Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ten 1933 Double Eagles Worth $80 Million

 A family was awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more  after a US appeals court overturned a jury verdict.
US Department of the Treasury officials insist the $20 Double Eagles were stolen from the US Mint in Philadelphia before the 1933 series was melted down when the country went off the gold standard.
They argued that Joan Langbord and her sons cannot lawfully own the coins, which she said she found in a family bank deposit box in 2003.
Langbord's father, jeweler Israel Switt, had dealings with the Mint in the 1930s and was twice investigated over his coin holdings. A jury in 2012 sided with the government.
However, the appeals court returned the coins to the Langbords because US officials had not responded within a 90-day limit to the family's seized-property claim, filed in about 2004.
Family lawyer Barry Berke said: 'Congress clearly intended for there to be limits on the government's ability to seek forfeiture of citizens' property, and today's ruling reaffirms that those limits are real and won't be excused when the government violates them.'
Her sons, entertainment lawyer Roy Langbord, of New York City, and David Langbord, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, joined her in the legal fight.
The Mint struck nearly a half-million of the Double Eagles in Philadelphia in 1933 but never released them after President Franklin D. Roosevelt abandoned the gold standard and prohibited using the gold coins as currency.
The money makers in Philadelphia sent all of their gold coins to be melted in 1937. The Mint sent a pair of 1933 Double Eagles to the Smithsonian Institution for its US coin collection.

Source: Daily Mail  Photos: Getty Images

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Legally Blind Woman's Passion Is Metal Detecting

An 1898 Indian Head penny. A pinback button from the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, circa 1917. A student’s 1987-88 Churchill High School ID card. 
Those are just some of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of things Janet Roberts has unearthed with her metal detector during the past year or so. “It’s amazing what you can find out there,” says Roberts, 58.
Amazing, also, when you consider that Roberts is legally blind, so the coins, cellphones, pet tags, bullets, railroad spikes, jewelry, keys and everything else is just a blur before she examines them with a magnifying glass.
“I have no central vision at all,” says Roberts, a part-time orderly and certified nursing assistant at Springfield’s Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. “I look at a face and everything’s gone, except the sides.”
Roberts, who has 20/400 vision, says she was 33 when her eyes hemorrhaged, an episode brought on by a condition known as cone dystrophy, an inherited ocular disorder characterized by the loss of cone cells, the eyes’ photoreceptors responsible for both central and color vision.
“It will never get better,” Roberts says. “It’s like I’m blind as a bat. I’ve just learned to adapt with it and do the things that I like to do.”
And there is nothing she likes to do more than take the $350 Garrett Graphic Design ID metal detector that her husband, David Roberts, bought her and spend four to six hours a few days a week on and around the 682-foot butte that sits in the middle of Eugene.
“She found a nice turquoise ring, and it fit pretty good,” David Roberts says, gazing down at his wife working in the muddy grass below the parking lot atop the butte.
“I told her it was a good trade for the metal detector,” he adds with a grin.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Calling All History Buffs to the NJ State History Fair

SPIRIT of the JERSEYS State History Fair
Saturday May 9, 2015
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
Manalapan, NJ 07726
(732) 462-9616
Free Admission
Parking/$10 per vehicle
Rain or Shine
The SPIRIT of the JERSEYS Marks New Location!
Experience five centuries of New Jersey’s history all in one place at the annual SPIRIT of the JERSEYS State History Fair - a historical festival for all ages on Saturday, May 9th at its new location at Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan, NJ. 
This free, award-winning event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, annually draws more than 5,000 visitors.  The Fair is a fun-filled adventure into New Jersey’s past with living history demonstrations, military re-enactors, tours, exhibits, period music and dance, and historical organizations and museums from around the state.
There are plenty of hands-on activities for kids and adults, from participating in historical games to plowing a furrow or participating in a military drill.  Don’t miss the opportunity to meet such historical figures as Ulysses S. Grant, Ben Franklin, his son William Franklin, Clara Barton, Walt Whitman, Molly Pitcher and American General George Washington.     
One of the largest battles of the American Revolution took place in the fields and forests that now make up Monmouth Battlefield State Park.  The park preserves a splendid rural 18th-century landscape of hilly farmland and hedgerows that encompasses miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, picnic areas, a restored Revolutionary War farmhouse and a new Visitor Center that opened to the public on Flag Day 2013.  The park is easily accessible from Routes 9 and 33.
For more information and a complete list of activities about the Fair, visit www.njhistoryfair.orgor call (732) 462-9616.
The Fair is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Historic Sites, Division of Parks and Forestry, and its partners.