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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Gem 1908-D Motto Saint Gaudens Double Eagle NGC MS66

1908 D “Motto” Double Eagle Obverse

In 1908, Congress passed legislation to restore the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to the double eagle and other denominations, which had been omitted by Saint-Gaudens and President Roosevelt during the designing process in 1907. The motto was incorporated into the rays above the sun on the reverse. Double eagle coinage at Denver in 1908 included more than 663,000 No Motto coins and 349,500 With Motto pieces. The latter type is available through MS65 but is conditionally elusive in MS66 condition. The NGC census stands at just 7 with 7 higher. NGC price guide is $23,000


1908 D “Motto” Double Eagle Reverse

Offered at $17,250 delivered

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