Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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2,182 posts in this topic

On 6/29/2020 at 3:48 PM, RWB said:

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

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I've been thinking about this lately (I have alot of time on my hands with The Virus ! xD ).... when you say that "every line of investigation came up blank" do you know of any sources or stories on this ?  Outside of your article for the HA 1928 DE bag, I can't find anything.

It also is very curious that every line of investigation came up blank.  For a bunch of exchanged 1933's they have lots of leads....but an entire bag of STOLEN 250 coins, they have nothing ?  I wonder if it was an inside job by multiple Mint employees.

Very interesting, as Arte Johnson used to say on "Laugh-In".....xD

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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All likes of investigation of the 1933 DE also came up blank.

The primary information comes from the US Secret Service investigation reports. They are all in NARA, RG87 (I think).

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2 hours ago, RWB said:

All likes of investigation of the 1933 DE also came up blank.

The primary information comes from the US Secret Service investigation reports. They are all in NARA, RG87 (I think).

Thanks, I'll check it out.  Gonna crack this case.....but when I do, I'm keeping the bag of 1928's......xD(thumbsu

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A difficulty with this situation is that virtually all information comes from the USSS investigation. There was no other investigation and not internal US Mint work - just a couple of short letters. Thus, we have only an incomplete and one-sided view - much as for the 1933 DE (although we have some internal Mint documents).

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1 hour ago, RWB said:

A difficulty with this situation is that virtually all information comes from the USSS investigation. There was no other investigation and not internal US Mint work - just a couple of short letters. Thus, we have only an incomplete and one-sided view - much as for the 1933 DE (although we have some internal Mint documents).

What I find amazing is that there's plenty of speculation about guilty parties in the 1933's from Mint and USSS folks -- Switt, McGann, various dealers, etc. -- but I don't see a single name mentioned or a time frame on the 1928's.  I know, I know, there was nothing to be found as you say -- still.....FIND SOMETHING !!! xD

And again....I find it very interesting that most of their efforts seemed to get the legislation passed to take Dressel off the hook.  Not saying I think he should have been punished, I think he was innocent and just unlucky.  But I really find the Mint's obsession on their part to get the law changed and not find ANY LEADS rather baffling.  And while this is going on (during a World War, no doubt).....they're busting chops on the 1933's !!! :mad:

And I still think their totally getting hornswoggled on the 1928's led to their hard-a** attitude on the 1933's.  I can't prove it, but the obsession to me stands out.  Almost like...we got totally taken by someone on an entire bag of 1928's...let's track down a bunch of 1933's that got exchanged (based on No Gold Missing) just so we can deprive some coin dealers of a few hundred bucks of speculative profit.

Rant off.....xD

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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The investigation determined that the theft or loss occurred before Dressel took office. He signed for a vault sealed long before his appointment. That was normal.

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5 hours ago, RWB said:

The USSS files have lots of names in them, but nothing substantive - it's a story with no beginning and no end -- just the middle parts.

Yeah, not much meat on the bones, I hear you.  Maybe we should inform one of those investigative TV shows and they can turn it into a good 1-hour documentary ? xD

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On 5/18/2020 at 12:21 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

1933 Slide 2018 PNA.jpg

Roger, do you know if the Mint saying that 1st Delivery of 1933's was on March 15th (above) implies they acknowledge your position that the 1st strikings were done on March 2nd ?  Basically, 13 days later for the 1933's that weren't counted as replacements for the 1932's to get to the Cashier.

My understanding was that before you found the note on March 2nd...their position was that 1st Striking was on March 15th and that meant delivery was about March 29th (again, 14 days later).

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Previously, there was no information on the dates 1933 DE were struck, so the only thing to look at was the official delivery. Technically, the struck pieces were not legal tender coins until delivery was complete....they were merely stamped bullion and were carried on records as such.

