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Obverse of 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle     Reverse of 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle  




Circulation strikes: 445,500
Proofs: 0

Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens (modified by Charles E. Barber)

Diameter: 34 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10% 

Weight: 516 grains (33.4 grams)

Edge: |******E|*PLURIBUS*|UNUM*****

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) above the date

Images courtesy of Sotheby's

Significant examples:
(illustrated above).  King Farouk of Egypt - Stephen Fenton (of Knightsbridge Coins of London, England) via Andre de Clermont (another London dealer) - seized by the U.S. government when Fenton and Jay Parrino attempted to sell the coin to a Secret Service informant for $1 million - moved to the Fort Knox Gold Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1996 for safekeeping - sold on July 30, 2002 in a single-lot auction conducted jointly by Sotheby's and Stack's for $7,590,020!

No coins of this date were ever allowed into circulation, at least not officially.  A handful of 1933 Double Eagles exists today, but the Mint asserts that ownership is illegal because they were removed without authorization from the Mint.  Thus, in the few instances when these have appeared on the open market, they have been subject to seizure by the U.S. government.  The only "legitimate" examples are owned or held by the government, one of which is illustrated below.  However, in 2001, the U.S. government reached an agreement with the owners of the "Farouk-Fenton" specimen of the 1933 Double Eagle which allows the coin to be sold, thus making it the only example outside of government hands that is legal to own.

No 1933 Double Eagle has been encapsulated by PCGS, however the graders and some principals of PCGS examined the Farouk-Fenton example prior to the sale and declared it to be an MS-65.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

"1933 double eagle now at Fort Knox" by Paul Gilkes, COIN WORLD, July 16, 2001, pages 1 and 8

1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Obverse        1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Reverse

Images courtesy of National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution