Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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1 hour ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Zebo, report back here or create new threads to discuss the book(s) and/or gold coins covered in them once you start reading them.

I am enjoying Bower's book on the gold dollar. This is Akers favorite series (gold dollars) and he thought Bower's best book at the time it was published. These little buggers are hard to see, but are also very interesting. 

Back to the DEs - I did enjoy the bits from Bower's book on the shipwrecks. 

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2 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Did Akers say gold dollars were his favorites ?  I would have thought Indian Heads or Saints.

Bigger coins.

 

In the forward that he wrote he states that the gold dollar is by far his favorite untied states coin.

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22 hours ago, Zebo said:

That's nice to hear, I've pre-ordered Haynor's book. Can't wait to receive it. I'd like to see a good one on the $20 Libs, but saw that the Fuljenz book only covered the type III DEs. 

It worked perfectly for me, cause I was truly only interested in the type III $20 Liberty DEs. 

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23 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I hadn't, in fact, I wasn't aware of his books, thanks for letting me know about it.  I see his books are mostly about the earlier Type DE's and Indian Heads from the late-1800's through 1907.

Does he go through them year-by-year, Erwindoc ?  Are there non-yearly commentary or review sections ?

I don't have any Liberty DE's but hope to at some point.  

He does do a date-by-date analysis along with a one page commentary about each issue.  Lots of tables too, which are not too out of date yet.  I also like the different strategies to collect in the series, rather than just doing the whole thing. 

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Burdette Book vs. Akers Book:  It's not even close.  FWIW, I'm knocking off a yearly review in Akers' book in about 2-3 minutes.  For Roger's book, it was 20-30 minutes.  Which approximates what I thought given the extra pages in Roger's book plus the bigger size of the book:  I thought he had about 6-10x the information and analysis that Aker's had.  

I'm not even taking into account the extra pictures, more detail, and up-to-date information and the Commentary section that is in Roger's book.  I still like Akers' book but there's a new Bible in town if you're a Saints fan.

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Roger, is this correct ?  I am not sure if this slide is based on the new striking date for 1933 Saints of March 2nd (as per the Bartholomew Letter)....if it is, then it took 13 days before the cashier got the coins from the coiner. 

OTOH....if the Mint assumed that the coiner got the coins to the cashier THE SAME DAY they were struck, then this slide could be based on the old (erroneous) date of March 15th for the first day of 1933's being struck. 

If that is the case....if coins could get to the cashier the same day they were struck...then theoretically the 1933's could have been struck and delivered to the cashier on March 2nd.  

1933 Slide 2018 PNA.jpg

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Date of striking and date of delivery are usually different. DE were struck beginning March 2, but the Coiner held onto these and coins struck on other dates until he had enough for a delivery on the 15th. Since Special Assay and Annual Assay coins were taken from each delivery, many small deliveries would require drawing larger numbers of coins for assay - rather wasteful. Also, we don't know if the Coiner had other reasons for consolidating press runs. Possibly the Adjusters were too busy, or a checking assay was delayed, or the Coiner just wanted a more impressive quantity for the first DE delivery of the year.

PS: The slide refers to "delivery" which is correct.

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38 minutes ago, RWB said:

Date of striking and date of delivery are usually different.....DE were struck beginning March 2, but the Coiner held onto these and coins struck on other dates until he had enough for a delivery on the 15th..... Since Special Assay and Annual Assay coins were taken from each delivery, many small deliveries would require drawing larger numbers of coins for assay - rather wasteful. Also, we don't know if the Coiner had other reasons for consolidating press runs. Possibly the Adjusters were too busy, or a checking assay was delayed, or the Coiner just wanted a more impressive quantity for the first DE delivery of the year. PS: The slide refers to "delivery" which is correct.

Gotcha....so while it is POSSIBLE that some 1933's got sent to the cashier before March 15th (someone could have pleaded to get their 1933 ASAP fearing that FDR was going to do something)....it's UNLIKELY.  

Or impossible.

In which case, March 15th is the only date we have written confirmation of Mint procedures being followed and 1933 DE coins going to the cashier (?).

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"Or impossible." They are not coins until delivery is complete.

