Item: i75900 Authentic Coin of. AGW Denver mint Reference: KM# 131 Certification: PCGS.
MS 64 9155.64/36093344 LIBERTY 1910 D , Liberty holding a torch and olive branch, backed by the rays of the sun, the U. Capitol visible; 46 stars circle design. UNITED·STATES·OF·AMERICA TWENTY·DOLLARS IN·GOD·WE·TRUST, An eagle in flight, backed by rays from the sun. The Saint-Gaudens double eagle is a twenty-dollar gold coin, or double eagle, produced by the United States Mint from 1907 to 1933.The coin is named after its designer, the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who designed the obverse and reverse. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful of U. In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt sought to beautify American coinage, and proposed Saint-Gaudens as an artist capable of the task. Although the sculptor had poor experiences with the Mint and its chief engraver, Charles E.
Barber, Saint-Gaudens accepted Roosevelt's call. The work was subject to considerable delays, due to Saint-Gaudens's declining health and difficulties because of the high relief of his design. Saint-Gaudens died in 1907, after designing the eagle and double eagle, but before the designs were finalized for production. After several versions of the design for the double eagle proved too difficult to strike, Barber modified Saint-Gaudens's design, lowering the relief so the coin could be struck with only one blow. When the coins were finally released, they proved controversial as they lacked the words "In God We Trust", and Congress intervened to require the motto's use.The coin was minted, primarily for use in international trade, until 1933. The 1933 double eagle is among the most valuable of U. The double eagle, or twenty-dollar gold piece, was first issued in 1850; its congressional authorization was a response to the increasing amount of gold available as the result of the California Gold Rush. The resulting Liberty Head double eagle, designed by Mint Engraver James Longacre, was struck for the remainder of the 19th century, though the design was modified several times. Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens's first association with the Mint was in 1891, when he served on a committee judging entries for the new silver coinage. The Mint had offered only a small prize to the winner, and all invited artists including St. Gaudens himself refused to submit entries. The competition was open to the public, and the judging committee which consisted of Saint-Gaudens, Mint Engraver Charles E.
Barber, and commercial engraver Henry Mitchell found no entry suitable. This came as no surprise to Saint-Gaudens, who told Mint Director Edward O. Leech that there were only four men in the world capable of such work, of whom three were in France and Saint-Gaudens was the fourth. Barber, who had been Chief Engraver since 1879, felt that Saint-Gaudens overstated the case, and there was only one man capable of such coinage work-Barber himself. Leech responded to the failed competition by directing Barber to prepare new designs for the dime, quarter dollar, and half dollar, resulting in the Barber coinage, an issue which attracted considerable public dissatisfaction.In 1892, Saint-Gaudens was asked to design the official medal of the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago; it would be presented to prizewinning exhibitors. The obverse of Saint-Gaudens's design, showing Columbus coming ashore, was noncontroversial; his reverse, which featured a torch-bearing naked youth carrying wreaths to crown the victors, was attacked by the censoring postal agent, Anthony Comstock, as obscene. The exposition directors hastily withdrew the reverse design and replaced it with one created by Barber which, according to numismatic historian Walter Breen, was "notable only for banality". A furious Saint-Gaudens swore to have nothing more to do with the Mint or its employees, and for the next decade refused all commissions which might involve him with that bureau. On December 27, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt, a personal friend of Saint-Gaudens, wrote to his Secretary of the Treasury, Leslie Mortier Shaw: I think the state of our coinage is artistically of atrocious hideousness. Would it be possible, without asking permission of Congress, to employ a man like Saint-Gaudens to give us a coinage which would have some beauty? Roosevelt had Mint Director George E. It will I assure you give me great pleasure to assist in the procuring of good work.
Roosevelt caused the Mint to engage Saint-Gaudens to redesign some of the coins which could be changed without the need for Congressional approval-the cent and the four gold coins. Coin had ever been designed by anyone other than a Mint employee.
