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$20 Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagles

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AGE Investor Alert!

$20 Saint-Gaudens MS65 - Lowest Price in 10 Years!


$20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins in gem-quality Mint State 65 grade are trading today at their lowest prices in more than 10 years with premiums near the lowest ever! They occupy the "sweet spot" for value in the current market and, in our opinion, should not be passed up!

$20 Saints in MS65 are trading for under $1,600 for the first time in more than a decade. In 2009, on the heels of the financial crisis, these extremely popular US gold coins traded for more than $2,900 each, 82% higher than today! For the next four years, though 2013, they held a trading range between $2,200 and $2,700. And through June 2016, they regularly rose to cyclical highs above $1,950. Just three months ago they were trading for $1,810, more than $200 more than today's low price!

Historically low premiums

The premiums on these gem-quality coins are just as compelling right now. Over the past 10 years, their average premium (or value over gold content) has been 72%. Over the past five years, it has been 57%. Today, the premium is just 33%, close to the lowest ever!

As you can see in the chart below, each time the premium has drop below 35%, $20 Saints in MS65 have been quickly bought up, pushing premiums back above 40% or 50% in a matter of months, with corresponding gains in prices.

$20 Saint-Gaudens in MS65 are offering best combination of low premiums and low prices we have seen in the market this year, but we do not expect it to last long. National supplies are the lowest we've seen in several years, as we mentioned in our Gold Commentary last week, which means prices and premiums are likely to rise very quickly when demand heats up!

Let's take a closer look at premiums. The last time $20 Saints MS65 were this inexpensive, in October 2008, gold was under $875 and premiums for these coinsóthat is, their value above intrinsic gold contentówere around 102%. Within 14 months the premium rose to $178% and prices soared to $2,937.

If current premiums for $20 Saints in MS65 merely revert to their 5-year average of 57%, these coins will gain around $290 from today's low prices. And that's with no change in the underlying gold price! If premiums remain unchanged and gold gains $100 an ounce, these coins will gain around $130 each. If gold gains $100 and premiums revert to the 5-year average, these coins would gain $440 each! They really could not be better-positioned for future gains.

Scarcity means leverage

How can $20 Saint-Gaudens in MS65 rise by so much more than gold? In a word, scarcity. Out of the tens of millions originally minted, fewer than 260,000 have been certified in gem-quality Mint State 65. This is a tiny survival rate! Even a modest rise in sustained demand can overwhelm existing market supplies, driving prices much higher, often very quickly.

$20 Saints MS65 offer precisely the kind of "double play" leverage we look for in classic U.S. gold coins: the proven ability to rise by much more than their underlying gold price because of fundamental scarcity and restricted supply in the national market.

At today's low prices and premiums, $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins in Mint State 65 are an excellent and conservative way to take advantage of a rare opportunity. Once again, they occupy the "value sweet spot" in today's market and should not be passed up!


Dana Samuelson
American Gold Exchange

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Basis: gold @ $1,179.57, 08/16/18
Prices, availability subject to change.
Where applicable and unless specified,
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Buying $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles

The Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle is one of the most beautiful, popular, and widely recognized of all gold coins. The last $20 gold piece struck by the U.S. government for regular issue, it will forever remain a symbol of the emerging greatness of the United States in the 20th Century.

$20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins are a perennial favorite for gold coin collections and investment portfolios because of their stunning design, genuine scarcity, and worldwide popularity. Especially in the higher Mint State grades like MS64 and MS65, they have the proven ability to appreciate at times in a rising gold market much faster than gold bullion because of their severely limited numbers and constant collector demand.

In addition, like all pre-1933 US gold coins, $20 Saint-Gaudens gold double eagles are exempt from broker reporting requirements to the IRS due to their status as collectibles.

"High Relief" $20 Gold Saint-Gaudens Coins

In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt summoned his friend, famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and confided what he called his "pet crime": his desire to redesign the country's coinage in the likeness of the coins of ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy. Although in failing health, Saint-Gaudens rose to what would become his last challenge, producing a stunning design that many consider to be the most beautiful coin ever produced.