The pieces taken from the first production run on March 2 were used to replace the shortage of struck bullion incurred in 1932. The Coiner had already "delivered" the 1932 coins, when he realized some were defective and that was part of other bullion. He replace the defective coins with 1933s from March 2 (these had already been counted in the June 1932 settlement).

There were other deliveries of DE in 1933 - check the table.

The above is why it was critical that the Court prevented me from explaining all of the details in use in the 1930s, and that the jury not be limited by the Treasury's incomplete and inaccurate presentation. Of course, there is no assurance the jury would have understood - of if they really understood any of the technical materials anyone presented.

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24 minutes ago, RWB said:

"Or impossible." They are not coins until delivery is complete.

The pieces taken from the first production run on March 2 were used to replace the shortage of struck bullion incurred in 1932. The Coiner had already "delivered" the 1932 coins, when he realized some were defective and that was part of other bullion. He replace the defective coins with 1933s from March 2 (these had already been counted in the June 1932 settlement).

There were other deliveries of DE in 1933 - check the table.

The above is why it was critical that the Court prevented me from explaining all of the details in use in the 1930s, and that the jury not be limited by the Treasury's incomplete and inaccurate presentation. Of course, there is no assurance the jury would have understood - of if they really understood any of the technical materials anyone presented.

Yup, I forgot about your excellent analysis in the book about how the damaged 1932's needed to be replaced by the 1933's.  Thanks for reminding me.

And yeah, I think if a guy like me -- skilled in financial analysis -- needs to go over this and keep a flow chart to track the coins (and still ask for your helpxD), I think an average jury composed of everyday dolts might have had trouble following the logic.  Of course, you only need 1 savvy person to understand and then explain it to the others.  But I can easily see 12 people not taking the time to understand this and swallowing Romero's BS about "the coins were stolen..the coins were stolen....blah blah blah."

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BTW, I didn't know that for each delivery to the cashier they had to set aside a coin or two for the assay.  Interesting.....I thought they just needed a few coins here and there over the production run.

 

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I've been trying to follow all the snippets scattered here and on multiple other threads where @GoldFinger1969 brings this up, and there seems to be some effort to "prove" something, but I can't figure out what that something is, or what evidence there is. My own opinion is biased by the 1944 deposition from Israel Switt, where he pulls the old Sgt Schultz routine. If he doesn't flat out lie "on his oath", he's at least being deliberately disingenuous, presumably to avoid perjury (since he probably knows the statute of limitations has expired on the other stuff). He knows darn well how he obtained the 10 coins known in 1944. Nobody just forgets how they got a 1933 DE, then or now. If he knew he obtained them legally, or even thought that they were obtained legally, he could have just said "I bought them from the cashier", or whatever. Instead, he acts like a guilty person. That taints everything that followed for me, right on down to the Langbords magically discovering 10 more. As such, I have to go with Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation is that it happened exactly as the jury found. Calling them "dolts", calling some presentation of evidence "BS", doesn't help solidify an opinion on this. Present a specific case for some alternative. There seem to be a lot of strong opinions, which I've seen on forums for years now, and I find it curious that there is such a big chip on people's shoulders about it. I doubt anybody on here or any other forum could ever afford one of these anyway.

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"I've been trying to follow all the snippets scattered here and on multiple other threads where @GoldFinger1969 brings this up, and there seems to be some effort to "prove" something, but I can't figure out what that something is, or what evidence there is."

Kbb, I'm trying to understand the actual sequence of events from striking to coins being able to be given to the public or shipped overseas.  Roger's done great work explaining it to me, I'm just a little dense.xD  I may re-read FMTM as that is probably the best way to understand the mechanics.

I am not trying to prove anything here, but I have been fascinated by the 1933 Saints issues and the Switt/Langbord Ten.  So learning about how coins go from the mint press to the cashier is critical to understanding the 1933 story. The EARLIER you can say that the cashier had the coins (and was able to give them out), the longer the interval that they could have been legally released/exchanged.  It gets a bit more complicated with the 8 steps that Roger outlined that happens when a coin is minted and the 1933's have the added variable of replacing some defective 1932's.

