Chasing the Double Eagle
March 8, 2003 11:52 AM   Subscribe

From a theft at the U.S. Mint to a scam artist in Philly, from a playboy Egyptian king to a Secret Service sting at the Waldorf-Astoria, ending up at a record-breaking $7.59 million auction: the fascinating history of a coin. (via BoingBoing)
posted by Vidiot (10 comments total)
The most interesting posts always get the least replies.

Cool story.
posted by atom128 at 2:00 PM on March 8, 2003

How many does the Smithsonian have? Who is the new owner?
posted by stbalbach at 2:09 PM on March 8, 2003

From the way I read the article, the Smithsonian has one (they apparently have a complete collection of every American coin) and the new owner did not identify himself. It seems to be the case that most high-profile, high-dollar auctions are won by bidders acting on behalf of shadowy unnamed collectors.
posted by Vidiot at 2:15 PM on March 8, 2003

reminded me of a passage from orhan pamuk's "my name is red" (not a bad book) where he describes the life of a coin. not quite as famous a coin, though.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:07 PM on March 8, 2003

Cool story. Great link.

Led me to search for "playboy King Farouk" stories, which led me to an 15 year old Playboy with Yasser Arrafat, which led me to the Playboy archive of old interviews including a '67 with Johnny Carson, a '72 with Howard Cosell, and a '65 with George Harrison.

Reading Playbody for the articles? The internet is indeed a strange place.
posted by superchris at 3:59 PM on March 8, 2003

7.5 mil? i got mine for 19.95! (hell of a story is right. thanks!)
posted by steef at 4:40 PM on March 8, 2003

A fascinating story. The end of the article mentions that the coin is on display at the Federal Reserve in NYC "through 2003." Does anybody know if it's still there, and open to the public?
posted by event at 5:11 PM on March 8, 2003

Good question, event. There's an exhibition there called "Drachmas, Doubloons, and Dollars: The History of Money" that's open through May 16th. However, the "preliminary website" cataloging the exhibition doesn't mention the 1933 Double Eagle. (It does, however, include the 1907 and 1913 coins with Saint-Gaudens' design. (the 1907 one, in deep relief, is stunning.))

There are lots of other interesting-looking things in the exhibition, too; I think I'll go down and check it out.
posted by Vidiot at 5:38 PM on March 8, 2003

Absolutely fascinating. Great story.
posted by me3dia at 8:57 PM on March 8, 2003

It is precious
posted by stbalbach at 10:17 AM on March 9, 2003

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