Offered several choices by Saint-Gaudens, Teddy Roosevelt personally selected the so-called "High Relief" design for the new double eagle. The obverse features the image of Miss Liberty striving gloriously into the future; the reverse features the majestic Flying Eagle. It is called "high-relief" because the devices are raised to an unusual height above the fields, which are excessively concave. During March and April of 1907, some 24 Proof specimens were struck of this Saint-Gaudens High Relief design. Each coin required an amazing nine blows of the dies into the gold blank to strike up the design in full detail. Sadly, Saint-Gaudens died on August 3, 1907, without seeing his magnificent gold coin enter circulation.

In November of 1907, production of regular issue High Relief $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins began. Some 11,250 coins were struck, but with great difficulty, for each coin required five blows from the press to raise the design into acceptable relief. In addition, bankers complained that these new coins, when placed in traditional bankers' stacks of twenty, wobbled and fell over! So practicality won out over aesthetics. The Saint Gaudens design was altered by Charles Barber into a "flat relief" version, and coin production resumed in earnest. The first Barber-redesigned Saints were struck with 1907 and 1908 dates. As one would expect, the original 1907 High Relief $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins immediately became prized as collector's items.

$20 Saints-Gaudens Gold Double Eagles "No Motto"

In 1866, Congress had passed a law requiring the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to appear on all U.S. coinage large enough to accommodate it. Roosevelt, however, believed it was sacrilegious to have the word "God" appear on money, which could be gambled with, or thrown on the ground, or used for immoral transactions. He therefore ordered the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle to omit the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles struck in 1907 are therefore without motto, as are some struck in 1908.

$20 Saints-Gaudens Gold Double Eagles "With Motto"

In 1908, Congress over-ruled Roosevelt, upholding the "with motto" law. The issue became a political hot potato for Roosevelt. Ironically, he had to be careful about being portrayed as an atheist for supporting the motto's omission! Production of Saints, now with motto, resumed in 1908 and continued until 1933, interrupted only in 1917, 1918, and 1919 because of World War I. Struck mostly in Philadelphia, $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coins were also produced in limited quantities during some years at the Denver and San Francisco mints.

1933 $20 Saints -- Forbidden Fruit

In 1933, during the height of the Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt outlawed private ownership of gold by U.S. citizens. Gold coins were recalled from circulation, and the production of new U.S. gold coins was ended. While Saints dated 1933 were minted, they were never officially released. Mysteriously, a handful of the banned 1933 Saints were somehow removed from guarded mint bags and replaced by earlier dated coins. As you might expect, these 1933 Saints are now worth a fortune. But before you run out and buy one for your collection, remember this: it remains against the law to possess these contraband 1933 $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles, subject to confiscation and prosecution! Forbidden fruit indeed!

Special Issue $20 Saint-Gaudens

In addition to business strikes, which were coins intended for use as currency, the magnificent $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles were also struck as presentation pieces in Proof condition, as had become the normal course of operations by the U.S. mint since the late 1850s. Intended to be given to foreign dignitaries and government officials, or to be sold to collectors, proof coins are by definition struck at least twice on specially polished dies, using specially prepared and polished blanks. Proof coins feature razor sharp strikes, often with especially frosty devices and highly polished, mirrored fields. Proof gold coins usually have very small mintage figures, normally from 25 to 125 pieces for a given year. Saint-Gaudens $20 proof coins were only issued from 1908 to 1915, and very few proof survive today in any condition. They are exceedingly rare overall, especially in higher states of preservation

What is unusual about Saint-Gaudens proof coins is that they were not struck as "brilliant proofs," like the $20 Liberty proof gold minted up until 1907. The new Saint-Gaudens proof issues were struck instead in "matte proof." Rather than polishing the dies for these proof coins, as was the procedure for brilliant proofs, the mint decided to sandblast the dies instead, creating a coin with what has become known as a matte finish, or sandblast proof.

In addition to matte proofs, the mint also manufactured Saint-Gaudens gold coins as satin finish proofs. Also called Roman finish, these unique coins were a hybrid between a brilliant proof surface and a matte surface. Roman finish proof gold coins were struck by the US. mint in 1909 and 1910, although a few examples exist in other years. Many collectors consider satin or Roman finish proofs to be the most beautiful of all proof coins!

Minted: 1907-1933
Content: .9675 oz gold
Purity: .900 fine
Diameter: 34 mm
Thickness: 2.41 mm
Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens
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