The $20 Saint-Gaudens is generally considered one of the most beautiful coins ever created. Also known as the Double Eagle for its gold content which is twice that of the $10 Eagle (about 1/2oz of gold), this makes $20 Saint-Gaudens coin almost one ounce of pure gold.
Like the Morgan Silver Dollar, the Saint-Gaudens has the distinction of sharing its name of the coin’s designer, in this case Irish-born American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Other notable accomplishments of Saint-Gaudens include the $10 “Indian Head” Gold Eagle and the equestrian statue of William Tecumseh Sherman standing in New York’s Central Park.
The Double Eagle was produced by the U.S. Mint from 1907 to 1933 and features quite an illustrious history:
In an effort to raise the aesthetic quality of American coinage, in 1904 the president Theodore Roosevelt sought out the young designer Saint-Gaudens, much to the consternation of the Mint’s Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber: Thus increasing a conflict between Saint-Gaudens and Barber, who’d already shared a contentious history. Legend was that Barber owed his position to his father, the previous Chief Engraver, and saw the talented younger designers thriving under him as threats. As the story goes, much conflict of egos and claims of undeserved merit would plague his career. Revisionists have argued that both Saint-Gaudens and Charles Barber were talents in their own right but just couldn’t find an effective way of communicating.
The competitive friction between the two men would be short-lived – before the coin was issued, Saint-Gaudens would die suddenly in 1907 from colon cancer. The coin would be finalized without him.
Other changes: The motto In God We Trust was omitted from the original design at President Roosevelt’s request. Because of his traditional understanding of scripture, Roosevelt believed that adding the word God to money was sacrilege. An act of Congress in mid-1908 as a response to a flurry of citizens’ complaints reversed the omission. The word was added but not before one and a half years of coinage and almost five million coins were struck without the motto. After, many of the original production were lost due to meltings following the nation’s abandonment of the Gold Standard.
The Double Eagle Saint-Gaudens would go on to be not only one of the world’s most famous coins, but also one that today occupies two places in the world’s Top 5 Most Expensive Coins Sold at Auction.
The Gold $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gives everyone from bullion investors to high-end collectors an opportunity to add a substantial collectible coin to their portfolio. Historically, this coin has been in such demand that many of the investment quality and rare coins acquired by our clients have shown on average double digit returns on investment!
Other notable features of the Double Eagle Saint-Gaudens:
- A coin also referred to as a Double Eagle was minted from 1849-1907 with a personification of Liberty on the obverse and an eagle and shield on the reverse; it was designed by James B. Longacre and was the coin Roosevelt sought to replace with Saint-Gaudens’ design
- The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is the number one collected and invested series in Pre-Modern Gold Coins today
- At the request of President Roosevelt, who’d been impressed by coins of Alexander the Great, coins with a high relief were struck; a limited number of coins were produced as such coins are difficult to stack and subject to damage and technically difficult to produce on a mass scale; Charles E. Barber, the Mint engraver, insisted on a lower relief version and so high relief was replaced with a “business issue”
- Other variations included the use of Roman numerals with the first issues in 1907 – this would change later that year to Arabic numerals; also, when New Mexico and Arizona became states in 1912, the number of stars along the rim was increased from 46 to 48
- Roman numerals were returned for the mintage of Gold American Eagles in 1986 -1991; these are the only instances of Roman numerals on U.S. coinage
- In 1986, the U.S. Treasury again used Saint-Gaudens’ Liberty design on the obverse of American Eagle gold bullion coins, where it has since remained
Mint State Gold proudly offers our clients a comprehensive selection of $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins graded by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) – two leading industry bodies whose standards are universally accepted. We also have beautiful ungraded coins in Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) and AU (About Uncirculated) condition.
To learn more about the Double Eagle Saint-Gaudens and see how it could fit into your investment portfolio, please contact us here and an experienced Mint State Gold representative will be happy to assist you anyway we can.
|Purity||90% Gold and 10% Copper|
|Year(s) Minted||1907 to 1933|
|Where Minted||Philadelphia/Denver/ San Francisco|
|Composition||0.9675oz AGW and 0.1075oz Copper|
|Total Weight||1.075 troy oz|
|Strike Type(s)||Business / Proof|