America’s $5 Half Eagle As Augustus Saint-Gaudens Envisioned It…As Realized by John Mercanti!
The iconic Augustus Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle is America’s most famous gold coin, and is often pointed to as the most beautiful American coin design ever. In 1905, Saint-Gaudens had been tasked by President Teddy Roosevelt with updating all American coin designs, but he succumbed to cancer after completing designs for only the $20 and $10 gold denominations.
Letters between the Mint Director George Even Roberts, Chief Engraver Charles Barber, and Saint-Gaudens’ assistant Henry Hering show that Saint-Gaudens’ designs were in the process of being modified for use on the Half and Quarter Eagle denominations. The work on those coin designs was halted due to controversy that arose over the exclusion of “In God We Trust” on the $20 Double Eagle—and other options were eventually explored. That’s how the $5 Gold Half Eagle wound up having Bela Pratt’s unique incuse design of an Indian Chief—which is remarkably similar to Saint-Gaudens design on the $10 Gold Eagle.
After seeing the challenges, the U.S. Mint faced in striking his teacher, Augustus Saint-Gauden’s, Ultra-High relief designs, Bela Pratt came up with the idea of adding depth to coins by striking them incuse. The theory was that it would be easier to strike a high relief design by sinking it into the coin, rather than forcing the high points to rise out from the coin. He built this thought process into his incuse designs for the $5 Half Eagle, but since Chief Engraver Barber was particularly opposed to the idea of an incuse design, he personally saw to it that the intended relief was severely reduced, causing Pratt to refer to Barber as a “butcher”. This design on the $5 Half Eagle and the $2.50 Quarter Eagle represented the first and last times the U.S. Mint struck an incuse coin.
From The Original Saint-Gaudens Plasters—the Classic American Coin Design that SHOULD Have Been!
Now in 2022, in honor of the 115th Anniversary of Saint-Gaudens iconic $20 Double Eagle design, the National Park Foundation (NPF) has authorized the production of a special commemorative showing what the Half Eagle may have looked like with that design. The designs here were carefully recreated from the original Saint-Gaudens’ plasters housed at the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park (SAGA), with none other than the retired 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, John Mercanti, responsible for recreating the model of Saint-Gaudens’ eagle in flight. As a nod to Bela Pratt’s work on incuse designs, the designs have been modified to be struck Super Incuse, with vast detail and relief.
Saint-Gaudens’s Iconic Gold Double Eagle Design Sinks To New Heights
This numismatic “woulda-shoulda-coulda” is drenched in detail. It’s absolutely remarkable. Making the design even more jaw-dropping is the super incuse strike with a combined obverse and reverse design depth of:
• Half-ounce Gold – 2.2mm
• Two-ounce Silver – 4mm
• Five-ounce Silver – 5mm
Depending on the size you are looking at, these super incuse depths account for 65% to over 90% of each specimen’s total thickness!
The obverse features Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ iconic standing liberty design—intricately detailed beginning with the undulating layers in Ms. Liberty’s flowing robes, to the torch (symbolic of freedom) and olive branch (symbolic of peace) she’s holding, to the word “LIBERTY” arcing above her, to the 48 stars representative of the 48 states present in the U.S. at the time of the original design, circling around the medal’s rim. A radiant sun rises in the background, and the capitol building can be seen on the horizon.
The reverse features John Mercanti’s rendition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ iconic flying eagle design, sunken into the piece to super incuse depths. The design shows an eagle with wings outspread in flight. The sun rises in the background, with rays of sunlight stretching up behind.
Struck in 99.99% Pure Gold and 99.9% Fine Silver
Sizes authorized for this sensational release include a piedfort half-ounce gold piece struck in the original diameter of the Half Eagle in high-purity 99.99% pure gold, as well as oversized pieces struck in five ounces and two ounces of 99.9% fine silver pieces. You can also get all three of these exquisite pieces in one set.
Collectors Covet for the Best Quality…
For any collectible item, collectors want the finest quality available. Specimens and coins are graded on a 70-point scale, with a grade of 70 representing absolute perfection, even under magnification. These are the grades most sought-after by collectors.
…And These Are the Best!
These commemoratives were struck as specimens. Traditionally, specimen coins are perfect examples of a particular circulating issue. They are among the first planchets struck from a new set of dies, giving them clear strikes and pristine finishes. And similar to proofs, specimens are handled with extreme care and set aside, usually as gifts or valuable collectibles. This was a common practice in the early days of the U.S. Mint, and specimen coins are distinctive for their soft satin finishes achieved by such careful handling.
This same method of handling and finish was used on these commemoratives, resulting in a beautiful frosting on the surface of these gold and silver specimens that allows light to be evenly diffused across the design—a perfect complement to the Super Incuse strike!
What’s Better than the Best?
These Commemoratives have not only earned perfect grades, they’ve also qualified for the desired First Day of Issue (FDI) pedigree, which means they were struck on or before their official day of release. First Day of Issue specimens are thought to have crisper strikes than those struck later because the dies are considered to be fresh with less mileage on them when the planchet is struck on the press, and because there are so few of them compared to the overall population.
Exclusive Saint-Gaudens’ Labels Hand-Signed by a Numismatic Legend
John Mercanti added his signature to the exclusive Saint-Gaudens labels encapsulated with these impressive and historic commemoratives! Mercanti is a giant in the numismatic world, having produced more coin and medal designs than any person in U.S. Mint history.
Very Low Quantity Limited Editions
The maximum worldwide editions for these 2022 Saint-Gaudens Super Incuse Half Eagles are extremely limited: a minuscule 499 half-ounce gold pieces, only 999 five-ounce silver pieces, and just 1,907 two-ounce silver pieces.
Just take a look at these awe-inspiring commemoratives to see what all the fuss is about!
2022 One-Half Ounce Gold Saint-Gaudens Super Incuse Half Eagle SP70 FDI Mercanti
2022 Five-Ounce Silver Saint-Gaudens Super Incuse Half Eagle SP70 FDI Mercanti
2022 Two-Ounce Silver Saint-Gaudens Super Incuse Half Eagle SP70 FDI Mercanti
Get this Tribute to America’s Most Beautiful Coin Design Now
The Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle design is often recognized as America’s most exquisite coin design of all time. Now that design appears here as a Super Incuse release with detail so spectacular that it needs to be seen to be believed! The past has finally met the future, but these limited-edition commemoratives won’t be around for long!
Do not drag your feet on this. Authorized quantities are small for these outstanding 2022 Saint-Gaudens Super Incuse Half Eagle Commemoratives with a John Mercanti-sculpted reverse design, in perfect condition with sought-after pedigrees and hand-signed labels. Secure yours now—before they’re gone!
These officially National Park Foundation licensed, privately struck, non-denominated commemorative specimens are distributed exclusively by the Scarce & Unique Division. National Park Foundation has authorized the production of these special private-issue, non-denominated commemoratives.
Hurry! Our supply will not last. Secure yours by calling 888-870-6339 right this minute!