Re: OT; Wikipedia & Aqua Regia - OT, Stamp Collections

From: Bob Maxey ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/29/05-03:00:18 AM Z
Message-id: <BAY5-DAV7CB2D513A1A7BFB529CA0E66A0@phx.gbl>

> When Germany invaded Denmark in World War II, the Hungarian chemist
> George de Hevesy dissolved the gold Nobel Prizes of Max von Laue and
> James Franck into aqua regia to prevent the Nazis from stealing them. He
> placed the resulting solution on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels
> Bohr Institute. After the war, he returned to find the solution
> undisturbed and precipitated the gold out of the acid. The Nobel Society
> then recast the Nobel Prizes using the original gold."

Outsmarting the Nazis was not limited to George de Hevesy. I recall a story about a (at the time) highly successful stamp dealer that immigrated to NYC. He was a postal history and cover collector and dealer. He simply let the Germans assume the letters in his pocket were letters to or from his family.

What the Germans did not realize is the value of the collection was considerable. They are worth far more these days.

Then there was the manufacturer and collector of marbled endpapers that got his collection and stock out of Germany by using these papers as wrapping paper for toys. The Germans had nary a clue as to their true value. Actually, several collectors used these papers as wrapping over the years. At least that is how the story goes.

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Received on Sat Oct 29 03:35:29 2005

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