Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Coins - 1 oz. (1907 - 1933) ~ $20 Face Value MS-65

Quick Overview

In 1905, while touring the Smithsonian Institute, President Theodore Roosevelt marveled at the ancient Greek coinage on display and asked himself why American coinage seemed so "bland." Compared to Greek coinage, Roosevelt felt that our nation's coins were "artistically of atrocious hideousness." The beauty of the classic Greek coins crystallized his decision to launch new designs for the whole range of U.S. coins.
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Details

In 1905, while touring the Smithsonian Institute, President Theodore Roosevelt marveled at the ancient Greek coinage on display and asked himself why American coinage seemed so "bland." Compared to Greek coinage, Roosevelt felt that our nation's coins were "artistically of atrocious hideousness." The beauty of the classic Greek coins crystallized his decision to launch new designs for the whole range of U.S. coins.
Roosevelt felt that coins were more than round bits of metal--he felt that they reflected a country's greatness. By 1905, America had grown to become the most powerful nation on earth. Roosevelt wanted to see coin designs that would reflect America's pre-eminent status.
The president contacted the artist who had created his 1905 inauguration medallion, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. He asked the aging sculptor to produce a new series of coins. For a fee of $5,000, Saint-Gaudens agreed to produce a variety of coins similar to the ancient Greek coins which Roosevelt admired.
Unfortunately, Saint-Gaudens died of cancer before his task was completed, but his majestic Double Eagle $20 gold piece is considered to be the most beautiful coin of all time and, to this day, it is the most famous of all of Saint-Gaudens' works of art.
On the obverse of the coin, Liberty is portrayed striding toward the viewer into the dawn of a new day. In her right hand is a torch held aloft, and in her left hand is an olive branch. The Capitol building can be seen in the background to the lower left.

Coin Specifications:
DESIGNER: Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Finish/Condition: Circulated, Proof
Metal Content: 90% gold, 10% copper
Weight: 33.346 grams
Face Value: $20
Diameter: 34.00mm
Edge: Lettered
Issue Date: 1907-1916, 1920-1933

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