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JudeA's Blog

10 Aug 2020

Book Review - Illegal Tender, by David Tripp

Coins | JudeA

Illegal Tender was written by David Tripp, and is one of the best coin books I've read. It might not be considered a coin book, more of a mystery the way it was written. The book is all about the story of the 1933 double eagle. If you plan on reading this, and don't want to story spoiled, then don't read any further!The story starts when President Roosevelt asks Augustus St. Guandens to design the new double eagle, to modern day. (2004 was when the book was written) With the gold recall, everyone was required to bring their gold to the government, with the exclusion of collectible coins. The mint was ordered to stop production, and melted the '33s they had already produced. However, some got out of the mint, smuggled or stolen by someone! The secret service gets on the trail of the coins in 1944, and seizes many of the coins. One, however, is out of their reach. It is in King Farouk's collection in Egypt. The coin eventually goes up for sale when the king dies, but it is withdrawn from the sale at the last minute. The coins whereabouts are unknown until it surfaces in England. The coin is then purchased and the dealer arranges to sell the coin to a collector in the US. The coin is then seized by the secret service, and the owner and the government battle in court for years. The coin is finally made legal, and sells for $7.6 million in 2002! There have been many sightings of different examples since, but none have been confirmed. One was reported to be, "Thrown into the ocean to avoid it being seized!" I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend that you try and read it yourself!

Comments

Longstrider

Level 6

Looks like I may like this one. Thanks for the Spoiler alert.

Mokie

Level 6

I have a copy of this in my home library. A very well written tale, I just wish it had been written a few years later to cover more of the legal machinations involving Mr. Switt's family and the U.S. Government. You are right J/A, an excellent book, the kind you just cannot put down.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I'll put it on my list to read after I finish the latest David Baldacci book I'm reading, thanks for telling us about it, sounds like a good read!

Golfer

Level 5

I need to read this one. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the post.

I wonder how long this would have been kept secret if the man who stole them never died or let them out of his clutches.

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