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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.
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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