Comment: That would work

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That would work

if the law didn't recognize the difference between the face value of a coin and the value to collectors. If you collect rare pennies, and someone steals your penny collection, can they square things up with you by sending you the face value of what was stolen?

The family would have had a very hard time selling those coins. Anything they did openly with them would result in the coins being seized, because as stolen coins go these coins would have to be the most famous and most easily recognized of all. But trying to sell them secretly could open them up to charges of trafficking in stolen goods, if the way they handled the transaction made it clear that they knew the coins were stolen. Rock and a hard place.