NEW YORK CITY – The only existing 1933 Double Eagle $20 gold coin to be made legal tender is on long-term loan to the American Numismatic Society’s Exhibit, “Drachmas, Doubloons and Dollars: The History of Money,” at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Minted in 1933 but never issued because President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the country off the gold standard, this single example escaped destruction when it was stolen by a Mint employee, made its way into the collection of King Farouk of Egypt, was withdrawn from an auction of his possessions in 1954, and went underground for 40 years until it was seized from an English coin dealer in 1996. It was sold by the US government in an auction at Sotheby’s New York last July 30, where it brought the record sum of $7,590,020.
The coin will be part of an exhibition of 800 examples from the American Numismatic Society’s noted collection of one million coins, bills and other forms of currency used worldwide and spanning three millennia of history. The exhibition highlights the significance of money as political propaganda, artwork and a reflection of social climate and economy. In addition to the 1933 Double Eagle, four of the society’s most valuable coins are also on exhibit: the Brasher doubloon, the 1804 dollar, a Confederate States half-dollar and the famous ultra high relief $20 gold piece designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Exhibition hours are 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 33 Liberty Street (wheelchair access provided from the Maiden Lane entrance). Admission is free. For information, 212-234-3130.