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1907 Flat Rim High Relief Twenty, MS61
Bright and Satiny

1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS61 NGC. Augustus Saint-Gaudens was a notoriously slow worker. The Sherman group, from which he adapted the figure Liberty for the High Relief twenty, took him 11 years to complete. Then the adaptation he used for the twenty dollar gold piece took another two and a half years. Saint-Gaudens humorously recognized this tendency to endlessly alter his works, and always strive for perfection. According to his son, Homer, "He used to say that he would have been absorbed beyond measure in watching Phidias, the [ancient] sculptor of fame, experimenting with the tiny holes he bore in the eyelids of his statues in order to insert gold eyelashes." With a cumulative 13 ½ years of work on both the Sherman group and the figure of Liberty for the High Relief, the figural element on the coin was as perfect as any that has ever been placed on a coin. And it shows. The High Relief twenty is as close to true art as any coin ever produced.

Refinement continued even after the design and models were turned over to the Mint for production. Once striking began, it was quickly seen that the massive pressure these coins were struck with produced an extruded rim around each side. Mint employees strove to eliminate the wire rim, but were seldom completely able to and most High Reliefs show some remnant of the "fin" or wire rim. This particular coin shows very little of it and close examination is required. The bright, satiny yellow-gold surfaces show a few scattered contact marks, explaining the grade. However, the overall appearance is quite nice and the coin is suggestive of an even higher grade.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9136)

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Auction Dates
August, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Morse and Duckor Collections
Revised Edition by James L. Halperin, Mark R. Borckardt, Mark Van Winkle, Jon Amato, and Gregory J. Rohan, with special contributor David W. Akers

The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is an issue-by-issue examination of these two artistically inspired series of gold coins. Each date and mintmark is reviewed with up-to-date information, much of which has never been previously published. The book is based on two extraordinary collections: The Phillip H. Morse collection and the Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor collection.

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