin sold for 6.6m to a US collector. The history of the few additional coins found is well worth the read.
The 2003 discovery of the 10 additional coins started a legal battle with the three grandchildren of Israel Switt. Through a thourough investigation into the history of the coins, it was determined that George McCann sold the coins to Israel who then put them away for safe keeping.
A 9 year legal battle with the US government has awarded ownership of the coins to the government, even with the multitude of questions regarding their provenance.
The question that arises is whether a lack of evidence can produce guilt. There was a small window in which the coins could have been issued from the mint prior to the release to the general public. Does the lack of documentation that the coins were sold within this small window mean that they were not? Is there the capability of proving that the documentation from that period is infallible." Link to Original Source