The Augustus Saint-Gaudens designed $20 double eagle gold piece was introduced in 1907, and ran until the abolition of circulating gold coins in the United States in 1933. A collaboration between the world-famous sculptor and the dynamic US President Theodore Roosevelt, the Saint-Gaudens double eagle ushered in an era of coin designs that was heralded as the Renaissance of American coinage.
The Saint-Gaudens double eagle won popular acclaim as the most beautiful of all US coin designs upon its introduction, and enjoys the same popularity today. The $20 Saint-Gaudens double eagle gold coins we offer here are authenticated and graded at Mint State (MS) 62 by one of the two largest and most trusted third-party coin grading services in the world.
The Saint-Gauden $20 Gold Double Eagle
The $20 double eagle gold coin that debuted in 1907 was the first US coin in history to be designed by someone other than an Engraver at the US Mint in Philadelphia. Theodore Roosevelt, who won reelection as President in 1904, made a total reworking of US coinage a personal goal.
Since Charles Barber, the man who had designed the most-used coins that Roosevelt impugned as exhibiting “atrocious hideousness”, was still the Chief Engraver at the US Mint, the President pushed the Treasury Department to bring in outside talent: namely, Roosevelt’s friend and world-famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Though already ill from the cancer that would soon kill him, Saint-Gaudens dove into the task of redesigning every single coin produced by the US. While the old master refined the designs, his assistant, Henry Hering, performed the actual sculpting. After many trials and tribulations between the artists and the recalcitrant Chief Engraver, the double eagle design was ready for production. Sadly, cancer claimed Saint-Gaudens before he could see the fruits of his labors.
The obverse captures Saint-Gaudens' depiction of Liberty striding forward with a torch of enlightenment and olive branch of peace in her hands. Behind Liberty the sun's rays shine over the United States Capitol building. 46 stars that represent the 46 states of 1907 travel along the rim of the coin, with “LIBERTY” written at the top and and the mint date at the bottom. (Charles Barber added two more stars in the lower right of the design in 1912, when Arizona and New Mexico became states.)
The reverse image is an eagle soaring before a rising sun and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TWENTY DOLLARS” inscribed across the top. Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagles minted after 1908 have the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” added to the bottom of the reverse. “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is written around the edge of every Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle.
Who Are NGC and PCGS?
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) was founded in 1987, and is the world’s largest third-party grading service. It has graded more than 40 million coins of all types. The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) was founded in 1986 and provides authentication and grading services for coins from more than 100 different nations.
Any coin graded by either of these two services are guaranteed authentic, and guaranteed to not be over-graded..
What Is MS 62?
A grade of Mint State 62 denotes a coin that has never seen circulation, which means there is no wear on the fields. A grade of 62 indicates that the coin has an average or a slightly weak strike, and bears numerous marks or hairlines from being stored in canvas bags at the Mint, Treasury Department, or commercial bank vaults.