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1907 $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle PCGS MS64 (CAC)


Compare the cost of this dramatic first year issue to that of the high relief 1907 Saint-Gaudens double eagle, and you will discover that in its MS64 grade this piece is a relative bargain. Even without the high relief strike, this coin is quite impressive and beautiful. Numismatic scholar and art critic Cornelius Vermeule writes, "The [Saint-Gaudens] double eagle is perhaps the most majestic coin ever to bear our national imprint.”

PCGS has graded 5,631 pieces as MS64, with 3,597 finer. Collectors Universe gives this issue a price of $4,250.00 in MS64. In CAC, there are 64 in MS64/64+ with 154 finer. CAC prices the 1907 Saint at $4,500.00 in MS64.


Bust of Hettie Anderson by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The model who posed for Saint-Gaudens’ most famous work was Hettie Anderson, a light-skinned mixed-race woman who came to Manhattan during the 1890s. Many artists and sculptors sought Hettie to model for them, because of, as one newspaper account tells us, her “creamy skin, crisp curling hair, and warm brown eyes.”

Hettie's image represents the winged Greek goddess Victory in Saint-Gaudens's equestrian sculpture honoring Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman, as well as the same upon the Double Eagle (1907-1933). In 1899, the New York Journal and Advertiser wrote, "There is nothing in Greek sculpture finer than her figure. [It is] imposing [and] her carriage queenly..."

She fled bitter prejudice in the post-Reconstruction South to model for the likes of Daniel Chester French, Adolf Weinman, and Saint-Gaudens. Upon arriving in New York, Hettie worked as a clerk and seamstress while studying at the Art Students League. Research tells us that before the Civil War, Anderson's family was designated 'free colored persons'; they owned land and earned wages. In New York, she and her mother were listed in the census as white.

"I need her badly," wrote Saint-Gaudens to a friend. He wrote in a draft of his memoir that he counted on her stamina for "posing patiently, steadily and thoroughly in the Spirit one wished..."

More Information
PCGS # 9141
Grading Service NONE
Year of Issue NONE
Grade NONE
Denom Type N/A
Numeric Denomination $20
Mint Location NONE
Designation NONE
Circ/UnCirc Not Specified
Strike Type N/A
Holder Variety Saint
Grade Add On NONE
Holder Type N/A

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