Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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2,118 posts in this topic

On 6/6/2020 at 1:39 PM, Ross J said:

I do know in his advertising he calls himself "America's Gold Expert"... sounds a bit pompous to me.  Check this out:  https://www.mikefuljenz.com/

 

A lot of people like Mike. But no one likes Mike anywhere near as much as Mike likes Mike. He’s in his own category.

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On 6/4/2020 at 4:04 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Oh for sure....I am sure more "upscale" thieves know about the coin shows at places like FUN.  As it is dark in January in Florida, if you come out at the close and do any walking you have to be VERY aware.

Check this out: http://numismaticcrimes.org/

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On 6/5/2020 at 7:44 PM, RWB said:

I've seen a lot of dealers who don't need to stop for food -- they can just lick their shirt !

Yeah, What's up with that?!!! :)

 

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Sotheby's/Stacks 2002 Catalog for the 1933 Saint:  Does anybody have this catalog from the sale of the 1933 ?  On Page 12 , it references "E. Pluribus. Unum" on the edge of the coin. 

Is this correct ?  Roger's book says that the edge lettering stopped after the 1907 UHRs/HR's.  Is this a catalog error ?

I thought edge lettering stopped with the Saints after 1908.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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All Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles had E PLURIBUS UNUM on the edge with various arrangements of letters and stars. The Extremely High Relief patterns use the same collar as Barber/Morgan's 1906 test piece. Production pieces have a couple of know varieties of letter size and placement. All Eagles had stars on the edge - one for each state.

There are likely several interesting errors in edge letting for DE, but so many of the coins have been stuck in edge-hiding slabs that it was pointless to pursue.

Edited by RWB
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37 minutes ago, RWB said:

All Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles had E PLURIBUS UNUM on the edge with various arrangements of letters and stars.

I thought it stopped after the 1907 HR for some reason.  All I know is I can't see the lettering on any of my graded Saints.

And I thought for some reason that was one of the selling points of the 2009 UHR -- they had the technology to do edge lettering without it slowing down the process a ton.  I remember your early chapters talking about how cumbersome doing the edge lettering was on the 1907's.  I guess I just assumed it stopped after that.

Guess I was wrong.........xD

 

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3 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I thought it stopped after the 1907 HR for some reason.  All I know is I can't see the lettering on any of my graded Saints.

And I thought for some reason that was one of the selling points of the 2009 UHR -- they had the technology to do edge lettering without it slowing down the process a ton.  I remember your early chapters talking about how cumbersome doing the edge lettering was on the 1907's.  I guess I just assumed it stopped after that.

Guess I was wrong.........xD

 

There was considerable fiddling and delay related to getting the edge collar mechanism to work correctly at all three mints. San Francisco had the most difficulty.

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9 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

On Page 567...the total "delivered" for the 1933 Saints sums to 446,000...shouldn't it be 445,500 or 445,543 ?

I'll check.....Maybe I didn't count the 2 bags I took from the melting department.....

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On 6/24/2020 at 9:50 PM, RWB said:

I'll check.....Maybe I didn't count the 2 bags I took from the melting department.....

Find the 2 bags yet ?  xD

Seriously, any thoughts on that discrepancy ?

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The total mintage (coins accepted by the coiner) should be: reported mintage plus the extras made in 1933  but put with 1932s. Net coins would be this number less all Special Assay coins and those destroyed during the Annual Assay.

This accounts for all Double Eagles dated 1933.

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Thanks Roger...I re-read the section on the 1933's and it was alot clearer the 2nd (or 3rd !) time I read it.  I understand now how 43 1933's could be available as early as March 4th (when Hoover was still president for a few hours !).

Do you know what is the correct date when coin-for-coin exchanges ended ?  Was it April 5th or April 12th ?  Any reason why a month after the March 7th letter authorizing coin-for-coin someone at the Mint or Treasury would have said that even this would no longer be permitted ?  Is there an actual document on this that follows FDR's EO?

I would think that once we went off the gold standard and it was apparent that no more gold coins (or at least Double Eagles) would be minted that the 1933's would be collectors items as the last one's ever struck (at least for many many years).  So you'd think they'd allow coin-for-coin not only for collectors but for any of the public who wanted a 1933 (or other year) using their 5 coin allottment.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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10 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Thanks Roger...I re-read the section on the 1933's and it was alot clearer the 2nd (or 3rd !) time I read it.  I understand now how 43 1933's could be available as early as March 4th (when Hoover was still president for a few hours !).

Do you know what is the correct date when coin-for-coin exchanges ended ?  Was it April 5th or April 12th ?  Any reason why a month after the March 7th letter authorizing coin-for-coin someone at the Mint or Treasury would have said that even this would no longer be permitted ?  Is there an actual document on this that follows FDR's EO?

I would think that once we went off the gold standard and it was apparent that no more gold coins (or at least Double Eagles) would be minted that the 1933's would be collectors items as the last one's ever struck (at least for many many years).  So you'd think they'd allow coin-for-coin not only for collectors but for any of the public who wanted a 1933 (or other year) using their 5 coin allottment.

