US Coins

1933 double eagle on display at ANA show

The record-setting 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold double eagle that sold in June will be displayed at the GreatCollections booth at the ANA World’s Fair of Money.

Images courtesy of Sotheby’s.

The world’s most valuable rare coin, the 1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle previously owned by King Farouk of Egypt and shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, will be publicly exhibited for four days at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in suburban Chicago Aug. 10 to 14.

This will be the historic gold coin’s first public display anywhere since it was sold at auction in early June for a record-breaking $18,872,250. The display will appear at the GreatCollections booth (#400).

“The new owner told me that when this coin was first sold at auction in 2002 for a then-record-breaking $7.5 million, he was determined to one day own it. Nineteen years later, he fulfilled his dream. Now, after weeks of confidential meticulous planning and security arrangements, he graciously will be sharing it for the public to see in person at the Chicago World’s Fair of Money,” said Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections.

After its June sale, the coin was submitted to Professional Coin Grading Service to be encapsulated. PCGS had previously certified the coin as Mint State 65, though without encapsulating it. “It’s a career highlight,” says PCGS President Brett Charville. “We are absolutely thrilled to holder the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. ...”

“We were absolutely surprised and ecstatic to be able to include this coin as a featured attraction at the upcoming Chicago World’s Fair of Money. This is a legendary coin, and we are honored that its new owner and GreatCollections are exhibiting it first at the ANA convention,” said Kim Kiick, ANA executive director.

In April 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order “forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States” with limited exceptions. A State Department export license was mistakenly granted in 1944 for one 1933 double eagle so it could be owned by King Farouk of Egypt. This is the same coin that will be displayed. Two other 1933 double eagles are in the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Eleven others are held by the Mint, 10 of which were once owned by the descendants of the Philadelphia jeweler believed to have placed the coins into the market in the 1940s. Nine other pieces were confiscated from coin collectors and dealers by Treasury officials in the 1940s and 1950s, and subsequently were destroyed.

The Chicago World’s Fair of Money will be open to the public in Hall A of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois, Aug. 10 to 14.

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