$20 Saint Gaudens Gold
America's most beautifully designed gold coin, the Saint Gaudens Double Eagle, succeeded the long lasting Liberty Head series in 1907. The Saints then remained until the very end which was 1933 when the rein of circulating gold coinage in America came to an end. For many reasons beyond just its looks this series is certainly one of the more popularly collected gold coins in American numismatics. The attractiveness of this coin and its name came to be when Augustus Saint-Gaudens was selected to redesign certain coinage under President Theodore Roosevelt’s directive. This was not the first nor last time new designs were made on American coinage for the sole purpose of the United States wanting to have the world’s most eye appealing money. Augustus Saint-Gaudens may not be overly well-known today but at the start of the 20th century he was one of America’s most famous and skilled sculptors. Saint-Gaudens overperformed his expectations to say the very least by anyone’s standards. The new Double Eagle had a busy design with much detail yet was in no way cluttered and every part of the coin truly complimented each other. The only design change for this coin was the quick addition of the IN GOID WE TRUST Motto which has left collectors with the No Motto type 1 and the With Motto type 2. The motto was only missing for under 2 years before it was added and remained for the rest of the 25 year duration. The Saint Gaudens Double Eagle was first struck in high relief format in which those coins are without a doubt that much more bold and beautiful. Although, mass production at the time could not sustain this method of design and striking so after barely a year the dies’ relief had to be lowered. The mintage for these 1907 high reliefs was cut off at just 12,000 which would end up being the lowest mintage for the entire series. Except at the time no one expected all the melting of certain issues making this series unique in that lower mintages does not correspond with greater rarity. There were proof strikes produced for this series from 1908 through 1915 which are all extremely scarce and valuable. As for the regular business strike coins that make up most of this series, they were minted in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Many issues in this series are worth just a slight premium over the gold value unless found in very high gem grades. The notable rarities in this series are numerous as all dates selected for mass melting now have astronomical numismatic value for those surviving examples. The 1933 Saint is a multimillion dollar coin and only one is legal to own in private hands. That leaves the 1927-D as the most rare date if you discount the 1933. This series has so much going for it and limitless ways for collectors and investors to acquire them.
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