The Langbord Case; then and now: Collecting Basics

Coin World briefly takes you through the history of this decade-long case
By , Coin World
Published : 04/22/15
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Sets of million dollar coins are rare to say the least. Sets of potential million dollar coins without a rightful owner is teetering on the edge of impossible. 

As of last week, a judge in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that 10 1933 Saint Gaudens $20 Double Eagle coins are possesions of the Langbord family. The judge, who made the second ruling in this decade-long case, cited that the U.S. government was required to file a judicial civil forfeiture complaint or to return the coins within 90 days of receiving the Langbord family’s seized asset claim. 

This did not occur, and thus the family was given the possession of the Double Eagles. 

The case of Langbords Double Eagle collection has some extensive history, and likely won't end anytime soon.  

In 2003, 10 seperate 1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagles were found by the Langbord family in a safety box at their Philadelphia residence. They would turn the coins over to the U.S. Mint, hoping to get an evaluation on their discovery. The U.S. Mint, along with the government, had other ideas.

These were considered the property of the United States and said to have only gotten to the residence if they were stolen at some point in time. 

The first ruling in the case came in 2011, when a 10-person jury said that the goverment had done enough to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that: First, in the past 1933 double eagles belonged to the United States government; second, that they were stolen; and third, that whoever stole them did it knowingly to deprive the government of property and to convert the property to his or her own.

Now that this ruling has been overturned, there's no clear ending in sight. The case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings, and may continue for the foreseeable future. 

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