1909-D Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC MS65+

This Saint is Tough!

The 1909-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle is a better date, due to its small mintage of 52,500 coins. The surviving population is estimated at roughly 1,200 coins, of which the finest pieces either came from South American holdings or were preserved by a few numismatists from the Mint Cashier. European coins were usually jostled in storage, making low grades the norm from that source. The NGC population is a mere 1 with 2 higher.

Offered at $33,925 delivered

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1907 Wire Edge High Relief Pair

A Grade Lower Than Yesterday’s

The 1907 High Reliefs with Roman Numerals in the date, is acknowledged as the most beautiful design ever employed on a circulation-strike U.S. coin. They were the result of a lengthy collaboration between famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who was encouraged to develop the design by President Theodore Roosevelt, and Chief Engraver Charles Barber of the Philadelphia Mint.  Each coin required three blows from the 150-ton medal press to completely bring up the design, and the planchets had to be annealed between each blow. The average time needed to strike each individual coin was 12 minutes, clearly too slow to strike any large number of coins. As a result, only 12,367 pieces were reportedly produced.

Offered at $16,350 each delivered

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1914 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle PCGS MS65

Rare Gem

The low-mintage 1914 double eagle was struck to the extent of 95,250 coins for circulation, with 49 of those destroyed for assay purposes. Roger Burdette reports virtually the entire production was shipped to banks or subtreasuries. A number of those coins must have eventually made their way overseas, as 3,500 or so examples have been repatriated over the years, accounting for nearly the entire surviving population of 1914 double eagles. Usually, these are seen in MS62 to MS64 with Gems being rare and Premium Gems practically unavailable. Only 8 have been graded higher by PCGS, 3 of which are MS65+ examples.

Offered at $18,550 delivered

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1929 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle PCGS MS64

One of THE Keys

With a combined certified population of just over 300 coins and no significant foreign holdings having surfaced in the past several decades, the 1929 remains an elusive “melt rarity” and one of the key late-series issues. While some researchers believe as many as 1,750 pieces may exist, a recent review of Mint records indicate a maximum possible survivorship of 1,176 pieces, before any attrition. The rest of the 1929 double eagles (more than 1.6 million coins) were cast into .900 fine gold bars and sent to Fort Knox. One has to believe that no great hoards of the 1929 twenty remain to be found. It is, however, the most-available date of the late-series twenties (1929-1933) when all grades are taken into consideration.

Offered at $46,750 delivered

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1907 High Relief Double Eagle – NGC PR65

Gem Proof

No official records have surfaced to document the striking of Proof High Reliefs.  However, David Akers, and many other numismatists have gone on record as believing a small number were struck, and NGC has certified some with specific die characteristics, as proofs (PCGS does not recognize the existence of proof High Reliefs at this time). According to Scott Schechter/NGC: The coins exhibit crisp strikes and distinctive satin surfaces, with heavy, swirling die polish lines, and are struck from the earliest state of one specific die pair. The most easily recognized feature is the edge lettering, as all proofs were struck using the same collar used to strike the Ultra High Relief double eagles, with a raised collar-segment line between the S in PLURIBUS and a star. This example is lighter and brighter than it appears in our images.

Offered at $60,375 delivered

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1921 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC AU58

Very Rare, Nearly Mint State

The 1921 Saint-Gaudens double eagle is one of the major rarities in the series, despite an innocuous-sounding mintage of 528,500 coins. But the issue is the only gold coin the United States struck during the year. The date was not exported for international trade; neither did it circulate in the United States. Rather, the coins stayed in Treasury vaults until the 1930s, when they were melted in the great extinction event of the era, the Gold Recall of 1933. Examples are absent in overseas holdings returned to the States, and no domestic hoards have been uncovered. It is likely that no more than 175 examples of the issue survive in all grades.

Offered at $78,950 delivered

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1916-S Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC MS66+

Only 3 Graded Higher

Only San Francisco produced double eagles in 1916. Almost the entire mintage was initially put into storage, but quantities were later exported for trade, mainly to South America and Asia. In 1916, the United States exported more than $100 million worth of gold coin. Today, the 1916-S double eagle is moderately elusive in MS66 condition, and NGC lists only four MS66+ examples (including this one) with just 3 graded higher.

Offered at $12,250 delivered

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1907 Wire Edge High Relief $20 PCGS MS64

Still Worth Way Over Melt

Often called the most beautiful American coin design, the Saint-Gaudens double eagle exhibited intricate treatment of the drapery and equal depth of the reverse design, rendering a three-dimensional appearance rarely seen on American coins before or since. Barbara Baxter writes in her chapter on “Coins and Medals” published in Augustus Saint-Gaudens 1848-1907, A Master of American Sculpture: Saint-Gaudens coins and medals set a new standard for American numismatic art, and the precedent that he established resulted in the commissioning of other professional artists, notably his former associates Bela Lyon Pratt, James Earle Fraser, and A.A. Weinman, to redesign other denominations of the coinage. Listed at $25,400 in the CDN CPG and $25,000 in the PCGS price guide.

Offered at $23,650 delivered

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1911 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle PCGS MS65+

Satiny Sashaying Saint

The 1911 claims one of the few mintages of less than 200,000 coins, but the story of its availability is similar to that of other issues in the series. Most examples were exported to European markets, either directly from New York to London or through Ottawa, Canada. Those pieces that avoided melting overseas were subjected to rough handling, explaining why nearly all 1911 double eagles are found in MS64 or lower condition. Gems such as this, are scarce. The PCGS population is only 14 with 19 higher. Listed at $21,500 in the PCGS price guide.

Offered at $18,975 delivered

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Three 1907 High Reliefs PCGS MS61, 62 and 63

One-zee, Two-zee, Three-zee

The 1907 High Relief Double Eagle is one of the most popular coins ever struck by the United States Mint. The coins are sculptural in appearance and are considered by many to be the most beautiful regular issue gold coin ever produced. 

Wire Edge PCGS MS61 (PCGS price guide $17,500) Offered at $14,850
Flat Edge PCGS MS62 (PCGS price guide $19,000) Offered at $16,975
Wire Edge PCGS MS63 (PCGS price guide $23,500) Offered at $20,950

Unfortunately, the design was also impractical and redesigned by Charles Barber later in the year. The date is given in Roman numerals (the coins nickname by some) and lacks the Motto, IN GOD WE TRUST. President Roosevelt believed that money could easily be used for ungodly pursuits such as gambling and thus the name of the Lord should not be used on coinage. 

The 1907 High Relief is categorized by most as either Wire Rim or Flat Rim. The coins are identical except for raised metal around the rims. This is probably the result of some tinkering by the Mint while they struggled to produce coins with such extreme relief. 

Around the late 1960s or early 1970s experts began to describe certain 1907 High Relief Double Eagles as Proof. These coins are certainly different, but not exactly like the latter Proof Double Eagles of the series. There are no mintage figures and the origins of the coins are a mystery. The coins have deep swirling die lines and exhibit a satiny surface similar to the Roman finish Proof gold coins. A fairly large number exist and it is my opinion that they are the result of experimentation with the new design by Mint employees. 

Many, if not the great majority of the original mintage was saved when the 1907 High Reliefs were issued. Thousands still exist and most seen are in some form of Mint State. Gem examples can easily be purchased if budget permits. A few nearly flawless examples are known. The finest High Relief graded by NGC is a PR 69 that sold for $534,000 in 2005.

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