The Most Famous U.S. Gold Coin: The Saint Gaudens


America’s enduring favorite, with prices to suit all budgets

Nick AdamoBullion.Directory precious metals guest post 24 January, 2016
By Nick Adamo
President at Bullion Shark LLC

The Saint Gaudens $20 gold piece has long been considered by many to be “America’s Most Beautiful Gold Coin.”

st-gaudens-coinIn fact the design of the St Gaudens obverse is so popular and considered such a design-classic that it has been reused for the current U.S. Gold Eagle.

This early 20th century coin is one of the most popular gold coins a collector or investor can own. The famous, Double Eagle was minted from 1907 to 1933 and was designed by famous sculptor, Augustus St. Gaudens.

the gold forecast banner

None of these $20 gold pieces were minted from 1917 to 1919, and the year 1933 ended the mintage of all U.S. gold coins. The Saint Gaudens contains almost one ounce of gold, so even the most common, lowest grade issues still provide good value at a small premium over the spot price of gold.

The Saint Gaudens was minted at three mints: Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, with some mintages being as low as 11,000, while others were closer to eight figures!

The main reason for this coin’s enduring popularity is that there is one to suit essentially every budget.

Right now, a circulated common date specimen starts at approximately $1,100. However, some examples, such as an Ultra High Relief from 1907, can bring over three million dollars.

The most common coins of the series are 1908-P, 1924-P, 1927-P and 1928-P, while collectors often find the 1908-S, 1922-S, 1924-D, 1924-S, 1925-D, 1925-S and 1926-D slightly harder to come by.

The semi-rare specimens are 1927-S, 1929-P, 1930-S, 1931-P, 1931-D and 1932-P. Lastly, the rarest Saint Gaudens pieces are the 1920-S, 1921-P and the super rare 1927-D. The 1933-P Saint Gaudens is the king of the series.

It is the rarest St. Gaudens on the market with a population of one coin because ten of them have been tied up in a legal battle for years. The only one available sold many years ago for over seven million dollars.

The 1907 St. Gaudens is the first year of issue and has many different versions. All $20 gold pieces from this year were minted at the Philadelphia Mint.

The most famous is the proof only, extremely high relief strike. This coin is stunning, as it gives the illusion you are looking into a bowl while lady liberty pops out at you. The reverse features the beautiful, American Eagle soaring over the sun.

To get this super sharp strike and detail, the coin was struck many times under high pressure. This specimen usually sells for millions of dollars. The finest known example is graded proof 69, which last traded for over three million dollars.

st-gaudens-eagleThe business strike high relief has two versions: the wire rim and the flat rim. The wire rim has a metal flow around the edges caused by the extreme pressure of the die. The wire rim can be anywhere from partial to all the way around the coin’s circumference.

The flat rim variety is generally considered more rare with lower populations. This strike does not show the thin metal edge or metal flow like the wire rim issues.

This coin uses roman numerals for the date as opposed to normal numbering as used later on.

Mid-year, the coin was minted in a lower relief due to stacking problems the high relief issues caused at the banks. This coin features a regular date, which is called Arabic numerals. After the year 1908, the Saint Gaudens featured the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” on the reverse, and the design remained essentially unchanged.

In conclusion there is a Saint Gaudens for every budget. Most collectors buy a certified example to ensure quality and authenticity. The Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation are the most popular third party grading services used for rare coins.

Coin certification is greatly recommended to alleviate the stress of reselling a coin later on down the road. When you hold a Saint Gaudens, a piece of American history is laying in your hand.

Bullion Shark carries a full line of coin collecting products, so please check out our website to see what products would best help keep your coins safe.

Bullion.Directory or anyone involved with Bullion.Directory will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading in precious metals. Bullion.Directory advises you to always consult with a qualified and registered specialist advisor before investing in precious metals.

prize draw details

Leave a Reply

  I accept your GDPR / Data Protection Policies

Vote for YOUR Bullion Dealer of the Year 2023 - Win Bullion!     VOTE NOW