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    MCMVII Saint-Gaudens Twenty, MS67
    High Relief, Wire Rim Type
    Limited Mintage of 12,367 Pieces

    1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS67 NGC. As early as 1874, an article in the New York Times indicated the clear conflict ahead in American art:

    "The method of art is toilsome and slow, and the lack of repose and patience in the American character ill fits it to submit to the hard discipline of the many years of study needed to lay a solid foundation of knowledge."


    This duality was clearly evident in the sculpture of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It took him 11 years to complete the Sherman Memorial. Fortunately, the figure of Liberty from that group was one he could more easily adapt to numismatic purposes after he was commissioned to redesign the nation's coinage in the early 20th century. Still, Saint-Gaudens worked on the ten and twenty dollar designs from early 1905 until he died in early August 1907. Undoubtedly, the High Relief double eagles would never have been struck because of the impracticability of their design unless President Roosevelt had directly intervened and demanded they be produced, regardless of the amount of time needed to strike a single coin. The attention to detail is readily apparent on the figure of Liberty, a figure Saint-Gaudens repeatedly reworked in order to achieve the best simulation of the windswept appearance of Liberty's gown. Even after he attained a figure as close to perfection as possible for the Sherman Memorial, the adapted figure for the obverse of the double eagle required even more extensive reworking. In late August 1907 production began in the Mint of the High Relief twenties and continued through the end of the year, using all the Mint's hydraulic presses (usually reserved for striking medals). Still, at the end of the year only 12,367 High Reliefs were coined.

    The High Reliefs struck early in the striking period show a high fin, or Wire Rim, around the circumference of the coin, the result of metal squeezing through the narrow gap between the dies and the collar during the striking process. This feature was considered problematic by cashiers and bank tellers, as it was feared the coins would not stack properly for counting purposes. Additionally, the thin gold fin would quickly wear down in circulation, causing the coins to be underweight. Mint technicians worked hard to eliminate the fin by adjusting the dimensions and upset angle of the planchets. They finally succeeded in correcting the problem by mid-December and coins struck after that time have a Flat Edge. About 70% of High reliefs in today's market are of the Wire Rim type, but collectors prize both types equally. These scarce sculptural coins have maintained their popularity with collectors since they were struck more than a century ago.

    The present coin exhibits razor-sharp definition on the central design elements and a high Wire Rim is more pronounced on the obverse. No mentionable distractions are evident on the basined orange-gold surfaces, which show some fine swirling die polish lines in the fields. Both sides are awash in radiant satiny mint luster, with tremendous eye appeal. This iconic Superb Gem should find a home in the finest collection or Registry Set. Census: 6 in 67, 1 finer (11/19).
    From The Sakura Collection. (Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9135)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    View all of [The Sakura Collection ]

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
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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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