1907圣高登双鹰金币 PCGS MS 68+
MCMVII (1907) Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. High Relief. Flat Rim. MS-68+ (PCGS). CAC. Outstanding deep golden-yellow surfaces are highly lustrous with a silky smooth, pristine appearance on both sides. Full striking detail enhances the desirability of this truly remarkable High Relief double eagle.While the road to creating the Saint-Gaudens high relief double eagle was taken by the sculptor, his studio, President Roosevelt, and Mint personnel, the project got a boost upon the nomination of Frank A. Leach as director of the Mint in September. Originally the superintendent of the San Francisco Mint, Leach assumed the position as director on November 1 and as immediately confronted by a president clearly frustrated with the Mints progress on his "pet crime." Saint-Gaudens Indian design for the eagle was finally in production but the double eagle had stalled, mostly because of Chief Engraver Charles Barber. Indeed, when Roosevelt discussed the double eagle project in person as Leach took office, he took the time air his frustrations and suggested a firm course of action to see the coins produced. As Leach later recalled in his memoir, <em>Recollections of a Newspaperman:</em> "Before I had become familiar with my surroundings the President sent for me. In the interview that followed he told me what he wanted, and what the failures and his disappointments had been, and proceeded to advise me as to what I should do to accomplish the purpose determined upon in the way of the new coinage. In this talk he suggested some details of action of a drastic character for my guidance, which he was positive were necessary to be adopted before success could be had. All this was delivered in his usual vigorous way, emphasizing many points by hammering on the desk with his fist."Barber persisted in his efforts to drastically reduce the relief of the coins, but Roosevelt was having none of it. Roosevelt responded on November 18 by ordering the Mint on "begin the new issue, even if it takes you all day to strike one piece!" Sure enough, not long after in late November, Leach presented Roosevelt with his coins.Pleased with the quick resolution, Roosevelt would later introduce Leach to other members of his Cabinet as "a man who got results." Barber, on the other hand, was not as effusive with praise and was more concerned with mass production. Barber presented two examples to Philadelphia Mint Superintendent John Landis and noted that "these are not selected as all the coins now made are the same as these two, which gives me alarm as they are so well made that I fear the President may demand the continuance of this particular coin." Even with Herings adjustments to Saint-Gaudens original models, each coin required between three to five strikes per coin along with hand inspection in order to properly bring up the design. The collar proved problematic, as well. During each and every strike metal would be pushed to where the coins edge and collar met if the collar was not tightened sufficiently. Even the tiniest misalignment of the dies would form a "fin" or Wire Rim. A second collar was introduced in mid December that largely eliminated the Wire Rim, but the production process remained too slow to be economically feasible. Only 12,367 coins were struck for circulation in the High Relief format, with two-thirds of those coins bearing the Wire Rim. It is believed that 4,000 Flat Rim specimens were struck. After these initial pieces were made, Barbers substantially modified version of the design went into production. When the High Relief coins were released the sub-treasuries and large banking institutions, the coins were eagerly acquired and received almost universal acclaim. Very few entered circulation but rather were retained as pieces of numismatic art and very quickly premiums were attached to the coins, up to $30 per piece. As interest waned in the 1920s, the coins carried little if any premium and many did light duty in circulation, and some likely ended up in the great Treasury melts of the 1930s. The High Relief coins became more popular starting in the 1940s and have maintained their position near the top of any collectors wish list ever since. As testimony to the timeless nature of Saint-Gaudens design, it is by no mere coincidence that it was selected for the American Eagle gold bullion coins in 1986.The Flat Rim feature was noted in numismatists as early as 1908 and has been frequently collected as a separate variety. Even early on, the Flat Rim double eagles comparative scarcity has earned the coin a premium above that of the more available Wire Rim variety. While about half of the original production are extant, demand far outstrips supply. Fortunately, Mint State examples are available and are especially desirable at the Choice level. For the numismatist seeking to add an example of the High Relief issue, the Flat Rim specimens offer both scarcity and beauty.Superb Gem Flat Rim specimens, however, are a different breed, as PCGS has only reported 11 at that level, all but two at MS-67. Above that there is an MS-67+ and this extraordinary MS-68+ coin. NGC makes no distinction between the two rim varieties and their census data shows no Flat Rim specimen approaching the level of the Pogue coin. From the D. Brent Pogue Collection. Earlier, from Heritages sale of the Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage, November 2005, lot 6527; Heritages FUN Signature Auction of January 2007, lot 3796.