Gold Saint Gaudens

The $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is a considered a foundational coin that should be a part of every collection. The $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle was first minted in 1907 and has been long considered the most beautiful coin in the world, designed as the last work of a famous dying artist, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The coin’s rich provenance, innovative design, and historical significance makes the Gold St. Gaudens a top pick in many numismatic collections. Today, surviving Saint Gaudens are highly desirable and one of the most popular gold coins to collect. Keep reading to learn more about the inception of this iconic U.S gold coin and to browse our selection of beautiful Gold Saint Gaudens.

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  1. 1908-1928 20 Dollar Saint Gaudens NGC/PCGS MS64

    $3,295.00 As Low As $3,197.80
    or $823.75 / month
    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $3,295.00 $3,197.80
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Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus St. Gaudens, and the American Coin Renaissance

The $20-dollar gold Saint Gaudens was the final masterpiece of the world-renown sculpture, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The $20 St. Gaudens Double Eagle was a result of an unlikely collaboration between a U.S President and a famous dying artisan. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt felt that United States coins are symbols of our Nation’s pride and America’s spirit. The longevity of coins outlives us all and Roosevelt wanted to redesign U.S. coinage to reflect America’s premier world status for future generations to admire for centuries to come. President Roosevelt got this idea while touring the Smithsonian and admiring the ancient Greek high-relief coinage of Alexander the Great, which is a living testament to the classic Greek civilization, which survived through the ages to tell the story of a Great Man. By 1905, America had become the most powerful nation in the world, and Roosevelt wanted our coinage to represent America’s pre-eminent position.  As President, he made the decision to re-design the panorama of U.S. coins into works of precious metal art. Augustus Saint-Gaudens, was a preeminent American Artist and Sculptor, who Roosevelt first met in 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition where Saint-Gaudens had already designed medals for the Mint.  Roosevelt shared his vision with Saint-Gaudens who eagerly joined his quest to design the finest coinage in the world. He was offered $5,000 to redesign all U.S. coin denominations into monetary works of art that would represent the United States and become a new standard for the finest coins on earth. Saint-Gaudens was terminally ill with cancer, yet he began his last artistic quest to re-design America’s coinage, beginning with the obverse of the $10 Eagle and $20 both sides of the $20 double eagle.  Saint-Gaudens promised Roosevelt, that the coin would be made a “living thing.”

 Sadly, on August 3, 1907, Augustus Saint-Gaudens succumbed to his illness and died at his famous artists' retreat in Cornish, New Hampshire at 59 years old. He was able to hold a sample of his gold $10 eagle before he died, but never was able to see his beloved Lady Liberty struck in gold.  Fortunately, thanks to him, many generations, can experience the most beautiful coin in the world.  When Roosevelt saw the new masterpiece, he knew Saint-Gaudens created a coin for the ages…. but what he didn’t know, was that just 26 years later, in 1933, his cousin, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, would confiscate all privately-owned gold during the height of the Great Depression to help the economy rebound.  Unfortunately, many of the beautiful gold coins would be melted into plain gold bars.

The $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Obverse Design

The obverse features Lady Liberty’s full-length figure striding forward confidently away from the rays of the rising sun and the nation’s capital dome, with her hair and robe flowing freely in the breeze. Her right holds the touch of freedom to light the way, while she holds an olive branch in her left hand, signifying peace. Surrounded by 50 stars to represent the 50 United States with the inscription “LIBERTY” at the top and both the date of issue and mint mark in the lower right.

The $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Reverse Design

The Saint Gaudens Eagle reverse design is one of the most remarkable resemblance of the nation’s official emblem, the American Eagle, to ever grace a U. S. coin. The majestic eagle is in mid-flight with its powerful wings soaring above the sun, whose rays shine in the background. The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are in a semicircular close to the rim, with “TWENTY DOLLARS” inscribed below.  The motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” is beneath the eagle, just above the sun.

Motto or No Motto

The motto was omitted on the 1907 and first half of the 1908 issues, due to controversy. Roosevelt, felt that evoking the name of God on coins was blasphemy, because they could be used for illegal and sinful endeavors.  He believe that God’s name belonged in houses of worship, not in casinos, bordellos, and saloons. However, there was a public outcry and God-fearing members of Congress mandated the addition of the motto mid-year for the 1908 issue. The motto was added just above the rising sun, below the eagle, where it remained until the end of the series in 1933.