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    Gem MCMVII Flat Rim High Relief

    1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS65 NGC. Scholarship in U.S. numismatics keeps growing at an ever-increasing pace. Just when it seems that there are no more unexplored areas, a new ground-breaking work is published. Recently, two books were published by Roger Burdette with the common title Renaissance of American Coinage. One volume covered the period from 1916-1921 and the other 1905-1908. In the latter book, he quotes from a letter from Mint Superintendent Landis to Director Leach dated December 6, 1907, concerning the "problem" of the wire rim or burr on the High Relief twenties.

    "I was exceedingly humiliated today to have the Secretary of the Treasury call attention to the excessive burr, or fin, on one of the new double eagle pieces now being distributed.
    "I was also surprised to find so many of these defective coins in a bag as I saw in the Treasurer's office here.
    I gave explicit orders when in Philadelphia that such coins should not be delivered, and directed the man who seemed to have the coins in charge to see that the same should all be gone over and the bad ones laid aside.
    "I wish you to make [an] investigation and see why my instructions were not carried out, and if there was any negligence or carelessness, who is to blame."

    Clearly, Mint personnel at the highest levels saw the fin, burr, or as we know it today the "wire rim" as a minting flaw and sought to correct it. It was not seen as an aesthetic addition to the coin and was a source of "humiliation" as Landis indicated. In the hundred years since that time, attitudes of collectors have appreciably changed; and, in fact, it was not long after striking that collectors began to appreciate the difference between the Wire Rim and Flat Rim variants of these beautiful coins. While exact numbers are not known, it was not until December 20, toward the end of the production run for High Reliefs (in December), that Charles Barber and other members of the engraving staff completely eliminated the fin on High Reliefs.
    The present satiny yellow-gold Gem has a beautifully unabraded appearance and is essentially void of carbon. The strike is exquisite throughout the devices, with no sign of flatness on Liberty's raised knee or on the crest of the eagle's front wing. An exceptional High Relief, and part of a limited run of coins that have an interesting story behind it.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9136)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2008
    16th-18th Wednesday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,217

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse and Steven Duckor Collections
    Revised Edition by Roger Burdette, and edited by James L. Halperin and Mark Van Winkle

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles is an issue-by-issue examination of this 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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    We also followed the bidding online yesterday here in Salt Lake for the other 3 coins - great fun. Prices realized met or exceeded our expectations.
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