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    Exceptional Gem MCMVII High Relief, Wire Rim

    1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS65 PCGS. The scene is a museum, a thousand years in the future. A sign outside one gallery, in a language nobody today could read, labels it "American Art." Along with paintings and sculptures are a few examples of coins from the United States. What would be included? A Buffalo nickel is not hard to imagine, with its rugged, yet artistic design. A Morgan or Peace dollar might represent silver coinage. The true centerpiece, though, might be a High Relief Saint-Gaudens double eagle, should the museum be fortunate enough to own one.
    Many numismatists would agree with the assessment, including several experts who consider the High Relief double eagle to be the pinnacle of United States coin design. Despite his criticism that they were "[a]lmost overt in their dependence on Hellenistic antiquity," Cornelius Vermeule wrote in Numismatic Art in America: Aesthetics of United States Coinage that, along with his design for the eagle, the "...twenty-dollar gold coins designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens still managed to emerge as perhaps the greatest statements of Americanism in the official minor arts."
    The present example, remarkably well-preserved with magnificent eye appeal, reinforces this conviction. This pleasingly lustrous yellow-gold Gem has peach accents in the fields and pale green accents on and near the devices. The multiple strikes, which reinforce the medallic qualities inherent in the design, have brought out many delicate details not visible on later, lower-relief pieces, such as the fine lines on Liberty's robe, though certain areas, such as the Capitol building, lack some definition. A partial wire rim is visible from 3 o'clock to 6 o'clock on the obverse and corresponding area on the reverse. This remarkable coin, sure to be a prized addition to any collection, is housed in a green label holder.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9135)

    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
    October, 2006
    24th-25th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,511

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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    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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