St. Gaudens Double Eagles (1907-1933)

St. Gaudens Double Eagles pic
St. Gaudens Double Eagles
Image: apmex.com

Founder and CEO of Transitioning Forward in Belchertown, MA, Allen Fitzsimmons focuses on client relations, account acquisition, and partnership management. As a hobby, Allen Fitzsimmons enjoys researching the history of coins.

The Saint-Gaudens double eagle is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful coins ever made. The collaboration for the coin began in 1905 when America’s renowned sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, designed the inaugural medal for Theodore Roosevelt.

Impressed with the medal, Roosevelt devised a scheme whereby Saint-Gaudens would design a new US gold coin based on the high-relief coins of ancient Greece. The result was a numismatic masterpiece.

The front side of the coins depict Lady Liberty marching forward with rays of light behind her. Her right hand holds a torch and her left hand holds an olive branch. The word Liberty is inscribed above her, while the coin’s date appears on her left and the capitol building is on her lower right. The coin’s edge is ringed by 46 stars, the number of US states at the time.

The rear side of the coin sports a bald eagle in full flight in front of the same light rays. Above the bird appear the words, “United States of America” and “Twenty Dollars.”

Concerned with how the money might be spent, Roosevelt ordered Saint-Gaudens to omit the customary “In God We Trust” on the original version of the coin. However, Congress insisted the motto appear in subsequent mintings.