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3 hours ago, RWB said:

Previously, there was no information on the dates 1933 DE were struck, so the only thing to look at was the official delivery. Technically, the struck pieces were not legal tender coins until delivery was complete....they were merely stamped bullion and were carried on records as such.

Define "delivery"......is that when the Cashier gets the coins, which would have been AFTER the Superintendent OK'd the coins as being physically OK weight-wise and OK'd their transfer to the Cashier, right ?

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The Coiner certifies the struck pieces meet all requirements for legal tender, as well as the piece count and gross weight. The Superintendent, or his representative the Cashier, can accept the Coiner's certificate or have pieces selected for immediate testing. The latter was very rarely done.When the coins are accepted, they become part of the mint's inventory and are reported as "delivered."

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21 minutes ago, RWB said:

The Coiner certifies the struck pieces meet all requirements for legal tender, as well as the piece count and gross weight. The Superintendent, or his representative the Cashier, can accept the Coiner's certificate or have pieces selected for immediate testing. The latter was very rarely done.When the coins are accepted, they become part of the mint's inventory and are reported as "delivered."

Boy, this can get tricky/confusing. xD

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37 minutes ago, RWB said:

It was the Coiner who made the decision about a piece being a "coin" or 'bullion." The Superintendent then accepted what the Coiner said was "coin."

The reason I keep coming back to this timing and oversight split at the Philly Mint....it's key to the whole thing about whether the 1933 coins (or any coins, if you include the 43 replacements) were "authorized" for release.

Thanks for clearing it up again.  Now I think I'll re-read your 1933 chapter for the umpteenth time. xD

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No one at Treasury said the 1933's could be issued. Since the D and S mint coin in previous years had not general been issued, except on specific instructions, the prudent approach would be to wait.

"Delivered" does not mean "Issued." "Released" had no meaning to the mints.

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3 hours ago, RWB said:

No one at Treasury said the 1933's could be issued. Since the D and S mint coin in previous years had not general been issued, except on specific instructions, the prudent approach would be to wait.

"Delivered" does not mean "Issued." "Released" had no meaning to the mints.

Would Treasury have CARED ?  We had a Depression, the DJIA was heading for 41 in July 1933 down from 389 in September 1929 down 90%...and 10-15 banks were failing every day. 

The 1933's were just a bunch of coins that might trade at a $5-$10 premium to a bunch of wealthy coin collectors in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.  As you have said repeatedly, if prior to April 12th, 1933 anybody had come in with 5 or 50 or even 250 gold coins dated 1932 or 1931 or 1928 or 1924....and exchanged them for 1933's....the Philly Mint and all the higher-ups wouldn't have cared so long as the total gold was unchanged.

Treasury didn't say issue the 1933's...and they didn't say DON'T issue them.  They were concerned with total gold holdings -- exchanges were still OK (why they weren't AFTER April 12th, 1933 still escapes me).  I think you said in the book they had many more important things than worrying about what mint marks were flowing out of the Philly Mint, if any.

Why they even had the hard cut-off of April 12th, 1933 and why they would do that AND keep striking 1933's through May still escapes me.  Not sure we'll ever know what they were thinking, even with your in-depth and voluminous research.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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More 1933 Musings..... Re-reading the Ernest Kehr section, I note that the initial sale that triggered the investigation -- the Flanagan Coin -- was expected to sell for $2,000 in 1944.  That meant that the coin had appreciated 100-fold in 11 years !! :whatthe:

That amount was almost what the higher-ups at the Philly Mint would make in a year's salary.  It was alot of money in 1944.  I have no doubt that as Roger notes that the initial investigation was biased and botched, that envy and jealousy played a role in determining that all 1933's were "stolen" because they were clearly worth alot of $$$ (the last Saints ever struck as it turned out).

Imagine a regularly-issued coin from 2009 (11 years earlier, like the 1933 Saints in 1944) that today was worth a year's average salary (like $50,000).

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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The Philadelphia Mint received instructions to strike a certain value in double eagles in early February 1933. That is what was done. No one at Treasury ordered the coinage suspended.

