The $20 gold Saint Gaudens Double Eagle was minted from 1907 to 1933, and the “Saint” was the United States Mint’s last $20 gold Double Eagle. For good reason, the $20 gold Saint-Gaudens is regarded as “The Most Beautiful Coin in the World.” Newly elected President Theodore Roosevelt had a mission to convert U.S. coinage into works of art to represent America’s preeminent position on the world stage at the turn of the twentieth century.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, America’s most successful sculptor, agreed to Roosevelt’s request despite his declining health, promising Roosevelt that his final designs would be made into a “living thing.” Saint-Gaudens obverse depicts Liberty striding forward in the dawn of a new day, wielding an olive branch in one hand, symbolizing goodwill, and the torch of Liberty in the other.
The reverse features an American eagle soaring through the sun’s rays with its wings extended in glorious flight. After St. Gaudens death, the relief was reduced to a Business strike in late 1907 because St. Gaudens’ original concept called for an Ultra-High Relief strike, which was impractical for general circulation. High-Relief St. Gaudens today are highly prized and collected.