"My own opinion is biased by the 1944 deposition from Israel Switt, where he pulls the old Sgt Schultz routine. If he doesn't flat out lie "on his oath", he's at least being deliberately disingenuous, presumably to avoid perjury (since he probably knows the statute of limitations has expired on the other stuff). He knows darn well how he obtained the 10 coins known in 1944. Nobody just forgets how they got a 1933 DE, then or now. If he knew he obtained them legally, or even thought that they were obtained legally, he could have just said "I bought them from the cashier", or whatever. Instead, he acts like a guilty person."

I have to agree with you here.  I am sure Switt knew where he got the coins, but with all the harassment he got from Mint higher-ups (as opposed to rank-and-file Mint employees who seemed to like him and work well with him) and having lost 78 Double Eagles ($1,560 at least), I'd be hesitant when wading into a gray area and answering questions, too.  I'm not justifying lying.  I am saying the guy was within his rights to be wary about being mistreated by the government as he didn't like FDR's anti-gold policies and had suffered a big loss personally, apparently from not maintaining a current gold dealer license.

Here's what is unknowable:  if Mint employees had "helped themselves" to 1933's during the time it was legal by doing coin-for-coin exchanges and just kept the coins for themselves.  These folks (including George McGann) could have sat on a few dozen 1933's for a few years....then sold them at a nice profit in 1937 or so.  Of course, they also could have done the exchange in 1937 right before the melting.  WAS THAT ILLEGAL or AGAINST MINT PROCEDURES  ?    I don't know, it's a gray area I think (if not, Roger will probably let us know xD).  Mint higher-ups were always taking care of themselves with first dibs on coins, if Mint employees didn't do coin-for-coin in March/April 1933, would they get turned down doing it months or years later ?  If so, if they did it themselves without higher-up OK, is it a crime ?  How could you prove it ?  And if the coins are legally yours, you can sell them to a dealer like Switt -- or make a run up to NYC and sell it to the bigwig coin collectors/dealers who you KNEW were paying well-over face value

"That taints everything that followed for me, right on down to the Langbords magically discovering 10 more."

I didn't like that explanation either, but if she really did go into the safe the day before the Farouk Auction, then that's the truth.   If they were sure that their father/grandfather had gotten the 10 Double Eagles through a legitimate (if unprovable) manner, they could have announced the "finding" earlier than the auction, probably when the Farouk coin settlement was revealed.  I do think that the defense scored points here as the jury, aided by the judge, were allowed to believe the Langboard's were lying and that Switt "stole" the coins.

FWIW...the judge in that case had a TERRIBLE reputation but I believe the defense (the Mint/government) controlled the venue.  I can't believe the Langbord's wanted this judge.  He basically said that if the jury sided with the Mint/government...they get the coins...and if the jury found for the Langbord's....then he, the judge, would decide who got them based on the forfeiture claim.  In other words..heads the government wins, tails the Langbord's lose.      

"As such, I have to go with Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation is that it happened exactly as the jury found. Calling them "dolts", calling some presentation of evidence "BS", doesn't help solidify an opinion on this. Present a specific case for some alternative. There seem to be a lot of strong opinions, which I've seen on forums for years now, and I find it curious that there is such a big chip on people's shoulders about it. I doubt anybody on here or any other forum could ever afford one of these anyway."

I wasn't necessarily calling the jury in that case "dolts" -- I meant the usual types that serve on juries who aren't among our Best & Brightest (who are usually working and/or can't take off weeks or months from work for obvious reasons).

I WILL call the judge and the Mint/Government attorneys "dolts" because I think they engaged in numerous biased unprofessional tactics among them:

