1907 High Relief Double Eagle, Wire
Rim NGC MS64. With a mintage of 12,367 coins for circulation
this is the first collectable St. Gaudens double eagle.
The majority (approximately 2/3 of the mintage) shows
a wire rim, such as the present coin. This rim, called
a fin in Mint records can clearly be seen on the present
The St. Gaudens double eagle are regarded to be among
the most beautiful of all American coinage. The first
issues, technically patterns, were struck in ultra
high relief. These are extremely rare, with only an
estimated 18 to 20 pieces still known to exist. After
the production of these pattern pieces, the designer,
Augustus St. Gaudens passed away. As the ultra high
relief coins brought too many problems, the relief
was lowered. Yet, the beauty of the design was still
there, and a true tribute to the designer.
After the first pieces were struck it soon became
apparent that 3 blows from the press were needed to
bring the details up to the necessary sharpness. As
these gold coins needed high speed production, it
was decided to strike a limited number of the high
relief pieces. After the present coin was struck,
the relief was lowered again and with a few minor
adjustments, this was the design that was used for
coinage until the end of the series in 1933.
One of those adjustments was obvious. The present
coin is one of the few US coins that does not have
the date in Arabic numerals. The date is in Roman
numerals, and appears as MCMVII. This is another factor
that has increased demand for these pieces of art,
which have been popular since their mintage.
Although not scarce in the absolute term, as an estimated
5,000 pieces still exist in all grades, with many
in Mint State, the prices have been fairly high. The
coin is needed in a basic type set in US coinage,
as well as in full sets of double eagles. As a result,
demand has increased, especially after the US Mint
decided to resurrect the design for their bullion
coins in 1986, and recently for another bullion coin
struck in ultra high relief, as the original patterns
for this issue.
The present offering represents an opportunity to
acquire a near gem example of this very popular issue.
Boldly struck, all details show full sharpness. The
color is a pleasing an original light yellow gold
color, and the surfaces are lustrous. A few tiny marks
under Liberty’s left arm are the only reason
that keeps this coin out of a higher holder, and even
these marks are not very obvious. A great example
of this popular and historic issue!