In November 1905, Roosevelt wrote to Saint-Gaudens to enquire how the gold coinage was progressing. The President mentioned that he had been looking at gold coins of Ancient Greece, and that the most beautiful ones were in high relief. Roosevelt suggested that the new designs could be in high relief, with a high rim to protect them. Saint-Gaudens replied agreeing with Roosevelt, and proposing a design for the double eagle. Some kind of a (possibly winged) figure of Liberty, striding forward as if on a mountaintop, holding aloft on one arm a shield bearing the stars and stripes with the word Liberty marked across the field; in the other hand perhaps a flaming torch, the drapery [of Liberty's dress] would be flowing in the breeze.My idea is to make it a living thing, and typical of progress. On January 2, 1906, Saint-Gaudens wrote to Shaw, enquiring whether a high relief was practical on coins struck at the Mint. Shaw did not immediately reply, but instead met with Roosevelt, who wrote that there was no objection to have the coins, many of which would be stored in bank vaults and not circulated, "as artistic as the Greeks could desire". Shaw wrote to the sculptor on January 13, reproducing a copy of a letter from Roberts which warned, "the judgement of the authority of all countries is that modern coins must be of low relief", but as the President disagreed with Roberts's view, Saint-Gaudens could go ahead with a high-relief design. Burdette commented, This is also one of those times when the compelling egos of artist and President might have paid greater attention to director Roberts' comments.
By continuing with the design in a relief that was not coinable, Saint-Gaudens lost his best chance to explore the limits of artistry on circulation coinage. Saint-Gaudens wrote to Roosevelt later in January, Whatever I produce cannot be worse than the inanities now displayed on our coins.
" However, Saint-Gaudens foresaw resistance from Barber, who "has been in that institution since the foundation of the government, and will be found standing in its ruins. In May 1906, the sculptor wrote to Roosevelt that he had sent an assistant to Washington to obtain the technical details of the redesign, but if you succeed in getting the best of the polite Mr. Barber or the others in charge, you will have done a greater work than putting through the Panama Canal.Nevertheless, I will stick at it, even unto death. In May 1906, Saint-Gaudens wrote to Secretary Shaw, asking if there was any objection to having the date in Roman numerals. Shaw replied, While we are making coins for the people of the United States, I think we should confine ourselves to the English language. I have reminded our architects that I will dismiss the first one who puts a V on a public building where a U is intended. However, Roosevelt overruled Shaw, and the sculptor proceeded with the use of Roman numerals. Saint-Gaudens had intended a flying eagle design for the cent, but developed it for the twenty-dollar piece after learning that by law, an eagle was not to appear on the cent. Saint-Gaudens's health worsened through 1906, as the cancer which would kill him forced him to have his assistant, Henry Hering, deal with many of the details of the work. Saint-Gaudens had the models for the coins made in Paris, rather than at the Mint, in order to bypass any obstruction by the Mint. It was not until December 1906 that Roosevelt was finally given coin-sized models of Saint-Gaudens's work by Hering, and Roosevelt wrote to the ailing sculptor, I have instructed the Director of the Mint that these dies are to be reproduced just as quickly as possible and just as they are. The obverse of Saint-Gaudens's final design shows a female figure of Liberty, who also represents victory. Saint-Gaudens based his design on the female figure he had designed in creating New York City's monument to General William Tecumseh Sherman, but the sculptor's ultimate inspiration was the Nike of Samothrace. The figure for the Sherman monument was modeled by Henrietta Anderson, one of the artist's favorite subjects.
On the coin, Liberty holds a torch in one hand, representing enlightenment; an olive branch in the other, a symbol of peace. She strides across a rocky outcrop; behind her are the United States Capitol and the rays of the sun. The figure is surrounded by 46 stars, one for each of the states in 1907.
The reverse is a side view of a flying eagle, seen slightly from below, with a rising sun and its rays behind it, complementing the obverse design. The edge bears the lettering "E Pluribus Unum". Saint-Gaudens felt he could not place a third line of text on the reverse without unbalancing the composition, and the obverse lacked room for the motto, so it was placed on the edge.
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