Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ute Wartenberg Kagan, J.D., executive director, American Numismatic Society, will present a fascinating account of arguably the most valuable coin in the world – the 1933 $20 gold Double Eagle, which last sold in 2002 at a Sotheby’s auction for $7.6 million. This bizarre and mysterious saga begins in 1933 with the Gold Confiscation Act and ends in April 2017 at the U.S. Supreme Court. The intriguing tale includes alleged smuggling from the U.S. Mint, King Farouk of Egypt, shady coin dealers, government agents conducting a “sting operation” and, of course, a few lawyers. Dr. Wartenberg Kagan’s primary research focus is on ancient Greek coinage, and she has spent most of her academic career in the museum world. From 1991 through 1998, she worked as the curator of Greek coins in the British Museum in London. Since 1999, she has been the executive director of the American Numismatic Society in New York. Educated in Saarbrucken, Germany, Dr. Wartenberg Kagan was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she received her doctorate in papyrology. She has published more than 50 books and articles on numismatics and papyrology, is a recognized public speaker, and is frequently interviewed for newspapers, radio and television. In connection with her active interest in current U.S. coinage, Dr. Wartenberg Kagan has testified about coin design before the Senate Banking Committee and has been appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to various coin advisory committees.

Arranged by Tom Haack