Jury: US gov't rightfully seized 1933 gold coins

AP News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2011 4:36 PM
Jury: US gov't rightfully seized 1933 gold coins

A jury has decided the U.S. government rightfully seized a set of rare 1933 gold coins from a Philadelphia family.

The verdict Wednesday caps an unusual civil case that combined history, coin collecting and whether the $20 "double eagles" legally left the U.S. Mint.

Prosecutors say the coins never circulated when the country went off the gold standard _ and were therefore stolen.

But 81-year-old Joan Langbord argues that her late father, a jeweler, could have acquired them legally.

The trial judge will next rule on "ownership" of the coins later this year.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero says the coins belong to the American people. Authorities hope they'll someday go on display.

The Langbord family is expected to appeal.

One 1933 double eagle sold for $7.6 million in 2002.