The No Motto St.Gaudens $20 Gold Piece
The $20 gold piece is considered to be one of the pinnacle points in American coin collecting. Built to be the "vintage $20 bill" of the 19th and 20th centuries, the $20 double eagle is the echelon of collectible gold coins. Minted from 1849-1933, the coins were divided into two series that spanned almost a century: the Liberty head and St. Gaudens double eagles. The first and last coins, being the 1849 $20 Liberty proof, and the 1933 double eagles, are considered “uncollectible,” as they are withheld in government museums such as the Smithsonian.
Augustus St. Gaudens is remembered as being one of the premier coin artists of all time. Hired by President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, he was sought out around 1905 to begin the monstrous task of redesigning some of America's coins. Roosevelt, a lover of the ancient times, wanted our coins to be a bit more "pretty" than the current line up. St. Gaudens' first major stint within the coin-collecting world began with the inaugural medal of Teddy Roosevelt in 1904. The reverse of that medal displays a very similar design to the stunning $10 Indian head eagle that debuted around the same time.
The obverse of this coin shows Liberty walking forward with the U.S. capital building in the background. Liberty is carrying a torch on her right and an olive branch on her left with the rays of the morning sun in the backdrop. The reverse of the coin shows a majestic eagle with another sun and rays combination. The design was such a hit the first time through that the mint based the American Gold Eagle series off of this original concept.
The St. Gaudens double eagle was first issued in 1907, with all of those coins being extremely rare to obtain today. 1908 was home to two different issues of this coin, one with and the other without the motto "In God We Trust" issued on the coin. The practice of including “In God We Trust” on American coinage began during the Civil War with the 1864 two-cent piece. The first round of double eagles to be minted were left with no motto. This was because president Roosevelt initially did not want to associate God and money. The fact the mint did not put this traditional motto on the coin was not taken well by the general public, so they switched over to the motto type. This resulted in a one-year of issue type coin.
The 1908 “No Motto” St. Gaudens is considered to be a collector favorite for a multitude of reasons. First off, it is part of what some say is one of the best coin series ever done. The no motto itself comes with one of the most unique stories in numismatic history. All of this not even mentioning the fact that it is almost an ounce (33.436g) of .900 fine gold! This coin is divided between the two key elements of valuation: the numismatic collector value – which is why this coin is so important in the coin world – and the intrinsic or "bullion value" that comprises a major part of the value of this coin. The gold market has been relatively soft over the past several months, so this coin is at a choice time for acquisition. To get one of your very own check out the link below!