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Lot
3260

1907 $20 Arabic Numerals MS67 PCGS. By June 20, 1907, Saint-Gaudens and Roosevelt had agreed that the double eagle should b...

2007 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #422

 
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Auction Ended On: Jan 4, 2007
Item Activity: 5 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Orlando, FL
Description:
Stunning MS67 1907 Low Relief Saint-Gaudens Twenty
1907 $20 Arabic Numerals MS67 PCGS. By June 20, 1907, Saint-Gaudens and Roosevelt had agreed that the double eagle should be struck in low relief and with the date in European digits. The sculptor's assistant, Henry Hering, was supposed to begin work on low relief models right away, but when Roosevelt decided to have a separate design for the ten dollar coin, everything was put aside so that new models could be prepared. The result was that nothing was done about the double eagle until after Saint-Gaudens died. By mid-August, with the president fuming at further delay, and no low relief twenty dollar models ready, Hering at last began the work. His sculpting went quickly and by September 20 he had completed the third and last set of double eagle models. These were sent to Philadelphia where reductions and hubbing were begun immediately. Had these low relief models been delivered in a timely manner, it is possible the entire 1907 issue of double eagles would have come from these models. It is also possible that there would have been no High Relief coins with Roman numeral date.
Barber made working dies and struck a few samples, but quickly realized that much of the fine detail had been lost in the process. Hering was called to the mint and the problem was discussed at length, but resulted in Hering doing nothing. With President Roosevelt demanding gold for circulation use, Director Leach and Charles Barber agreed to alter the hubs that had already been made. Much of his work consisted of re-engraving details lost during reduction of the final models. Using the High Relief version as a guide and his own judgment as to line depth, Barber succeeded in making changes in a manner that has proven elusive until the present. According to recent research by Roger Burdette, we now know that circulation dies came from Hering's plaster model, with European date, after Barber retouched the original hub. Thus, it is now known that the High Relief and Low Relief coins originated with different design models.
Imparting edge lettering under volume production conditions took considerable experimentation. The first 8,000 Low Relief twenties had to be destroyed, and it was not until December 6 that 15,000 acceptable pieces were struck. The new Low Relief coins were officially released on December 13. The coiner reported striking 361,667 new double eagles through the end of 1907.
Superb examples are rarely seen of the 1907 Low Relief. The present example is among the finest certified by both PCGS and NGC. Only five other PCGS coins have been certified in MS67 and eight have been so graded by NGC, with none finer at either service (10/06). The frosted surfaces show a light overlay of reddish patina with a fine granularity around the margins from slight metal flow. Fully struck throughout, with complete definition on the pillars of the Capitol building, there are no mentionable or noticeable marks on either side of this magnificent first-year issue.
From The Kutasi Collection.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 26F5, PCGS# 9141)

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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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