In 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt stopped the coinage of gold and made it illegal to own the metal (although coin collectors could retain their pieces). With one exception, no 1933 double eagles were ever legally released, although some were stolen from the government, and over the years several were recovered.
In the summer of 2002, a 1933 Double Eagle was auctioned off for $7,590,020 US, which shattered the old record of $4,140,000 paid at a public auction for an 1804 silver dollar. This piece is unique as the only 1933 double eagle the U.S. government has deemed legal for its citizens to own (having been negotiated as such through terms of a U.S. treaty with a foreign government). Even illegal instances of the 1933 double eagle would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it would be illegal for a U.S. coin dealer to broker a deal with one of these coins. There is no other date of St. Gaudens double eagle that is worth a significant fraction of this extraordinary coin. In fact, a complete uncirculated set of all other St. Gaudens double eagles could be put together for just over three million dollars (less than half the price paid for the 1933), including the extremely rare, ultra-high relief, proof pattern. Without the rare pattern, the set would be less than $750,000.
In August 2005, the United States Mint recovered ten 1933 Double Eagle coins from a private collector who had contacted the United States Mint to ascertain their authenticity. Joan S. Langbord has claimed that she inherited the coins from her father, a suspect in the alleged original theft, but is now planning a federal suit to recover the coins after her hopes of receiving monetary compensation from the federal government were not realized. As of August 2005, the Mint has announced that it would consider saving the coins for display, though as of December 2007, no formal statement has since been made. In September 2009 a federal judge finally ruled that the government had until the end of the month to return the confiscated coins to the family, or to prove that they had indeed been stolen. On 20 July 2011, a civil-court jury awarded ownership of the ten coins to the U. S Government on grounds that the coins were stolen from the mint.
Article Source: en.wikipedia.org