  • Smearing RWB with nonsense from forums like this and dismissing him as trained in music and working in IT.  Meanwhile, the lead attorney for the Mint referred to the 10 coins as worth $80 million -- as if they are all worth what the Farouk Coin was worth, times 10.  And David Tripp's coin expertise is from Sotheby's.
  • Calling David Tripp an "expert witness."  They smeared RWB who has written over a dozen books and written tons of articles on coins/numismatics -- what has Tripp done besides ILLEGAL TENDER ?  As far as I can tell, zip. 
  • Tripp's phony "orphan document" baloney.  The guy got caught with his pants down, froze, choked, and comes up with a phrase nobody ever heard before to explain why something which blew his entire presentation apart didn't fit with all the other "evidence" he presented.  It's like if someone accuses me of robbery....has dozens of pieces of circumstantial evidence....except I have videotape of me being at a NY Yankees game at the time of the robbery and the prosecutor calls it an "orphan videotape." xD
  • Forcing RWB off the Citizens Advisory Coin Commission -- petty.
  • The Mint/government didn't even know the 1st day the 1933's were struck....weren't aware of the March 7th coin-for-coin memo...and kept saying that Mint records were complete and infallible.
  • The judge was partisan, agreeing with the defense (the Mint/goverenment) that the coins were "stolen."  But 10 ounces of gold were never shown to be "missing."  How can gold coins be stolen if the books balance ?  Of course, they meant to say "We got outfoxed by Israel Switt and some low-level cashiers, and we're pissed."
  • $5,000 in 1928 Saint Double Eagles WERE stolen -- a whole bag.  I wish the Mint has spent some time getting those coins back.  I'm 100% speculating, but I think the fact that a complete bag got stolen embarassed them and that's why they've been obsessed with the missing 1933 Saints.  And while I think that being held personally liable for theft was punitive and unfair, it's interesting that the Mint spent time and resources lobbying Congress to change that law at the same time they were hunting down the 1933 Saints.

I think a fair settlement would have given the Langbord's something akin to what happened with the Fenton/Farouk coin.  The Mint now says the coins won't be destroyed because they are "national treasures."  But those national treasures only exist because Israel Switt got the coins out of the Mint !!  The coins are also collecting dust at Fort Knox instead of providing electricity and excitment to the coin hobby.  I was at the FUN convention a few months ago and attended the auction for the 1927-D Duckor Saint...you don't have to be bidding on the coins to feel the excitment and enjoy the atmosphere, whether you were there in person like I was or watching on the internet.  Those 1933 Saints are the Holy Grail of our hobby and they should be circulating among our wealthier patrons and providing excitement at some of our our national coin conventions and shows.

BTW, the Mint and the U.S. Attorney's kept calling the coins "the property of the American people."  So far, the "property" has been shown to the public 2 times in 16 years for a total of 5 days.  Thanks for nothing, guys.:tonofbricks: 

I think the last word on the 1933's has yet to be written.  One can hope !

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RE: “…and the 1933's have the added variable of replacing some defective 1932’s.”

This was not something new. It was a common practice to keep the bullion accounts in sync. It was the Chief Coiner – and only the Chief Coiner – who decided that struck pieces of bullion were compliant with law as legal tender coins. He could change his mind at any time before delivery to the Superintendent (via Cashier, his representative). After delivery he could still condemn coins but he had to replace them with good coin, but there was no deadline. Alternatively the Superintendent could rescind delivery and condemn coins. This was usually on discovery of an error in fineness, or hidden contamination, or other defects not identified before delivery. New Orleans half eagles, 25.000 delivered in September 1893, were destroyed when an error in calculating fineness was discovered. [RG104 E-271 Vol 4]

As for the Langboard's coins, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case. That ends everything, unless someone can convince the current president to issue a pardon for some reason or other.

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1 hour ago, RWB said:

As for the Langboard's coins, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case. That ends everything, unless someone can convince the current president to issue a pardon for some reason or other.

Or we get a new trial judge who is a coin collector and decides on a different set of facts !! xD

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MINI BOOK:   Roger, any thoughts to condensing the information in the book into an annual 1907-33 Saint highlights booklet ?   A smaller, portable book or pamphlet that is closer to Bowers' or Akers' books in size ?  A smaller, cheaper book could find a different market and generate new sales.  

You can't carry your book around a coin show -- it's too big and unwieldly (it also cost alot, it'll get damaged).

I would keep:  The 1st page with mintage, Production and Survival Ranks, Estimate Survivals, the Circulated and MS totals -- all from Page 1 or Pages 1/2 of your yearly reviews.  After that, Appearance, Date & Monogram, and Commentary could also be included.  The Price Guide (updated), for sure.

