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"America's Most Beautiful Coin"

With paper money outlawed by the Constitution, the United States struck its first circulating gold coins in 1795. Coins with face values of $2.50, $5, and $10 filled the nation’s cash registers and lubricated the pathways of commerce. Soon, the fabled California gold mines began producing huge amounts of the yellow metal.

In 1849, Congress directed the Mint to strike the massive $20 gold coin for circulation. Like its smaller cousins, the nearly one-ounce $20 gold coins featured the crowned bust of Lady Liberty as the major design.

Enter Teddy Roosevelt. The Rough Rider hero of San Juan Hill was sworn in as President of the United States in 1901. Roosevelt believed our nation’s gold coins were too plain. He favored the beautiful gold coins struck in Ancient Greece that are still collected today.

Roosevelt asked the Mint why such a great nation had such plain, unattractive coins. Unsatisfied with the answers he received, he started the process of creating the most beautiful coins our nation has seen before or since.

Roosevelt was good friends with America’s most famous sculptor, the legendary Augustus Saint-Gaudens. In 1906 the president asked his artist friend to redesign all of the nation’s circulating coinage and make them more aesthetically pleasing like many of the coins of yore.

$20 Saint-Gaudens Gold Coin - America's Most Beautiful Coin Saint-Gaudens started working on the new, richer designs with the nation’s two largest gold coins, the $20 and $10 denominations. Sadly, Saint-Gaudens died before he could see his designs become coins. However, they were proclaimed America’s most beautiful coins as soon as they entered circulation. Roosevelt was elated.

Detailed Coin Information
1908 No Motto $20 Saint-Gaudens Gold Coins
from the Wells Fargo® Nevada Gold Collection
Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Gross Weight: 33.436g Gold Content: 0.9675 oz.
Composition: 90% gold, 10% copper
Diameter: 34mm  
Motto: None Edge: E · PLURIBUS · UNUM
Date: 1908
Mint: Philadelphia

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