The 1933 Gold Coin known as a double eagle has sat wrapped in plastic in the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan for months. The gold coin was moved last month to the New York Historical Society as a piece of our history. The coin is known as a double eagle because it is worth twice as much as a $10 eagle gold piece. It was struck in 1933, which is the year where FDR took the US off the Gold Standard. That year he ordered the $20 gold pieces destroyed, except for two that were to be put in the Smithsonian Institute. However this coin somehow escaped its fate. It was seized by the Secret Service in a sting operation at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in 1996.
Some numismatic experts consider this 1933 double eagle to be the Mona Lisa of coins and is the only double eagle that can be legally owned. The owner of the coin is unnamed but wishes for the public to view it. The coin was auctioned at Sotheby’s for $7,590,020 and the purchaser is not a coin collector: he was just romanced by the coins story. He didn’t want to take it home and he didn’t want it to sit in a bank vault. Although it sold for a high price he hasn’t considered re-selling because who would buy it?
For now, the coin will sit in the in the New York Historical Society on Central Park West. It is housed in a case with a caption on the wall reading “The World’s Most Valuable Coin.”