Double Eagle Shatters Record in 1933

The last legitimate 1933 double eagle gold coin sold for $18.9 million at Sotheby's New York on June 8. Stuart Weitzman's elusive coin broke the Guinness record, nearly doubling the price of the most valuable coin. Three bidders in the room and one on the phone competed for this single legal example, setting the record price after 3-1/2 minutes.

After a landmark legal settlement authorized the private ownership of this 1933 double eagle for the first and only time, the coin sold at Sotheby's New York for $7.59 million in an auction on behalf of the US government in 2002.

This recent sale featured the coin, the only surviving British Guiana one-cent magenta stamp, and a 24-cent “Inverted Jenny” plate block as part of The Three Treasures Collection. Weitzman's goods sold for $8.3 million and $4.9 million.

Today's sale marked a historic moment in stamp and coin collecting – and one that I think will not be surpassed for a long time, if ever,” said Richard Austin, Sotheby's worldwide head of books and manuscripts. “The Stuart Weitzman collection contained the most valuable stamp and coin specimens, each with a rich history and remarkable tales that have captivated collectors and the public for decades

Any one of these pieces at auction would be a milestone, but this exceptional sale was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Stuart's passion and dedication to his childhood dream of accumulating these cherished treasures is evident in this moment, and we hope this sale inspires other collectors to begin their own journey.”

Weitzman, a lifelong philatelist and numismatist from Queens, N.Y., began collecting stamps and coins in 2002 and became a British Guiana stamp and “Inverted Jenny” plate block collector in 2014. Weitzman said, "It has been an honor to be a custodian of these three legendary treasures and has filled me with great joy to have fulfilled a childhood dream of bringing these remarkable pieces together into one collection."

I started coin collecting at 12 to pass the time in a complete leg cast, and then I became interested in stamps after my older brother left behind his college stamp book. The desire for collecting took root immediately, and today was the culmination of a life's work. I'm thrilled that the sale will support several philanthropic and educational projects I care about.”

The Weitzman Family Foundation, which supports medical research and higher education including Boston Children's Hospital and the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, benefits from sales. The first Spanish-Judeo history museum in Madrid is another foundation project.

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