Walmart Says No to $20 Gold Double Eagles, Bank Teller Says Yes

by on March 31, 2009 · 3 comments

A Utah woman who tried paying for Walmart groceries with $20 Gold Double Eagles was apparently turned away, and then exchanged 14 of them at a nearby bank for face value, according to one of the most unusual coin stories ever relayed in the media.

In a further twist, the bank’s teller apparently realized the uniqueness of the coins, bought them for what he paid the lady, and later learned of their value from a coin dealer.

As the story continues, we discover the teller was fired and a search for the woman is in progress.

$20 Double Eagles were minted from 1849 to 1907. Each has nearly an ounce of gold at .96750 oz and an intrinsic value of about $920 based on the Tuesday morning gold spot price. As most coin collectors well know, the numismatic value of Double Eagles exceeds their melt value by more than a pretty penny, leaving everyone to wonder about the story behind the coins… and the woman who misjudged their worth and the attention they would bring.

For the interesting account, watch the embedded NBC2 News video.

[Editor’s update: The latest news is that the woman has been found, and arrested under the suspicion she stole the coins. For more, read Woman arrested over gold coins exchanged at bank from the Salt Lake Tribune.]

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Collnect Connect March 31, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Even not being a collector she must have realized gold coins are more valuable than others… Sounds fishy…

Chip Furr April 1, 2009 at 7:34 am

According to law, when Walmart refused to accept the gold coins for purchase and payment of goods, the lady could have picked up all of her groceries and anything else she was purchasing there (or anywhere else for that matter) and walk out of the store and go home and there would be nothing any retailer could do about it. She offered for payment, legal tender of the USA.

Munzen April 1, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Given the recession, maybe not 100% fishy. When I got out of grad school in the middle of the early-1970s recession I ended up putting my brand new master’s degree to work selling hats and ties at a local department store. One day a woman came in with about 25 or 30 Peace dollars. We tried to get her to realize their collector value, even told her to sell them at the local hobby shop, but she insisted she just wanted to spend them there and then. Store security wasn’t so tight back then; we replaced the coins with bills in the register and divvied them up.

Of course that woman didn’t lose anywhere near $1000 on each coin, either.

Leave a Comment