By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez
Few coins are as popular as the Saint-Gaudens double eagle, and one of the finest of these is a unique specimen of the 1907 No Motto Saint-Gaudens $20 gold graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) as MS68. It sold in January 2020 for $120,000 and is the single-finest graded specimen of the coin. The 1907 No Motto Saint-Gaudens double eagle was made during the first year of the series, however, it is not the first type of Saint-Gaudens $20 gold.
The first 1907 Saint-Gaudens double eagles feature a high relief, but these proved impractical to produce in mass quantities. The relief of the coin was thus lowered, creating a coin that could be struck in large numbers without causing unusual stress to the dies. The 1907 No Motto Saint-Gaudens double eagle seen here as an MS68 is the finest example of the low-relief design that saw extensive circulation.
While the 1907 No Motto Saint-Gaudens $20 saw widespread use in commerce, many examples were saved in large quantities, which is why many uncirculated specimens are still in existence today. While the PCGS MS68 example pictured here will presumably be locked away in a collection for a longtime to come, there are many other wonderful specimens that can be added to your collection.
One of the wonderful things about the 1907 No Motto Saint-Gaudens double eagle is that it is a highly affordable first-year type coin. Circulated and low-end uncirculated examples can be obtained for relatively small premiums over melt value. Examples grading PCGS MS65 and better are scarcer and can be had for around $3,250 to $3,500. In PCGS MS66, the 1907 No Motto Saint-Gaudens double eagle is a rare coin that trades for approximately $6,250. Meanwhile, in MS67 there are fewer than two dozen PCGS-graded specimens and these trade for about $50,000.
*Image is courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.