Over 400,000 1933 Double Eagles were minted, though none were approved for circulation, and all but two were reportedly melted down.
Years later, officials determined that George McCann, cashier of the Mint, had stolen ten of these coins to resell for profit, as he had done with other coins. In 1940, he pleaded guilty to stealing silver coins, but by the time this investigation concluded, the statute of limitations had passed. These coins had reportedly been transferred to Israel Switt, a Philadelphia coin dealer who, in turn, had reportedly sold them.
Since the coins had not been legally released, it was illegal for the public to own these coins, but this fact was not well publicized.