You get rid of the non-yearly sections of the book (i.e., trade, Gold Standard, etc.)....ditch most of the photos except the 2 for obverse/reverse for each coin....ditch the die and assay data....and keep most or all of the Commentary depending on how relevant and how long (the 1907 HR section would have to be shrunk).

For 53 Saints, at maybe 3-4 pages per year, you are talking about 200 pages (depending on print size).  Akers' type size is bigger than the Bowers' book.

I'd buy a smaller condensed version just to take to coin shows and conventions. All the work is done already in your Saints book, except updated Price Guide info.  Maybe run it by Heritage ?

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Interesting idea.

I had planned to have the entire thing engraved on the back of a silver quarter -- and maybe throw in the Lord's prayer and an illustrated edition of the Kama Sutra in the extra space. But your idea has possibilities.

Who would buy it and how would they use it --- the DE book, that is....

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11 hours ago, RWB said:

Interesting idea...Who would buy it and how would they use it --- the DE book, that is....

Well, even though I can't believe that any serious Saint collector or person interested in just reading about Saints would balk at $95, the sad truth is that many people do get sticker shock.  Especially when they get so much stuff for free on the Internet or sharing Kindles or e-Books or whatever.

FWIW, Akers book is $25 and Bowers is $14.  Of course, half or more than half of each book is about non-Saint coins.  But $20-$30 for a Guidebook To Buying Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coins or some similar title would be of interest to buyers of the coins, I would think.  I know I'd grab one, just for a smaller reference than your full-sized Saint DE book.  Also, your book would be 2020 or newer; Akers' hasn't been updated since 2008 (and most of the information is from 1988) and Bowers book is from 2004 (I would think it's due for a revised edition but who knows).  Both books have a gold reference price of well under $1,000 even though gold hasn't traded below $1K since 2009. 

At FUN in January, I had to carry around the Heritage auction books before I took them back to my room.  They were KILLING me (of course, being my 1st time at FUN, I didn't know I could drop off personal stuff in a room rather than lugging it all day at the OCCC xD).  While I loved your full-size book, I wouldn't want to lug it around all day at a show (unless I start working out xD ).

Anyway, it would at least be a project that would consume less of your time than these other research-intensive works did.  Keep us posted !

 

 

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1 hour ago, coinquest said:

All of Roger's books are a great read! I especially enjoyed the "Renaissance" volumes

Yup...according to a post on another forum, at least 1 of the Renaissance books is sold-out.

Have you bought the Saints book ?

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I wonder if this lengthy thread has readers from other message boards? I ask because members have asked some excellent, thoughtful questions and those questions might be a lot of help to other collectors. Maybe GoldFinger1969 should assemble a PDF "booklet" he can send out?

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9 minutes ago, RWB said:

I wonder if this lengthy thread has readers from other message boards? I ask because members have asked some excellent, thoughtful questions and those questions might be a lot of help to other collectors. Maybe GoldFinger1969 should assemble a PDF "booklet" he can send out?

I'd do that, no problem.  I have to give props to the book and you for participating in the thread -- you helped with some great questions and made the thread super-interesting.

I reiterate that many gold and coin investors may not even be aware of Saint-Gaudens coinage.  I didn't hear about them until AFTER I bought the 2009 UHR and saw the references.  And anybody who buys modern gold bullion for investment/insurance purposes should be looking at generic common Saints as an alternative or addition.  Just bought a 1915-S MS63 at FUN instead of an American Gold Eagle or Buffalo for my pure gold bullion collection.

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Mint-domiciled Saints:  The amount of San Francisco and Denver post-1923 mintmarked coins which just sat in the vaults there is amazing.  At least most of Philly's production for most/many years was used in international trade.  But it seems with some of the "S" and "D" yearly production runs they just kept accumulating.  And this was during the 1920's, The Roaring' 20's, when times were good economically and trade pretty healthy.

Why mint so many unused coins ?  Did they think that if we were still on the gold standard in 10 or 15 years that we'd just keep putting millions of coins every year into vaults ? Eventually you would have needed new warehouses to house them.

