Relief Saint Gaudens Double Eagles have long been considered
America’s most beautiful coin; however, even the low
relief coins that Charles Barber modified have had lasting
beauty and appeal. The modern Gold American Eagle bullion
program uses a modification of the Saint
Gaudens Double Eagle low relief design, and it is exceedingly
popular with investors as a replacement for the Union of
South Africa Krugerrand.
The coinage began in 1907
with the Ultra High Relief pattern coins. These are so rare
that they are virtually unavailable today with 15 certified
by both major grading services, and this number does not
account for resubmissions and crossovers. The High
Relief Saint Gaudens Double Eagle coins followed in
the same year. With a mintage of 12,367, they are available
to collectors and investors today. Some of the Saint
Gaudens Double Eagle coins have a “wire rim”
and others a “flat rim.” The former is caused
by extra metal being squeezed out between the dies and collar
causing a rim or flange around most of one or both sides.
The coins also have a lettered edge. E PLURIBUS UNUM is
on the edge with stars dividing the words.
Low relief Saint
Gaudens Double Eagle coins were also issued in 1907.
They continued until 1933, when all gold production stopped.
The low relief coins had Arabic numerals for the date instead
of the Roman numerals seen on the previous two issues. In
1908, despite President Roosevelt’s preferences to
the contrary, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the
reverse. In 1912 two stars were added to the obverse of
the coin to correspond with the new states added to the
Union.In addition to regular issues, proof Saint
Gaudens Double Eagle coins, while rare, are available
to collectors and investors. They were issued, aside from
the High Relief pieces, from 1908 to 1915. Proof coins of
the time came in several different finishes: matte, sand
blast, and satin or Roman finish.
"IN GOD WE TRUST"
OMITTED FROM REVERSE (1907-1908)
Ultra High Reliefs- not available to most collectors with
only 14 certified, the finest of which are 2 in PR69;
High Reliefs- 2 types Wire Rim and Flat Rim, both available
most grades including Mint State, the finest certified
Wire Rim is a single MS69 example, the finest certified
Flat Rim are 3 in MS68; and Arabic Numerals, common in
grades up to MS65, the finest certified is a single MS67+
example. NGC has certified 251 High Relief proofs the
finest of which are 2 in PF69; PCGS does not recognize
High Relief proofs. Arabic Numerals proofs come with Roman
or Matt finish, the finest certified are 5 in MS68. 1907
$20 High Relief NGC PF63