Saints were minted in Philadelphia from 1907 to 1915, 1920
to 1929, and 1931 to 1933, Denver from 1908 to 1911, 1913 to 1914, 1923 to 1927, and 1931, and San Francisco from
1908 to 1911, 1913 to 1916, 1920, 1922, 1924 to 1927, and 1930. Most of the 1927 and 1931 Denver, 1929, 1931, 1932,
and 1933 Philadelphia, and 1930 San Francisco Saints were melted at the respective mints in 1933. The reason was
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to remove gold coins from circulation, an act he felt would help the
economy recover from the Great Depression.
Among the coins melted were the 445,500 1933 Saints minted in Philadelphia. These coins were never officially released,
so owning one was illegal. A few managed to survive. Two of these coins are with the Smithsonian Institution, but
others slipped into the private market. Nine were reportedly seized and destroyed by the Secret Service in the
1940s and 1950s as they were about to be sold because they were considered stolen government property.
One 1933 Saint has recently gained national attention, the specimen pictured below that was once owned by King
Farouk of Egypt. After Farouk was exiled, Sotheby's was commissioned in 1954 to sell this and other coins in his
collection. The U.S. government asked that the coin be returned. It wasn't. Over forty years later, a prominent
British dealer, Stephen Fenton, acquired the coin and tried to sell it. A legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department
ensued, the result being that Fenton agreed to share half of the proceeds of the sale of the coin with the U.S.
government. The coin was auctioned by Sotheby's and Stack's in July 2002 and fetched $7.59 million, the most ever
for the public sale of a coin.
More recently, in September 2004, the family of former Philadelphia jeweler and gold dealer Israel Switt revealed
that it had in its possession ten 1933 Saints. Its attorney approached the U.S. Mint, which then contacted the
Secret Service. The Secret Service seized the coins. The U.S. Mint announced that it might include them in future
public exhibits. Switt had allegedly bought them from Mint Cashier George McCann, along with other 1933 Saints
that were previously seized.
There are other ways to obtain Saint-Gaudens' art.