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Gem 1907 Saint-Gaudens Twenty
High Relief, Wire Rim
Extraordinary Luster and Eye Appeal

1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS65 PCGS. As most numismatists are well aware, the new 1907 ten and twenty dollar gold coins were the result of the collaboration between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Theodore Roosevelt. Without the combination of their skills and personalities, it is likely that these spectacular coins never would have been minted. A look at the correspondence between the artist and president can make for interesting--and very informative--reading.
We see, for example, how obsessed Roosevelt was with the redesign of the nation's coinage. On January 6, 1906, he wrote to Saint-Gaudens:

"I have seen [Treasury Secretary] Shaw about the coinage and told him that it was my pet baby. We will try it anyway, so you go ahead. Shaw was really very nice about it. Of course, he thinks I am a crack-brained lunatic on the subject ... ."

Similarly, Saint-Gaudens' devotion to the project, particularly to making objets d'art, is evident in his letters to the president. On May 28, 1906, he wrote:

"I have sent a practical man to Washington to obtain all the details necessary for the carrying out of our scheme, but if you succeed in getting the best of the polite Mr. Barber down there, or the others in charge, you will have done a greater work than putting through the Panama Canal. Nevertheless, I shall stick at it, even until death."

Sadly, Augustus Saint-Gaudens passed away on August 3, 1907, before he ever saw his coins in circulation. Roosevelt did not let the project die with the great artist, and numismatists can be grateful that he ordered the 1907 High Relief twenties to be coined, despite the Mint's objections. Recent research indicates that 12,367 pieces were struck. These coins are among the most beloved in all of numismatics.
The present example is a magnificent Gem that lives up to the high aspirations of the president and the artist. The striking details are sharply impressed, except for some characteristic weakness on the reverse sun. The deep green-gold surfaces are awash with satiny mint luster. No mentionable distractions are evident on either side. Overall visual appeal is outstanding.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9135)

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Auction Dates
August, 2010
11th-15th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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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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