April 12 seems to be the cut-off date for pay-outs according to Mint telegrams from Mary O'Reilley. Exchanges seem to be the 5th - but nothing was really fixed at that time.

Several Treasury explanations were issued but they were not directed to the Mints - only FRBs and commercial banks. Very few at Treasury understood the role of coin manufacture, and it was up to Mary to get things straight. (The Philadelphia Superintendent spent his time at his law business - and cared little for the job. The Director was a long-time Mint employee but not on the overly bright side.)

Coin collectors were irrelevant to the national emergency.

Edited by RWB
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40 minutes ago, RWB said:

April 12 seems to be the cut-off date for pay-outs according to Mint telegrams from Mary O'Reilley. Exchanges seem to be the 5th - but nothing was really fixed at that time.

Several Treasury explanations were issued but they were not directed to the Mints - only FRBs and commercial banks. Very few at Treasury understood the role of coin manufacture, and it was up to Mary to get things straight. (The Philadelphia Superintendent spent his time at his law business - and cared little for the job. The Director was a long-time Mint employee but not on the overly bright side.)

Coin collectors were irrelevant to the national emergency.

Thanks RWB.....you wonder what was going on in the minds of the mint personnel.....we're going off the gold standard...no more gold payouts...no more coin exchanges......and they still are striking/minting hundreds of thousands of 1933's into April and May !!!??

Don't tell me someone there didn't say "What are the odds we are gonna have to melt all these down in a few months or years...whatta waste !!!!??"

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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The Roosevelt administration did not actually take the US off of "the gold standard." His actions suspended the circulating or "gold exchange" system - retaining physical gold as a standard but removing it from circulation. Treasury continued to pay for gold bullion at the statutory value of $20.667+ from April through early September. After that, Treasury paid market price. Once the Gold Act of 1934 was signed, the statutory value became $35 per Troy ounce and Treasury paid that for bullion.

Gold remained the value standard and it was used in international transactions.

FDR's actions, however, eliminated multiple floating values of coins and paper currency - a "dollar" was the same regardless of form. In another post I reproduced a letter in which the writer asked if he could take $1000 silver dollars to the Treasury and get $1000 in gold coin? Both said "dollar" on them, but were they really the same?

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17 hours ago, RWB said:

April 12 seems to be the cut-off date for pay-outs according to Mint telegrams from Mary O'Reilley. Exchanges seem to be the 5th - but nothing was really fixed at that time.

Several Treasury explanations were issued but they were not directed to the Mints - only FRBs and commercial banks. Very few at Treasury understood the role of coin manufacture, and it was up to Mary to get things straight. (The Philadelphia Superintendent spent his time at his law business - and cared little for the job. The Director was a long-time Mint employee but not on the overly bright side.)

Coin collectors were irrelevant to the national emergency.

That's weird: exchanges (gold-for-gold) OK until April 5th but net payouts (I guess gold for paper or bullion ?) a week later ?  But as you say, nothing was really fixed at that time.

FWIW, I would love for you to post here or on another (new) thread about the theft of the 1928 DE's or more about the plan to store a bag or two each of the various mintages.  Even just posting any discussions posted as letters, if that's all there is.  Read your write-up on the 1928 DE's posted at HA and it was great.

Just a thought........xD

 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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10 minutes ago, RWB said:

There isn't much to add about the 1928 DE. Every line of investigation came up blank.

 

Amazing that this little thread has over 4,000 views !

Darn....it's a real interesting topic.  And from my perspective it related to all the BS involving the 1933's.....SOB's know "for a fact" that all 1933's were "stolen" even though the gold books balanced.  Balanced...by the same clowns who said the books balanced while missing 250 of the 1928 DE's.  .......:roflmao:

4,000 views ?  I'm not surprised.  Your book is outstanding....lots of interesting topics to discuss (the 1907 HR, 1933 DEs, 1928 theft)...and your chiming in to give the experts POV adds to the thread.  Great job, Roger !

I wonder how many MORE people will buy your book who aren't aware of it unless they scan HA as opposed to Amazon.  If HA is smart, they'll email everyone who has bought, watched, or punched up a search on their site for a Saint-Gaudens DE and let them know about the availability of the book.

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The missing bag if 1928s was identified during annual settlement in June. Thereafter, they remained as a shortage on Mint records until Congress passed the relief bill for Superintendent Dressel.

 

That's an idea to send to Heritage!

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10 hours ago, RWB said:

The Roosevelt administration did not actually take the US off of "the gold standard." His actions suspended the circulating or "gold exchange" system - retaining physical gold as a standard but removing it from circulation. Treasury continued to pay for gold bullion at the statutory value of $20.667+ from April through early September. After that, Treasury paid market price. Once the Gold Act of 1934 was signed, the statutory value became $35 per Troy ounce and Treasury paid that for bullion. Gold remained the value standard and it was used in international transactions. FDR's actions, however, eliminated multiple floating values of coins and paper currency - a "dollar" was the same regardless of form. In another post I reproduced a letter in which the writer asked if he could take $1000 silver dollars to the Treasury and get $1000 in gold coin? Both said "dollar" on them, but were they really the same?

