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    Beautiful Satin Finish 1907 Proof High Relief Double Eagle

    1907 $20 High Relief PR 64 NGC. Augustus Saint-Gaudens first came to Theodore Roosevelt's attention when he designed the President's inaugural medal. The driving force behind the wholesale coinage redesign of the early 20th century, Roosevelt solicited the New Hampshire artist to prepare new designs for the eagle and double eagle. Saint-Gaudens chose to portray a standing representation of Liberty on the obverse of the double eagle, and a majestic flying eagle was selected for the reverse. The first coins produced with this design were the 24 Ultra High Relief patterns that the Philadelphia Mint produced in early 1907. Despite the awesome beauty of these coins, the Mint realized that this initial design was too difficult and costly to produce in business strike format. Sadly, Saint-Gaudens died on August 3 before he could help the Mint's staff lower the relief of his double eagle. The requisite work was carried out by Saint-Gaudens' assistant, Henry Hering, and the Mint produced 11,250 High Relief double eagles for circulation in the last two months of 1907.
    Unbeknownst to novice collectors, the Mint also struck an unknown, but presumably limited number of proof High Relief double eagles for presentation purposes. These coins display a satin finish, and two die varieties are known. Each of these die pairs was also coupled with a distinct collar. This particular coin does not display a small spine from the L in LIBERTY, and, as such, we assume that it was struck from the collar that displays uneven bases on the M in UNUM. (Of course, the NGC holder precludes confirmation of this.) This is Breen variety 2-D, Collar II.
    An impressive coin in all regards, both sides are remarkably hairline-free even for the PR 64 grade level. There are numerous die striations (as produced) in the fields, but we stress that these features are diagnostic of this issue. Both sides display a warm, honey-gold sheen that accents the uncommonly sharp striking detail. For pedigree purposes, we mention a small circular scrape in the obverse field above Liberty's right (facing) shoulder. (NGC ID# 28AX, PCGS# 9132)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2001
    4th-6th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 349
    The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Morse and Duckor Collections
    Revised Edition by James L. Halperin, Mark R. Borckardt, Mark Van Winkle, Jon Amato, and Gregory J. Rohan, with special contributor David W. Akers

    The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is an issue-by-issue examination of these two 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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