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    Flat Rim 1907 High Relief Twenty, MS65
    Highly Lustrous Surfaces

    1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS65 NGC. The animosity between chief engraver Charles Barber and Mint outsider Augustus Saint-Gaudens is well-known and much has been written over the years about friction between the two. When Stack's sold the Charles Barber specimen of the Saint-Gaudens High Relief in December 1980, they included a transcript of a letter from Barber's daughter, Mrs. Edith Barber Moseley. The letter, written many years after Barber's death, demonstrates just how pervasive the animosity was between the chief engraver and the sculptor.

    "The original attempt [to strike Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles] was an utter failure and the whole thing would have had to be abandoned if my Father had not stepped into the breach, and after long exhausting effort, made it possible to strike the gold coins; but the awkwardness of the whole design was impossible to keep, and the coins have never found favor."

    Put in its kindest terms, that is certainly a contrarian viewpoint of the Saint-Gaudens' design for the double eagle. It is safe to say that the overwhelming majority of numismatists disagree with Ms. Moseley's opinion of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' design for the twenty dollar gold piece. The Mint today obviously disagrees as well since the Saint-Gaudens design was resurrected in 1986 for bullion coins and has been in continuous use since. Even the Ultra High Relief was recently restruck in 2009.
    This is an example of the slightly modified design, most likely struck in December 1907. The wire rim or "fin" as it is known in Mint parlance, was viewed as a design flaw. Again, modern collectors disagree with views from a century ago. Nevertheless, the wire rim was virtually eliminated on the High Reliefs that were struck in the later stages of the production run, and such coins are probably four to five times scarcer than their Wire Rim counterparts. This is an exceptional Flat Rim. The surfaces glow with mint luster that borders on a frosted, rather than the usual satin finish. There are no observable contact marks and the striking details are fully brought up on each side. This is a rare opportunity for the collector of these scarce and beautifully designed coins.(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
    June, 2011
    2nd-5th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,451

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) 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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