With so many types of gold coins on the market, it can be difficult for investors to know where to begin.
If you’re even a little familiar with the precious metals market, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin.
Here, we’ll take a look at what makes this coin so special and why it can be a worthwhile investment.
What’s the History of the Double Eagle Gold Coin?
You may have heard a lot about Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Double Eagle, but the famous sculptor and artist was not this gold coin’s original designer.
Liberty Head Double Eagle (1849-1907)
The Liberty Head Double Eagle was the first American gold coin given a face value higher than $10. Its name was derived from the fact that the Double Eagle coin’s face value was worth twice as much as the Gold Eagle coin, a $10 piece.
With a surplus of gold from the California Gold Rush, the government decided the standard $10 denomination was no longer sufficient on its own and passed the Coinage Act of 1849 to make way for the larger denomination.
The Liberty Head Double Eagle coin was designed by James B. Longacre in 1849 and circulated until Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ version was minted in 1907.
Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle (1907-1933)
The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is one of the most soughtafter coins by collectors and investors.
Redesigned at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt, the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is the product of a campaign to beautify the country’s coinage, especially its gold coins. The United States Mint reports that Roosevelt “thought the coins of that era were unattractive and wanted them to instead embody our national identity and growing pre-eminence on the world stage.”
Roosevelt handpicked Augustus Saint-Gaudens to lead the makeover. And beautify the Double Eagle coin he did. Not only did the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle accomplish Roosevelt’s goal of elevating America’s coinage but it also became one of the most popular coins in the world—a status the coin still holds today.
What Does the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coin Look Like?
The obverse of the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coin features a triumphant Lady Liberty dressed in a gossamer robe holding an olive branch in one hand and a torch in the other. “Liberty” is inscribed above her head and stars representing the states surround her. The U.S. Capitol dome provides the backdrop.
On the reverse, the eagle for which the coin is named can be seen in flight with the words “In God We Trust” inscribed below it and “United States of America” and “Twenty Dollars” above it.
The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle has undergone some notable changes throughout the years:
- After roughly 12,000 high-relief proof versions were produced, the U.S. Mint shifted to a low-relief design because it was easier to produce.
- The first few batches featured Roman numerals instead of the ubiquitous Arabic numerals.
- A 2009 reissue of the coin was struck in high-relief as was originally intended.
- Two stars were added to the side profile when Arizona and New Mexico became states.
How Much Does the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Weigh?
The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin weighs 1.0750 troy ounces, or 33.4362 grams.
How Much Gold Is in the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Coin?
An individual Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin is made with 90% gold and 10% copper alloy. This places its purity rating at 0.900 fine, or 21.6 carats.
How Much Is the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coin Worth?
The face value of a Double Eagle gold coin is just $20. However, there are several factors that compound the real value of these coins.
The initial denomination was judged based on the value of gold at the first date of production, which was just $20.67 an ounce in 1849. Today, the price of gold has increased significantly and currently (as of November 2020) hovers around $1,900 an ounce, making these coins inherently worth much more than when they were first minted.
Another contributing factor to the value of the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin is numismatic value. The history, design intricacies, and rarity of these coins make them popular among coin collectors. Given the different dates of production, the value of each individual coin can vary greatly.
For example, an MS-65 1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin without the motto “In God We Trust” could fetch $3,650. On the other hand, a 1908 version in uncirculated condition might sell for closer to $9,000. Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coins produced in 1933 are by far the most valuable due to the government’s policy of gold confiscation, although most of these rare coins are held in museums.
Whether buying or selling a Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coin, it’s critical to make sure you’re working with a knowledgeable and reputable coin dealer to ensure the coin is valued correctly.
Is the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coin a Good Investment?
Now that you understand the history and value of America’s most famous coin, you’re probably wondering if the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin is a good investment. It certainly can be a good investment.
Here are some important reasons to consider investing in a Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle:
- Due to the number of Double Eagle coins that were produced, the value of each individual coin varies greatly. This wide investment range makes these coins perfect for both novice investors with a smaller budget and experienced numismatists with more to spend.
- Unlike bullion, these coins carry additional numismatic value that can greatly increase their value. Considering Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles are revered as America’s preeminent coin, they make for an excellent coin investment.
- The value of gold has been rising in recent years, and the precious metal has proven a bulwark for investment portfolios against market and economic volatility. It’s always a smart idea to diversify your investments, and gold is a solid option.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on a Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin to diversify your portfolio or complete your coin collection, the experts at Scottsdale Bullion & Coin can help. We have decades of experience in precious metals investments. Feel free to contact us today to schedule an appointment.