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    Outstanding Wire Rim MCMVII Double Eagle, MS65

    1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS65 PCGS. It is well known that Theodore Roosevelt was the catalyst for the redesign of American coinage in the early 20th century, and he played an active role throughout their production. His vision for American coinage provided much of Saint-Gaudens' inspiration for the 1907 High Relief double eagles that are so popular among collectors today. On November 6, 1905, after a visit to the Smithsonian Institution, the President wrote to Saint-Gaudens with "a suggestion." He continued,

    "It seems to me worth while to try for a really good coinage, though I suppose there will be a great revolt about it! I was looking at some gold coins of Alexander the Great today, and I was struck by their high relief. Would not it be well to have our coins on high relief, and also to have the rims raised? The point of having the rim raised would be, of course, to protect the figure on the coin; and if we have the figures in high relief, like the figures on the old Greek coins, they will surely last longer ..."


    Saint-Gaudens heartily embraced Roosevelt's idea and, after several setbacks, he created the remarkable high relief design for the double eagle. According to Philadelphia Mint Superintendent John Landis, the relief had to be reduced by about 20% so that the coins could be struck with only three blows to the die, as opposed to the seven originally required. Nonetheless, the result was a masterpiece of numismatic art. These pieces may not have been the most practical for commerce, but they are considered by many to be the most beautiful American coins ever issued.
    This Gem has remarkably clean surfaces, pronounced satiny mint luster, and the usual reddish patina seen on almost all original High Reliefs. Evidence of the numerous blows from the hydraulic press are evident as all the folds in the gown are complete and the lettering on the upper reverse is obviously separated from the rim. There are no obvious or mentionable contact marks on either side of this impressive piece. The wire rim appears to be complete around both sides, but it is difficult to say for certain as the holder partially obscures the rim on the obverse.
    From The Ralph P. Muller Collection.(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.

    View all of [The Ralph P. Muller Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,263

    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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