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|Reverse Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens|
|Melt Value: $1197.30 (8/21/2018)|
The 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle was created to realize sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens original vision for the nation’s signature gold coin. Unfortunately, the coin’s design was not technologically feasible to strike for circulation in 1907. Using the original plaster models for the coins that were hand-sculpted by Saint-Gaudens himself, the mint created a masterpiece of modern coinage that still sells for a hefty premium even after being sold to demand in 2009.
The coin itself is struck in 24-karat gold, which is much more malleable than 22-karat gold, which allows for easier striking. The original design has been updated with an additional 4 stars representing the 4 states added since 1907, and the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST added above the sun on the reverse. Additionally, the coin was struck on a smaller diameter planchet (27 vs 34mm) to allow for a higher relief. Aside from those three changes, the coin represents the final realization of Augustus Saint Gauden’s gorgeous design.