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Judge To Decide Whether To Accept Gypsy Treasure For Bail

Family Offered Ancestral Gold Coins, Jewelry To Cover $50,000 Bail
A view of buildings on Rikers Island penitentiary complex (file/credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

A view of buildings on Rikers Island penitentiary complex (file/credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A gypsy family posting bail for an inmate at Rikers Island has to wait to see if a judge will accept the unique form of currency they offered.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Judge Charles Solomon will decide whether gypsy treasure is an acceptable form of posting bail.

The family of Tom Eli, 41, offered up ancestral gold to secure Eli’s freedom. Eli’s being held on $50,000 bail on an assault charge.

Eli’s father came to court with a bag of antique gold coins and jewelry passed down from generation to generation since the 1800s.

An appraiser valued the coins as being worth $107,060, which is more than enough to cover the bail, Cornell reported.

The judge said he knows all about stamps as a one-time serious collector but nothing about gold.

“How do I know that this gold is what you say it is?” the judge questioned.

Judge Solomon insisted that the defense bring in the appraiser to answer all his questions.

“It would be much easier if you’d just come in with a bag of $50,000 cash,” Judge Solomon told the defendant’s father.

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