Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US gold coin sells for $18.87M at Sotheby’s auction



US gold coin sells for $18.87M at Sotheby’s auction

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The US coin sold for a record $18.87 million at Sotheby’s auction on June 8. The ‘Double Eagle’ was minted in 1933 and breaks the record for the most expensive coin in the world. AFP

US gold coin sells for $18.87M at Sotheby’s auction

A 1933 US gold coin that was never issued after Franklin D Roosevelt removed America from the gold standard sold for a record $18.87 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York on June 8.

The auction house described the 1933 Double Eagle, the last US gold coin made and intended for circulation, as “one of the most coveted coins in the world” and it didn’t disappoint.

The $20 coin, designed by the American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, sailed past its pre-sale estimate price of between $10 million and $15 million.

It also smashed the record for the most expensive coin in the world, set by a 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar that sold for $10 million in 2013.

The Double Eagle has an image of Lady Liberty on one side and an American eagle on the other.

The 1933 Double Eagles were the last American gold coins intended for circulation by the United States Mint but were never legally issued for use.

That year, President Roosevelt removed the US from the gold standard in an effort to lift America’s battered economy out of the Great Depression.

All of the coins were ordered to be destroyed, apart from two which were given to the Smithsonian Institution.

However, in 1937, several of the coins appeared on the market, sparking a Secret Service investigation in 1944 that ruled that the coins had been stolen from the US government and were illegal to own.

Prior to the probe, one of the coins was purchased and mistakenly granted an export licence, Sotheby’s said in its notes.

It ended up in the coin collection of King Farouk of Egypt. When Sotheby’s tried to auction the Double Eagle in 1954, the US Treasury successfully had it withdrawn.

The coin’s whereabouts were then unknown until 1996 when it was seized during a Secret Service sting at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

A five-year legal tussle ensued and it was decided that the coin could be privately owned.

Other Double Eagles that have surfaced have been ruled property of the US following cases that have even gone to the Supreme Court.

The coin bought on June 8 is therefore the only 1933 Double Eagle allowed to be legally sold.

In 2002, it established a new world auction record for any coin at the time when designer Stuart Weitzman bought it for $7.59 million.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished