From 1907 to 1933, The U.S. Mint produced the Double Eagle Saint-Gaudens gold coin. This $20 coin is named for its designer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Many people who buy gold coins for collection purposes consider this to be the most attractive U.S. coin. President Theodore Roosevelt had just this goal in mind when he suggested that Saint-Gaudens be the coin designer.
Unfortunately, Saint-Gaudens died before his creation was finalized for production. Chief U.S. Mint engraver Charles E. Barber had to modify the relief on the design. This enabled the coin to be struck with just one blow. Upon release, controversy arose because the wording “In God We Trust” were missing from the coin. Congress got involved, requiring that the motto be included.
Until 1933, this coin was minted mainly for international trade use. It features Liberty holding a torch and olive branch on the obverse and an eagle in flight on the reverse. Coins bearing the 1933 production date are some of the most valuable U.S. coins in existence. The only one known to be held privately sold for almost $7.6 million dollars in 2002.
Saint-Gaudens also designed a $10 Indian Head gold Eagle coin for the U.S. Mint. Prior to 1933, the gold Eagle was the largest base-unit of denomination used in circulating U.S. coinage. Eagles were issued from the year 1795 to 1933 and the Saint-Gaudens Indian Head version was minted from 1907 until 1933.
Gold Eagles and Double Eagles featured 0.900 fine gold, with a gold content of 0.48375 troy ounces for the Eagle and 0.9675 troy ounces for the Double Eagle. This standard was established in 1837 and endured until U.S. circulation of gold coins ceased in 1933. Those who buy gold coins are always looking for a Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle kept unknowingly by a private consumer.