Published: July 3, 2012
Stack’s Bowers Galleries, the official auctioneer of the Whitman Coins and Collectible Expo in Baltimore, saw a 1907 ultrahigh relief Augustus Saint-Gaudens double eagle coin fetch $2.76 million Friday, June 29, on the final day of its three-day auction at the Baltimore Convention Center.
One of only about 20 such coins produced, this coin was made after much effort between the sculptor and President Teddy Roosevelt to convince the powers-that-be at the Philadelphia Mint that such a high relief coin could be struck. Roosevelt was anxious to create beautiful gold coins reminiscent of ancient Greek coinage of Alexander the Great.
The design of the ultrahigh relief was born out of the collaboration of Roosevelt and Saint-Gaudens, whom the president commissioned to create coinage of great beauty, circumventing the Mint’s chief engraver at that time. Saint-Gaudens conceived of the obverse and reverse designs.
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