1907 Saint-Gaudens $20 coin heads to US auction
A superb $20 coin by sculptor Saint-Gaudens is to highlight a three-day auction of US coins
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 10 May 2012
A $20 coin designed by the celebrated sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens is set to highlight a specialist auction of US numismatics on May 30-June 3.
The piece, a high relief $20, is considered one of the most beautiful American coins ever issued. One of two types known as the double eagle, the magnificent coin was produced at the request of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was an Irish-born American sculptor whose work includes the Standing Lincoln statue in Chicago, which is widely considered to be the finest portrait statue in the United States. A man noted for the leisurely pace at which he conducted his work, it took him almost 14 years to complete the famous Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common.
This coin is no exception to his unhurried style; when Saint-Gaudens died in 1907 the coin was still not in full production, over two years since Roosevelt originally requested his help in redesigning the coinage of the nation.
The first coin to be designed by Saint-Gaudens was an ultra high relief version of the current lot. It took 11 strikes to bring out the intricate detail, causing only 20 to be minted. One of these spectacular coins sold for $2.9m in a 2005 auction.
The current lot was also deemed unfit for commerce. One of the most distinctive and sought after US coins, only 12,300 of the 1907 high relief $20 were ever minted. The final design to go into full production was a normal relief version that was produced after Saint-Gaudens' death from 1907 to 1933.
Bids for the coin, which stands as one of the finest wire rim examples known, have already reached $22,000 online with weeks to go before the auction closes. Paul Fraser Collectibles will be bringing you the results from this exciting sale as soon as they happen.
PFC Auctions is currently accepting bids on a Standard Oil Trust share certificate, signed by J.D. Rockefeller. Paul Fraser Collectibles also has its own collection of rare coins, providing superb investment opportunities for collectors.
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Images: Heritage Auctions