Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Significant examples

SAINT GAUDENS TWENTY DOLLARS OR
DOUBLE EAGLE (1907-1933)

1907 Ultra-High Relief Saint Gaudens Double Eagle
"IN GOD WE TRUST" OMITTED FROM REVERSE (1907-1908)
1907  Includes Ultra-High Reliefs, High Reliefs, and Arabic Numeral varieties
1908
1908-D
1912 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle

"IN GOD WE TRUST" ADDED TO REVERSE (1908-1933)

1908
1908-D
1908-S This date is as scarce as the low mintage suggests.
1909  Look for the 1909/8 over date.
1909-D
1909-S
1910
1910-D
1910-S
1911
1911-D
1911-S
1912
1913
1913-D
1913-S
1914
1914-D
1914-S
1915
1915-S
1916-S
1920
1920-S  Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1921 Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1922
1922-S
1923
1923-D
1924
1924-D
1924-S
1925 
1925-D
1925-S
1926
1926-D This date is tough to find.
1926-S
1927
1927-D An extreme rarity.
1927-S Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1928  Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1929 Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1930-S Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1931 Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1931-D  Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1932  Very rare - most appear to have been melted.
1933 None were placed into circulation and virtually the entire mintage was melted.  Only one example outside of government hands is legal to own.

Saint-Gaudens Low-Relief Double Eagles 1907-33

"Gauden's brilliance and renown brought him to the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt, and the two men developed a warm relationship that was at once both personal and professional. In 1905, Saint- Gaudens designed a handsome inaugural medal for the president. Pleased and impressed, Roosevelt then invited him to fashion prospective new designs for the two largest U.S. gold coins, the double eagle and eagle, and also for a one-cent piece (which never reached production). Saint-Gaudens welcomed the challenge and plunged into the project with all his prodigious energy and skill.

Both men admired the high-relief coinage of ancient Greece, and both agreed that U.S. gold coins patterned after that model would be a spectacular achievement. They would also stand in stark contrast to the two undistinguished-looking coins that were being replaced, the Liberty double eagle and the Coronet eagle, both of which had their roots in the first half of the 19th century.

Although his health was deteriorating as the project went along, Saint-Gaudens created superb designs for both gold coins. The double eagle, especially, is a masterpiece. Its obverse features a full-length portrait of Liberty with a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left. She is shown in full stride with rays of sunlight behind her and the U.S. Capitol Building to the left of her flowing gown. Encircling her are 46 stars-one for each state in the Union at that time. The coin's reverse depicts a breathtaking eagle in flight, with the sun below extending its rays upward. Above the eagle, in two semicircular tiers, are the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and TWENTY DOLLARS. High points to check for wear are Liberty's breast and knee and the eagle's wing.

Saint-Gaudens placed another required motto, E PLURIBUS UNUM, along the edge of the coin, thus reducing the clutter on the obverse and reverse and reinforcing their clean, open look. He and Roosevelt conspired to omit IN GOD WE TRUST from the first of the new double eagles, but God-fearing members of Congress noticed this and mandated addition of this motto on later issues, starting near the end of 1908. On pieces produced thereafter, it appears above the sun on the reverse.

Fortunately, the beauty of the coin remains dazzling, even in lower relief. And thankfully, Saint-Gaudens' original art was preserved in its pristine beauty through the minting of small numbers of extremely high-relief patterns and high-relief business strikes in 1907-or rather MCMVII, for the date was shown on these coins in Roman numerals.

The first production pieces were made with high relief. But after striking just 11,250, Mint officials substituted new dies with the modified, lower relief, and these remained in use through the end of the series. As if to underscore the shift from the classical to the commercial, the Mint used Arabic numbers in dating all reduced-relief double eagles.

"Saints" were minted each year from 1907 through 1916. A three-year hiatus followed, after which the coins were struck yearly from 1920 through 1933. The branch mints in Denver and San Francisco augmented the main Philadelphia Mint production, but not in every year. Mint marks appear above the date the designer's initials (ASG) below.

From 1929 onward, newly minted examples were held almost entirely as part of the nation's gold reserves, with few being released into circulation. Almost all of these were melted (along with many earlier double eagles) following the gold recall order signed in 1933 by another President Roosevelt-Theodore's cousin, Franklin. As a result, double eagles dated 1929 through 1932 are exceedingly rare today. The Mint produced nearly half a million pieces dated 1933, but the government maintains that these were never released, and thus it is illegal to own them. That was the end of regular-issue U. S. gold coinage."

Commentary courtesy of Heritage Coin Auctions
Saint Gaudens $20 Double Eagle
Try eBay's new Bullion Center

Buy gold and silver buy weight and brand from eBay hand-picked sellers. Click Here

It's the safest way to buy bullion at ebay!
Specifications:
(1907-1933)
Designer:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Diameter:
34.0 mm
Metal content:
.900 Gold, .100 Copper
Weight:
33.436 grams (.9675 toz of gold)
Mint marks:
Above Date between second and third numbers. Philadelphia mint (No MM), San Francisco-'S' and Denver-'D'.
Nicknames:
$20 Gold Piece, Double Eagle, St. Gaudens
Edge:
Lettered ("TWO HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR")
Design Varieties:
Variety I: Ultra High Relief

Variety II: High Relief, Roman Numerals, Knife Rim

Variety III: High Relief, Roman Numerals, Flat Rim

Variety IV: Arabic Numerals
[Most Recent Charts from www.kitco.com]
CoinHELP!®
Have numismatic question click here