After WW-1 Treasury sent specific instructions on whether to issue gold coins or not. This was an extension of the war-time policy adopted in 1914 to discourage gold coin circulation and limit export of gold. It was mostly a situation were coins were not issued unless Treasury approved. (See the book comments for 1920 and 21.)

Tracking export of gold was normal and had no restrictions until 1932. The Hoover Admin began taking names of those withdrawing gold and not using it for normal business purposes. Exports of coin were tracked and warnings given to some about exports for hoarding purposes. Treasury later used this information to support return of hoarded coins from Europe. Hoarders were paid for the coins at their face value, so that speculators got their money back but made no profit.

Mint regulations had long prohibited deposit of new or legal weight US gold coins. But exchange was not prohibited and depended on the Cashier's attitude and the Superintendent.

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Great commentary, thanks Roger !  

And if I can segue to an off-topic...I hope everybody reading this thread and in these forums has checked out Comet Neowise or will do so....look in the Northwest sky after sunset, about 15 degrees high. xD

You have another week of good viewing...it keeps getting higher in the sky (good) but will start to fade too (bad) and will be gone in a few weeks.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Comet Neowise is a pleasant sight in the NE sky. It will be followed by the newer comment "Verywise." It was preceded by comet dud "Notsowise."

This is a somewhat optimistic impression of the visual appearance with clear, dry atmosphere. Looks like a 30-sec or longer exposure.

6JPP6ZDX3VHTHAERLA2S4VYMMA.jpg

Edited by RWB
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Off-Topic...I saw the comet last night from Sullivan County, NY.  It was very low in the horizion after 10 PM PM but we still saw it naked-eye.  Looked great through 15x50 binoculars and small telescopes.

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Saint Pricing When Gold Was $325/oz:   I was looking at the price guide and I noticed that the premium for commons in bullion grades for coins like the 1924 was much higher than what you see today in the late-1990's.  It was LOWER in absolute dollars, of course, but higher as a percentage.  The premium for MS65's was also much higher than what you see today (100% or more compared today to about 20-25%).

Those of you active back then (late-1990's)....do you concur ? 

Prices and premiums tend to be sticky to the downside during declining prices and dealers do need to make money, so maybe even if prices had laid low at $300 or so for a few years more..... the premiums for MS 63 commons and MS65 gems would not have fallen more -- agreed ?

I'll bet even MS67's could be had for under $2,000...maybe $1,500 for certain years back then.  Ugg....boy, do I wish I was active and in the market 20+ years ago !! xD

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Anybody else read the book in its entirety -- thoughts ?

I did.... :)

Anybody buying any Saints as gold approaches $2,000/oz. ?

Bought a couple of "new" varieties spotted in inventories/auctions.

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I don't know about Saints but that recent announcement from the People's Bank of China re the Forbidden City gold commemorative sets has gotten me to thinking, Who can afford a 1-kilogram gold coin?  Talk about deep pockets!

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7 hours ago, RWB said:

Anybody buying any Saints as gold approaches $2,000/oz. ?

I didn't buy them back when I could get them for $70, I'm not buying them with gold at $2000.

Edited by Conder101
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9 hours ago, RWB said:

Anybody else read the book in its entirety -- thoughts ?

I did.... :)

Anybody buying any Saints as gold approaches $2,000/oz. ?

Bought a couple of "new" varieties spotted in inventories/auctions.

And I thought you only looked at the pictures. :roflmao:

 I should have introduced myself at one of the FCC meetings before I moved out of the area. Maybe during a visit once this virus situation is over.

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On 7/26/2020 at 5:07 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Anybody buying any Saints as gold approaches $2,000/oz. ?

Payed MS63 money but I had to have it.

My only pedigree saint arrived last Friday.

321834790_Newman1912.thumb.jpg.f3a2d8482404b140bdb9f59945fc968a.jpg

Edited by Cat Bath
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