$20 Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagles - Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the premiere sculptor of his day and a personal friend of Teddy Roosevelt. He agreed with Roosevelt’s wish to design and strike a coin in high relief. High-relief coins were considered undesirable for commerce as they wouldn’t stack properly. But because this was Roosevelt’s dream, Saint-Gaudens complied and the Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle created.
The Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle is widely considered to be the “most beautiful American coin ever designed.” The high-relief version that was initially produced captures the majesty and beauty of Saint-Gaudens’ design and rivals the most beautiful coins of the ancient world. Although the relief was lowered to make them acceptable in the marketplace of commerce, the design remained essentially unchanged.
On April 5, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Theodore’s fifth cousin) signed Executive Order 6102, forbidding Americans from owning Gold bullion, including Gold coins. Millions of Gold coins were turned into the U.S. government and melted down, but many people secretly refused and a number of Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagles can still be found today in limited quantities.
Today these coins are important pieces of our nation’s historic past.
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