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1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS65
Prized High Relief Design
Popular Wire Rim Type

1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS65 NGC. From a limited mintage of 12,367 pieces, the 1907 High Relief Saint-Gaudens double eagle is considered to be the most beautiful regular-issue U.S. coin design by most numismatists. Unfortunately, the high relief of the design made striking the issue extremely difficult and time consuming. It required three blows from the 150-ton medal press to bring up the design features, with annealing between each blow. The average time to complete this process was 12 minutes per coin, clearly impractical for high volume modern coinage operations. After the small mintage of High Relief twenties was achieved, President Theodore Roosevelt felt vindicated in his desire to produce a modern U.S. coin that could rival the Greek coins of antiquity for aesthetic appeal and consented to having the design modified and the relief lowered to produce a more practical coin.

One unintended consequence of the complicated production process was that most coins had a high wire rim, or fin, around the edges of the coin, caused by metal extruding between the collar and the die during the repeated strikes from the press. This feature is seen on about 75% of the surviving population and it was considered detrimental at the time of issue because it made stacking the coins difficult. The dimensions and milling of the planchets were adjusted to eliminate the rim on later deliveries, but most early strikes, including the present coin, show the prominent rim. Over time, collectors have come to prize the Wire Rim type for its unique aesthetic appeal.

The present coin is a delightful Gem, with sharply detailed design elements and vibrant satiny mint luster. Swirling die polish lines are evident in the fields and the well-preserved reddish-gold surfaces show only minor signs of contact. Extraordinary eye appeal complements the high technical grade. NGC has graded 32 numerically finer examples (10/13).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9135)

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Auction Dates
December, 2013
5th-8th Thursday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,478

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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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