A family was awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more on Friday after a US appeals court overturned a jury verdict.
US Department of the Treasury officials insist the $20 Double Eagles were stolen from the US Mint in Philadelphia before the 1933 series was melted down when the country went off the gold standard.
They argued that Joan Langbord and her sons cannot lawfully own the coins, which she said she found in a family bank deposit box in 2003.
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Ten 1933 Double Eagle coins, which were almost all destroyed when the US went off the gold standard, have been given back to the Langbord family after a length legal dispute with the government
The family found the valuables in a bank deposit box for Joan Langbord's father Israel Switt, a Philadelphia
jeweler (left, in 1944). The government believed that Switt stole the coins from a mint in 1933
Langbord's father, jeweler Israel Switt, had dealings with the Mint in the 1930s and was twice investigated over his coin holdings. A jury in 2012 sided with the government.
However, the appeals court returned the coins to the Langbords because US officials had not responded within a 90-day limit to the family's seized-property claim, filed in about 2004.
Family lawyer Barry Berke said: 'Congress clearly intended for there to be limits on the government's ability to seek forfeiture of citizens' property, and today's ruling reaffirms that those limits are real and won't be excused when the government violates them.'
Langbord, who's in her mid-80s, worked in her father's store on Jeweler's Row for most of her life.
Her sons, entertainment lawyer Roy Langbord, of New York City, and David Langbord, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, joined her in the legal fight.