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Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his influence on American currency

February 23, 2012192 view(s)

One of the most popular rare coins collected today is the American Gold Eagle. In 1986, the first year the eagle coins were minted, they were an ounce in weight. Ever since its introduction, the gold coins have been produced in four weights - one-ounce, one-half ounce, one-fourth ounce and a one-tenth ounce coin.

All Gold Eagles are minted with 22-karat gold, which makes them more resistant to wear and tear. There are often limited releases that have garnered perfect Proof 70 certification, so collectors who want an expansive portfolio may want to get their hands on these coins before they run out completely.

The front of the coins was designed by Augustus Saint-Guadens, who is revered as one of the greatest American sculptors of all time. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he constructed some of the country's most cherished monuments such as the Admiral Farragut, which stands in New York's Madison Square Park.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1848, but moved to New York before he was a year old. He became an apprentice in the city and took classes at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design, according to PBS. After studying in Europe in his earlier years, Saint-Gaudens returned to the United States to settle down and sculpt art on commission. He was later approached to design the original $20 Gold Double Eagle coin, which was minted from 1907 to 1933.

Coin enthusiasts may want to purchase a set of the American Eagle coins to help add some additional historical relevance to their portfolios. Saint-Gaudens' art is often unattainable, as each creation is featured in a museum or park. Collectors can own a piece of his legacy today by picking up Gold American Eagle coins and adding them to their collection.

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