Yup, I misspoke.....Americans were KO'd from holding gold for the most part, but we still had a modified gold standard and it was re-asserted at Bretton Woods after the War.

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7 minutes ago, RWB said:

The missing bag if 1928s was identified during annual settlement in June. Thereafter, they remained as a shortage on Mint records until Congress passed the relief bill for Superintendent Dressel.

Why would eliminating Dressel's liability have anything to do with the shortage on the Mint records ?  It's short 250 Double Eagles regardless...only question is if the government wants to ask Dressel for $5,000.....right ?

I guess Dressel just ASSUMED no gold was missing when he assumed command.  I don't think they did an audit before he came in and miscounted.....he just took the previous guy's word for it.  But I guess counting thousands of bags of gold was pretty time consuming and they couldn't spend the time on it.

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The vault had been sealed long before Dressel was appointed. As was normally done, he accepted the vault statement as correct (as had been done during previous annual settlements). When Congress approved the relief bill, the money went to Dressel who then paid the Mint Bureau. That balanced the financial books and the missing 250 DE were debited. The payment also kept Dressel's bond intact so he could continue as Superintendent.

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2 hours ago, RWB said:

The vault had been sealed long before Dressel was appointed. As was normally done, he accepted the vault statement as correct (as had been done during previous annual settlements). When Congress approved the relief bill, the money went to Dressel who then paid the Mint Bureau. That balanced the financial books and the missing 250 DE were debited. The payment also kept Dressel's bond intact so he could continue as Superintendent.

No security cameras in the 1930's.....was it possible for 1 person to access the vault ?  Or only 1 person if it was a high-ranking person ?  Otherwise, I would think you'd need 2 people each with their separate keys.

They had to have had some security precautions.  I would think very few (1 or 2) of the top people could access the Vault solo....everybody else you figure needed the cooperation of a 2nd person with a 2nd key or something.

At least that's what I would have thought the Mint had in place.  I can't believe that they wanted any 1 person with a key to a Masterlock and chain to be able to access hundreds of millions of dollars in gold coins.

If any 1 person working the Mint could access the Vault, then I'm surprised there weren't more thefts ! 

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In the 1920-30s, opening a vault for daily use, required two people with separate combinations for the time locks. However, although the two-person rule for access during the day was in force, the Vault Custodian sometimes went in alone to remove coins for shipment or to direct workmen to add newly-delivered coins.

If access were wanted to a sealed vault, it required written permission from the Director and Superintendent, plus three designated employees to break the old seal, do whatever was required, and re-seal the vault. Workmen who did the moving and stacking were supposed to be closely supervised. Here's a typical vault seal including ribbon, wax seals and the inventory envelope through which the ribbon passed. The envelope could contain additional information of the contents.

Seal composite.jpg

Edited by RWB
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So it seems like they DID have some procedures in place.....makes that 1928 theft all the more curious....HAD to be an inside job.

I saw that a 1928 bag for DE's (that you wrote the piece for) went for like $5,000 on HA.....are old bags common or pretty rare, anybody know ?  Haven't seen that many up for auction.  I would guess they got destroyed/thrown out when the Mints melted all the coins.

Another lost treasure....:mad:

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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New Direction Question:  Just curious, for those of you who have bought Saint-Gaudens DE's....what is the most expensive coin you have ever purchased (or sold, if you're a dealer) ?  

Since I started this sub-thread within the thread xD, I'll say mine is a 1923-D MS66 for $3,500 at FUN this past January.  Other than that, pretty much commons tied to the price of gold the last 5 years or so.

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RE: "I saw that a 1928 bag for DE's (that you wrote the piece for) went for like $5,000 on HA.....are old bags common or pretty rare, anybody know ?  Haven't seen that many up for auction.  I would guess they got destroyed/thrown out when the Mints melted all the coins."

Gold coin bags are very uncommon. Most were burned to recover gold dust from the fabric. Earlier bags of all denominations and sizes are rare. The rarest coin storage items are coin kegs and shipping boxes for $40,000 in gold coin.

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Roger, if that vault with the 1928's was SEALED and not just locked, it's hard to believe that it got penetrated.  The procedures to protect seem pretty solid except for when the Vault Custodian could get in-or-out as 1 person.

Hmmm.....maybe him ?  I'm sure he was looked at.

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On 6/28/2020 at 9:54 PM, RWB said:

April 12 seems to be the cut-off date for pay-outs according to Mint telegrams from Mary O'Reilley. Exchanges seem to be the 5th - but nothing was really fixed at that time.

Yup...the EO was April 5th, but Assistant Treasurer Douglas confirmed it on April 12th.

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