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The coin is worth more than 1 million USD

AmericaA $10 gold coin designed by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1907 sold for $1.14 million.

The double price is expected, the highest during the “Dr Paul and Rosalie Zito Collection” session of Stack’s Bowers – America’s oldest coin auction house – in Costa Mesa last week.

On the front of the coin is a statue of Liberty not wearing a laurel wreath but wearing a war cap – a feathered hat for male leaders of Indian tribes in America. On the reverse side is an eagle standing on an olive branch, based on the image of a “tough eagle” Saint-Gaudens designed for President Roosevelt’s 1905 inaugural medal.

The auction house commented: “The rare, world-class coin will captivate even the most connoisseur of classics and connoisseurs. The colors are sparkling and vibrant, shining from every angle.” According to MidasgoldgroupThe coin represents the will, perseverance, and daring – a symbol of the American spirit at the turn of the century. Rosalie Zito bought this coin in March 2003 and has been kept by the family ever since.

Front (left) and back of the coin.  Photo: Stacks Bowers

Front (left) and back of the coin. Image: Stack’s Bowers

According to Artnet, the coin has a remarkable history. In his youth, President Roosevelt traveled around Europe and was impressed with the images on ancient Greek coins he saw in museums. While in office, the President harshly criticized current coin designs. He believes that America should have gold coins that reflect the greatness of the country. So he asked sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign all of the nation’s gold coins, including the $10 coin.

Saint-Gaudens has made several designs for the $10 bill. When Roosevelt saw it, he suggested that the left-facing bust of the Statue of Liberty should wear a war cap instead of a laurel wreath. Saint-Gaudens made the change in February 1907.

The plaster models were prepared in the workshop of Saint-Gaudens in New Hampshire and sent to Philadelphia on June 1, 1907 to be turned into molds. They faced objections from Charles Edward Barber – the chief engraver of the United States Mint – because the buoyancy of the relief was too high for the coins to be stacked. Barber fixed the configuration to allow stacking

At that time, Saint-Gaudens had terminal cancer and could not come to the venue to discuss. Through his assistant, he reworked a modified design based on feedback and submitted it to the Mint. Barber reviewed and stated that “the molds made from these models would be a great improvement” over the model he edited.

However, due to a misunderstanding, a modified version of the Barber was put into production instead of the finished Saint-Gaudens design, totaling 31,500 coins. Frank Leach – director of the United States Mint – asked to stop production, melt all of them, only keeping 50 coins. In the memoirs Recollections of a Newspaperaperman In 1917, Frank Leach said that 50 coins were given to art museums, officials as well as people related to the work. When Leach gave the coin to the members of the Trial Committee in 1908, only Congressman William Ashbrook of Ohio wanted to accept it. He also bought the remaining 12 coins from other members.

According to Stacksbowersthe 1907 ring coin is now one of the rarest and most prized coins of the 20th century, sought after by antiquities researchers and art collectors.

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