Samlerhuset and the Smithsonian Institution has taken the US 1933 Double Eagle gold coin on a first ever European exhibition tour.
The 1933 Double Eagle is a legend in coin collecting circles. It is possibly the most valuable ounce of gold in the world, inspiring the passions of kings, presidents, collectors, and thieves.
In 2002, a 1933 Double Eagle sold for 7.6 million dollars, making it the most expensive gold coin in the world to come to auction up to that time. The actual coin that went on display in seven countries in Europe has never come to auction and is one of a handful of 1933 Double Eagles known in the world.
This is the first time that a 1933 Double Eagle has been exhibited in Europe. The tour was arranged by the Samlerhuset Group in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, based in Washington D.C.
Nearly half a million of these twenty-dollar gold coins were originally minted in 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression, but only 13 are known today. The rest were melted down before they ever left the United States Mint, sacrificed as part of a strategy to remove the United States from the gold standard and stabilise the American economy.
Only one coin is legally in private hands; all other 1933 Double Eagles remain the property of the U.S. government. The U.S. Secret Service pursues any coins which come to light.
The coin that went on display in Europe is one of two 1933 Double Eagles saved by the U.S. Mint and given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1933 as a matter of record.
Marc Pachter, interim Director of the Smithsonian´s National Museum of American History said,
«The 1933 Double Eagle is a symbol of a shared struggle in an interdependent global economy, both in the early 20th century and today.»
The unprecedented tour generated a massive amount of media coverage in all seven countries and excited thousands to go and see this fabulous US national treasure.