When President Theodore Roosevelt took office, the “American Renaissance” was at its peak. It was an era of national maturation marked by swelling pride and the coalescence of our identity as a people. To put the new American image before the world, Roosevelt commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign all of our gold coinage.
To Saint-Gaudens, the task was the consummation of a lifelong passion for bas-relief medals, engravings in which the design rises out of the medium yet is still contained within it. His first coin, now known officially as the Saint-Gaudens High Relief Roman Numerals Double Eagle, is a masterwork of the art.
The coin’s extraordinarily fine details were rendered in high relief, creating an image unlike any seen before on an American coin. Liberty stands boldly out from the obverse before the rays of a rising sun, her left foot raised on a stone. A torch is held high in her right hand, extending impossibly out before her as she holds an olive branch far out to her left. On the coin’s lower left a diminutive depiction of the Capitol lies distantly behind her; on the lower right is the date in Roman numerals.
The reverse of the coin is no less stunning, portraying an eagle soaring above the surface of the coin with the sun well behind in the background.
Unfortunately, Saint-Gaudens’ complex design proved too difficult for mass production using the machinery available at the time. Only 12,367 of the coins were struck. In an effort to preserve its unique qualities, the mint searched for a different way to produce it. They found a solution – a thicker coin of smaller diameter – but changing the dimensions of any coin would literally require an act of Congress.
Begrudgingly, they asked Saint-Gaudens to redesign the coin in lower relief. The new Double Eagle, while absolutely stunning, would forever pale in comparison to the original. Nonetheless, the Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle is still regarded as the pinnacle of American Gold coinage and is one of the finest rare gold coin investments available today.
Minimum Qty. Required ?
About CGE Pricing ?
To learn more about our policies on this matter, please call
1-800-300-0715 Ext. 303. Thank you.