Too bad we couldn't cut down on the Philly production and used some of the SanFran and Denver coins to send to Europe and/or South/Central America.  May have preserved some of the modern rarities from being destroyed to the degree they were under FDR.

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Until about 1935 in order to back gold or silver certificates the metal had to be coined.  By 35 the gold certificates were gone but they were still coining unwanted silver dollars to back the silver certificates .  Finally legislation was passed allowing the certificate to be backed just by the bullion and that's why the Peace dollar coinage ended.  All further silver purchases were just left as bullion and certificates were issued with that as backing. (If you look at the earlier certificates they say will pay so many silver dollars on demand, later ones say will pay so many dollars in silver on demand.)

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6 hours ago, Conder101 said:

Until about 1935 in order to back gold or silver certificates the metal had to be coined.  By 35 the gold certificates were gone but they were still coining unwanted silver dollars to back the silver certificates .  Finally legislation was passed allowing the certificate to be backed just by the bullion and that's why the Peace dollar coinage ended.  All further silver purchases were just left as bullion and certificates were issued with that as backing. (If you look at the earlier certificates they say will pay so many silver dollars on demand, later ones say will pay so many dollars in silver on demand.)

Thanks Conder....Roger's book mentioned the bullion vs. coin backing of certificates and I had forgotten about it. 

What still is somewhat intriguing is why SanFran Saints ("S") would end up in European banks -- I would think that the Philly coinage would head across the Atlantic to Europe, and the SanFran coins (if needed) headed over to the Pacific for Asian settlements, if any. 

I doubt we ever ran short of Philly coins and NEEDED SanFran or Denver coins.   It certainly didn't make sense cost-wise or time-wise to ship coins from SanFran or Denver over to Europe vs. Philly (unless maybe some were already shipped to New York ?).

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(1)  Does anybody know who "Ira and Larry Goldberg" are ?  Their names keep coming up in the sales records.  Are they dealers or collectors ?

(2)  Sometimes coins didn't sell in the listings for Akers and Roger's books.  Isn't that kind of strange, since they are the top-of-the-line pieces ?  You would think the auction companies knew the market and their buyers and wouldn't set the reserve too high.  Unless maybe the collector set an unreasonable price and the auction house had no choice but to hope for a miracle ?

 

 

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What still is somewhat intriguing is why SanFran Saints ("S") would end up in European banks -- I would think that the Philly coinage would head across the Atlantic to Europe, and the SanFran coins (if needed) headed over to the Pacific for Asian settlements, if any. 

I doubt we ever ran short of Philly coins and NEEDED SanFran or Denver coins.   It certainly didn't make sense cost-wise or time-wise to ship coins from SanFran or Denver over to Europe vs. Philly (unless maybe some were already shipped to New York ?).

 This might help a little….

At certain times the gold point favored export of bullion bars and at other times gold coins were favored. The banks and metal brokers were there to make a profit, not to hold gold, silver, or hard boiled eggs. Bankers hated holding gold for reserves – it earned no interest, brought no profit, took up space, and required expensive security measures.

This meant that gold for export had to come from either the New York Assay Office or a U.S. Mint. Getting gold from main Treasury or Federal Reserve Banks did not work well because most of their gold was held as backing for Gold Certificates. Depending on how gold at the mints was earmarked, mints with a lot of physical bullion and coin might have very little they could ship out without violating the law. Hence, the necessity of occasionally transferring physical gold from San Francisco or Denver to the NYAO for export.

In later years, gold was transferred by earmark and vault ledgers rather than physical means. This was the system that dominated after Bretton Woods, although it had been used long before – as early as about 1880.

Edited by RWB
Formatting - again.
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1 hour ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

(1)  Does anybody know who "Ira and Larry Goldberg" are ?  Their names keep coming up in the sales records.  Are they dealers or collectors ?

 

 

 

They have Goldberg Coins and Collectibles and Goldberg Auctioneers.They have sold some very important pieces over the years,including the record breaking  Millenia Collection of ancient and world coins. https://coinweek.com/auctions-news/greatest-world-coin-auction-millennia-collection-part-1-overview-famous-pieces/

 Link to their website here: https://www.goldbergcoins.com/content/

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