Well, well, well, gather round, folks! It's time to talk about one of the most intriguing and valuable coins in the history of the United States - the 1933 $20 Double-Eagle gold coin. You might be asking yourself, "What's so special about this coin? It's just a piece of metal with a pretty picture on it, right?" Oh, my sweet summer child, you have so much to learn.
Let's start with a little bit of history, shall we? In the early 1930s, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression. Money was tight, and the government was trying to do everything in its power to stimulate the economy. One of the ways they tried to do this was by increasing the amount of gold in circulation. So, they decided to mint a bunch of $20 Double-Eagle gold coins.
Now, here's where things get interesting. The government ended up minting a whopping 445,500 of these bad boys in 1933. But before they could release them into circulation, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put a stop to it. You see, FDR had just signed an executive order that made it illegal for citizens to own gold coins, gold bullion, or gold certificates. He wanted to hoard all the gold for the government, in hopes of stabilizing the economy.
So, what happened to all those shiny new Double-Eagles? The government recalled them, melted most of them down, and supposedly destroyed the rest. But as it turns out, a few of them managed to escape destruction. How, you ask? Well, that's where things get really juicy.
It's believed that a small number of Double-Eagles were stolen from the Philadelphia Mint, where they were being held for destruction. The exact number of coins that were stolen is unknown, but it's believed to be around 20. Over the years, a few of these coins have surfaced, and they've caused quite a stir in the numismatic community.
One of the most famous of these coins is the one that was owned by King Farouk of Egypt. He acquired it in 1944, and it remained in his possession until 1952, when he was overthrown in a coup. The coin disappeared for a few years, but then resurfaced in the 1990s, when it was sold at auction for a whopping $7.59 million. That's right, folks - $7.59 million for a single coin. Talk about a return on investment!
Now, you might be wondering why these coins are worth so much money. After all, they're just a bunch of gold coins, right? Well, yes and no. The gold in these coins is certainly valuable, but it's not the only reason they're worth so much. The rarity and historical significance of these coins are what really make them valuable. They're a symbol of a tumultuous time in American history, and they represent a small but fascinating piece of our nation's story.
So, there you have it, folks - the story of the 1933 $20 Double-Eagle gold coin. Who knew that a little piece of metal could have so much history and intrigue? If you're lucky enough to ever come across one of these coins, hold onto it tight - it could be worth a small fortune someday.