A British dealer was able to hold two illegal American coins

In all the recent news about the 1933 double eagles, another coin that US government officials would likely seek to confiscate if it surfaced – the 1964-D Peace Dollar – has been somewhat overlooked. After all, Mint officials claim that all were melted down. But were they?

Dealer Richard Lobel, of Coincraft in London, says he not only examined a 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle at a dealer in Switzerland more than four decades ago, he also examined a peace dollar from 1964-D.

While Mint officials have been saying for decades that all 1964-D peace dollars minted in 1965 at the Denver Mint were destroyed, some numismatists said they saw an example or knew someone who claimed a observation.

It should also be noted that, for years, Mint officials also believed that all of the 1933 double eagles were destroyed, except for the two that the Mint had turned over to the Smithsonian Institution. However, at least 25 copies of the 1933 coin entered the market despite government efforts to melt them all down.


Inside Coin World: What causes these unusual errors? Coins struck by double misalignment dies and coins with fit marks are among the topics of our columns this week, found exclusively in the print and digital editions of Coin World.


Lobel said his sighting of a 1933 gold double eagle and a 1964 silver dollar happened more than 40 years ago when business took him to a dealer’s shop in Zürich.

“He showed me and let me hold not only a 1933 Double Eagle, but also a 1964 Silver Dollar,” Lobel said. World Currency by email. “At that time, there wasn’t the madness of grading and plating the pieces that there is today, the pieces were meant to be touched and handled.

“I may have been wrong, but I’m sure he told me that his specimen was from King Farouk. If it was true [or] no, I can’t say, but it was definitely a real 1933 coin at $20.00. The only dealer I could have asked to confirm this (Hans MF Schulman) is unfortunately no longer with us. But I do know that I bought a bunch of dies that were used to mint coins for King Farouk of Hans. They sat in a duty free area in Basel, Switzerland for years and years.

Did the Swiss dealer make an offer to Lobel to buy the two coins?

“At the time, I didn’t have the money and wouldn’t have known where to sell the parts,” Lobel said. “The dealer didn’t want to sell them, he was just pretending, but in a nice way. Showing a young, inexperienced dealer two marvelous pieces.

1964-D Peace dollars were minted in 1965 in response to Congressional orders to produce new silver dollars. The Treasury Department’s vast silver dollar holdings were depleting as citizens exchanged their silver certificates for coins at face value. After the coins were minted, the government decided to start removing silver from US coins and the dollars were never released.

What has been identified as the Farouk 1933 exhibit surfaced publicly on February 8, 1996, when it was seized by the Secret Service during an undercover operation in New York. The Farouk coin was sold on July 30, 2002 by Sotheby’s in conjunction with Stack’s, in settlement of a dispute between the Mint and British dealer Stephen Fenton who imported the gold coin. The auction achieved $7.59 million.

Login with Coin World:

Subscribe to our free eNewsletter
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter

Comments are closed.