In 1933, with America caught in the grip of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an Executive Order declaring private ownership of gold illegal. The government confiscated all Gold Double Eagles minted in 1933 and melted them down into plain gold bars, but a small handful of these coins escaped this fate.
Two were sent to Smithsonian, while some were secreted away by a Mint employee. One by one, federal agents were able to locate - and confiscate - most of the coins. However, one resurfaced in 1944 as part of an Egyptian king's coin collection, and political considerations prevented the Secret Service from claiming it.
After the king's death, the coin ended up in America's possession where it was stored at the World Trade Center, only to be moved just days before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2002, it sold at auction for an astonishing $7.59 Million dollars, making it the most expensive gold coin in history.
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