Rus Articles Journal

How “the double eagle“ of 1933 became the most expensive coin in the world? Auction

B 1940, in seven years after the historical decision of the president Roosevelt to stop circulation in the USA of gold money, representatives of the king of Egypt Farouk, the passionate collector and the strategic ally of the United States in the Middle East region, appealed to the American Ministry of Finance to allow export from the country of some gold coin. Despite the terrible presidential decree, permission it was given who will refuse to the best friend of the USA?

By hearsay, officials suspected wrong just next day after a stolen coin, and it was that kidnapped person from a mint “a double eagle“ who was searched by FBI agents over all country, left borders of the USA. Having found out truth, the government demanded from Egyptians of return. “The passionate collector“ ignored the requirement, and the USA not too insisted, understanding that it is necessary to pay for friendship.

In 1952 Farouk from Egypt was expelled. All its collections went from the hammer. In 1955 offered for auction also “a double eagle“, but on a protest of Americans withdrew from the auctions. However, “birdie“ was not going to fly home yet.

Forty more years the coin wandered all over the world, yet did not appear in one of a nu - York hotels. In 1996 a certain collector from London Stephen Fenton tried to sell “eagle“ for one million dollars with superfluous. Alas, the transaction did not take place. Under the guise of Fenton`s buyers persistent and the hardworking “American security officers“ from FBI conducted the same.

Stephen Fenton was detained, and the unique “double eagle“ of 1933 was confiscated. The piquancy of a situation was that theft happened before the government allowed to take out a coin from the country. The fact of theft was established, on it investigation was conducted and defendants in the case were arrested, but “eagle“ flew away to hot Egypt on official permission, with observance of customs procedures, so and to accuse the owner of a numismatical rarity of a crime there are no bases.

Besides, the unique coin formally did not even get under jurisdiction of the well-known Roosevelt decree. In 1933 any “the double eagle“ was not released, otherwise, remaining the value and property of the United States, gold money the coin was not.

Remained circumstances under which “eagle“ fell into hands of the London collector of antiquities are not found out. But, based on an innocence presumption, it could not be the cause of criminal prosecution.

Stephen Fenton was let out though the treasury flatly refused to return it a coin. Like, stole - and now returned into place that was between these events - not our business. The lawsuit lasting five years began. The settlement agreement became an exit from a stalemate. The high arguing parties agreed a coin to sell by auction, and to divide money equally.

“The double eagle“ carried out auction in proud loneliness. On July 30, 2002 the Sotbi company for its sale organized the separate auction lasting no more couple of minutes. The starting price of auction 2,5 million dollars quickly grew with the minimum step to 100 thousand green. The representative of the buyer who wished to remain the unknown laid out 6 million 600 thousand dollars for the only lot.

Added the commission to the auction price of “Sotheby`s“, on one sources of 10%, on others - 15. But also it is yet not an overall cost. It is possible to find the final sum of purchase of 7 590 020 dollars in various sources. What for the petty twenty wormed way in the last categories of solid number?

It is possible to laugh, and it is possible to admire meticulousness and adherence to principles of the American bureaucracy. Officials demanded to return coin face value to the state treasury, otherwise in treasury “the balance did not meet“. It was necessary to pay to the new owner damages.

“The double eagle“ does not fly in this world any more. It is guarded behind thick walls of the Fort storage - Knox in spite of the fact that at a coin the private owner. The American government managed to perform unique operation: to return the stolen property, to pay damages and to fill up treasury with a round sum, having left a dispute subject under the control.

Who at the same time possesses the legal property rights - is it important?