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Augustus St. Gaudens

Born in Dublin Ireland, in 1848, Augustus St. Gaudens traveled to Paris and Rome to study art and architecture, before moving to New York. A prolific sculptor, his works include Diana (1894) and Standing Lincoln (1887). When president Theodore Roosevelt wanted to redesign United States to give them more artistic appeal, he called upon St.Gaudens. The insipid liberty head eagles and double eagles were replaced by fresh designs. The coins were introduced in 1907, the same year St. Gaudens died.

Diana by Augustus St. Gaudens

Standing Lincoln by Augustus St. Gaudens

The St. Gaudens Double Eagle

 St. Gaudens Double Eagle

 St. Gaudens Double Eagle

The first St. Gaudens double eagles were produced in 1907, struck in high relief, with Roman numeral dates. The high relief pieces, however were impractical and so aesthetics were partially abandoned. Flatter coins with Arabic numerals were struck later that year.

The 1933 Double Eagle

 St. Gaudens 1933 Double Eagle

 St. Gaudens 1933 Double Eagle In 1933, 445,500 double eagles were minted. Franklin Roosevelt then issued an order prohibiting banks from paying out gold as well as all private ownership of gold. Virtually all of the 1933 Double Eagles were melted. However a few of them escaped. The United States government has been confiscating virtually all 1933 double eagles saying that they were stolen from the mint. Dr. Planchet, however, notes that the same policy does not seem to apply to coins such as the 1913 Liberty Head nickels that were made illegally and taken from the mint. The government permitted the sale of a single 1933 double eagle that was apparently legally given to King Farouk of Egypt. The coin was auctioned in 2002 for $7,590,020. Other 1933 Saints probably exist, but will never surface for fear the governments will seize them.

The St. Gaudens Eagle

 St. Gaudens 1933 Double Eagle Augustus St. Gaudens also designed the Eagle (ten dollar gold) coin released in 1907. The obverse of the coin shows a personification of the head of Liberty wearing an Indian war bonnet.

The modern St.Gaudens Eagle bullion coins.

 St. Gaudens 2008 gold Eagle

 St. Gaudens 2008 gold Eagle The United States mint revived the obverse design of the St. Gaudens double eagle in 1986. Gold bullion coins are produced in denominations of $50 (1 ounce), $25 (1/2 ounce), $10,(1/4 ounce), and $5 (1/10 ounce). Hmmm, if we do the math, we find that two fives do not equal a ten. History repeated itself, as the first coins were made with Roman numerals. Americans, of course, cannot read Roman numerals, and so Arabic numeral were used starting in 1992.

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