Heralded as the most beautiful coin the United States has ever produced, the Saint-Gaudens double eagle is a coin treasured by numismatists, valued by investors, and loved by just about anyone who manages to get their hands on one. When President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to design a new $20 gold coin, the intention was to revive the United States coinage system and help instill pride in circulating United States coinage, which, for the most part, had become stale with decades-old designs.
The $20 Saint-Gaudens double eagle of 1907 was originally struck in a high-relief design. However, the high-relief design proved stressful to the coin dies, which were failing after short production runs. So, the design relief was lowered, which allowed for more efficient mass production.
The variances in relief and other changes to other aspects of designs created several types in 1907. These include
1907 – Type I, High-Relief Wire Edge; 12,367 minted, $9,500
1907 – Type I, High-Relief Flat Edge; incorporated in mintage above, $9,500
1907 – Type II, No Motto Low Relief; 361,667 minted, 110% of one-ounce gold bullion value (about $1,930.67)
1907 Ultra High-Relief, Lettered Edge - $2.5 million
*Prices are for coins in Extremely Fine 40 grade.
The Type I, high-relief Saint-Gaudens double eagles are valued rather independently from the bullion market activity, and generally remain valuable on a numismatic scale. Meanwhile, Type II 1907 Saint-Gaudens $20 and, really, most double eagles in circulated grades, are dependently priced based on the bullion market, with values usually ranging about 100 to 110% of the one-ounce gold bullion price.