A 1933 US gold coin has been sold at a Sotheby’s auction in New York City for a record $18.9m (£13.4m).
With a face value of $20, the Double Eagle was the last gold coin produced for intended circulation in America. But it was never issued as President Franklin D Roosevelt withdrew the US from the gold standard, in an effort to lift the country from depression.
Most of the coins were then destroyed and declared illegal to own – with the exception of the one sold on Tuesday. It had belonged for a time to King Farouk of Egypt, and was later seized in a secret service sting operation in New York City. On Tuesday, it was sold by shoe designer Stuart Weitzman to a bidder whose identity has not been revealed.
The Double Eagle has an image of Liberty on one side and an American eagle on the other. “The sale marks the second time this 1933 Double Eagle coin set a world record as the most valuable coin, having sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2002 for $7.59m in an auction,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.
Separately, Sotheby’s said that on Tuesday “the sole-surviving example of the legendary British Guiana One-Cent Magenta achieved $8.3m, retaining its place as the most famous and valuable stamp in the world”.
And another item, the 24-Cent Inverted Jenny Plate Block, fetched $4.9m. The auction house described it as “the most well-known and sought-after American stamp rarity”.