MCMVII (1907) Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. High Relief. Wire Rim. MS-66+ (PCGS). An essentially pristine example of one of the most legendary issues in U.S. numismatics, this piece offers dense satiny luster and traces of original patina across each side. The strike is expertly rendered, with Libertys portrait and the eagle fully pronounced and intricate. Fine swirling die polish imparts a rich, matte-like texture to the surfaces, complemented by a smooth and untouched complexion throughout. This Gem represents one of the finest survivors of the High Relief Saint-Gaudens, Wire Rim design type. It is one of only 4 examples at the current grade level on the PCGS Population Report and just 24 coins rank finer among the 8,000 known examples. Our recent sale of the MS-67+ (PCGS) CAC specimen from the Pogue Collection, Part VII realized $222,000, emphasizing the strong collector demand for this iconic issue. Expertly preserved and impossibly beautiful, the present piece is captivating to behold and absolutely irresistible for connoisseurs of the most incredible treasures of the 20th Century.The 1907 High Relief Saint-Gaudens double eagle is widely considered to be the high water mark in American numismatic artistry. Never a man to shrink from a challenge or get bogged down in bureaucratic red tape, President Theodore Roosevelt engaged sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to replace what Roosevelt referred to as the "atrocious hideousness" of the coin designs then in use. He and Saint-Gaudens bypassed Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, numerous committees, and Congress to create some of the most inspired coin designs in Americas history. The obverse was modelled after Saint-Gaudens Winged Nike figure on the General William Tecumseh Sherman Memorial in New York Citys Central Park and is paired with an elegant, if not entirely realistic rendition of a flying eagle on the reverse.In order to bring up the three dimensional nature of the design, each coin required at a minimum three to five strikes as well as inspection after each impression. As a result, only 12,367 coins were struck for circulation in the High Relief format. Of those, at least two-thirds are of the Wire Rim variety. The Wire Rim was actually not intended as part of the overall design but rather was an artifact of the striking process. During striking, if the collar was not sufficiently tightened, metal would be pushed to where the coins edge and collar meet. Even the slightest misalignment of the obverse and reverse dies would force metal into the gap, forming the fin (as the Mint referred to this feature). A second collar was employed that largely eliminated the Wire Rim, but the slow nature of the minting process eventually necessitated a reworking of the entire design to reduce the relief.