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Double Eagle: The Epic Story Of The World's Most Valuable Coin

"A thrilling page-turner....This is a great read."―Publishers Weekly, starred review One coin, for years the only known 1933 twenty-dollar Double Eagle in the world, has inspired the passions of thieves and collectors, lawyers and charlatans. Its extraordinary story winds across seventy years and three continents, linking an almost unbelievable cast of characters: Theodore Roosevelt and a Philadelphia gold dealer with underworld connections; Egypt's King Farouk and an apple-cheeked Secret Service agent; London's most successful coin dealer and a retired trucker from Amarillo, Texas Alison Frankel's stylish narrative hums at the pace of a thriller. Her meticulously researched descriptions and vivid character studies bring the coin's history to life and illuminate the world of coin collecting, where the desire to possess often borders on madness. 8 pages of illustrations

Paperback: 360 pages

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (June 17, 2007)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0393330001

ISBN-13: 978-0393330007

Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #819,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #33 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Coins & Medals > World Coins #37902 in Books > History > Americas > United States

I procured an advance copy on ebay, and I loved it. I learned quite a bit about coin collecting, 20th century numismatics, King Farouk, and collectibles and the law. It was a very enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it, for both coin collectors and non-collectors.

I know nothing about coin collecting, but I bought this book on a whim -- the cover is striking -- and read the whole thing the first night. King Farouk, Teddy Roosevelt, obsessed Secret Service agents, shady coin dealers, clever lawyers... this book has it all, and I just couldn't stop reading until I finished the whole thing. Double Eagle is so much more than the saga of a gold coin. It's a compelling narrative, a fascinating work of history, an incisive study of collecting mania and, most of all, a thriller that ends with a twist that will shock you. I'd give it six stars if I could.

As a successful collector of St. Gaudens $20 I say this is by far the better of the few books about the chicanery, sneeky dealings and inevitabe "sting" surrounding the 1933 $20 Saint Gaudens. The author wastes no time jumping into the thick of things and every page is full of insight and great reading. There's no fluff in this book, it's cover to cover great "stuff"....the players, the government, the mint officials and the setup man, Izzy Switt are all followed in a way worthy of a murder mystery. What's also great is that inasmuch as this will appeal to the general public, it's really appealing to coin collectors because of the author's research into the inner dealings of the coin world. One incredible non-fiction novel!

This is a competent report on the auction of the world's most valuable coin. The author writes about what she knows about, which is the world of auctions. My own interest was more in the people, like Will Woodin, former Secretary of the Treasury, who was a top-ranked coin collector who landed in the Treasury job because of his personal connections with FDR. It may be expecting too much to pin down the ethical and legal issues involved in this major sale of a public good, and it may be too soon. I was only slightly disappointed - this is a good read. It's also a good counterweight to the Tripp book, "Illegal Tender", which came out earlier, and shows more familiarity with some of the coin-collecting people as opposed to the auction people.

I'm not a coin collector, but a few of my friends are, and so I ended up reading this book. I'm totally glad I did! I found this true-life story about the double eagle coin and its recall (but a few coins escaped the recall!) fascinating. And the diversions into the lifestyles of historic figures such as King Farouk were interesting reading.

Frankel's deft book, Double Eagle, tells the incredible story of the famous 1933 $20 gold coin. The world's most coveted and treasured coin traveled the globe, only to land in New York City, in the middle of a thrilling sting operation by the Secret Service. Where greed, wealth and obsession meet, the book details the inner workings of the coin world, the mania of collectors, the art history of coin making, and the secretive auction house rules. Frankel's writing is stylish and muscular. She is clearly an accomplished reporter. Her attention to detail was the best part of the reading experience for me. Double Eagle (the book) holds up as well at Double Eagle (the coin) as a treasure for the ages.

Wow, who would have imagined that the world of coin collecting would be inhabited by the quirky collection of characters in this intriguing book? I loved the mystery of the story and the surprising and true journey of the double eagle. The book is very well written in a style that is both hard to put down and fun to read. I enjoyed the history of early twentieth century coins. The legal maneuverings in the story are great!Read this book!

Books on coins and coins collecting are usually dry and uninteresting unless you are into the hobby. Double Eagle is the exception and gets you behind the scenes and into the world of dealers and in some cases shady dealers. If you are only mildly interesting in coins this is an excellent read and worth the time and money.

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