1906 Barber Double Eagle Ultra High Relief Reverse Proofs Now Available
Coin collectors around the world know about the $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. But what about the $20 Barber Double Eagle?
At the same time that Saint-Gaudens was racing against time to complete his masterpiece before his passing, then-U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber was rebelliously crafting what may be his own finest work.
Now, for the first time ever, that “what if?” design can be yours struck as Barber never could have imagined it, and as you’ve never seen it before—struck as a dramatic double-sided Ultra High Relief Reverse Proof!
A Tale of Two Double Eagles
In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt decided he was thoroughly unsatisfied with America’s coinage. But rather than turn to the designer of that coinage, U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, Roosevelt turned to famed American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. In return, Roosevelt received what may be the most beautiful U.S. coin ever created—the $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. But what about Barber?
As the story goes, Barber was insulted that Roosevelt chose an outsider, American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, to redesign America’s coinage. And so Barber took it upon himself to design his own $20 Double Eagle Pattern. A beautiful work of numismatic art, the design was rejected even before Saint-Gaudens had completed work on his own design.
It remains a mystery why Barber’s Double Eagle pattern was never destroyed, but after being hidden away for years in an unknown location, it now resides in the Smithsonian® as a testament to Barber’s artistic abilities and a reminder of the artistic feud that took place between Barber and Saint-Gaudens, with Teddy Roosevelt squarely in the middle!
Barber’s 1906 Double Eagle Pattern
Regarded as one of the finest numismatic works ever created by Barber, the design features a standing Liberty on the reverse with one hand resting upon a sword and the other holding a pole with a Liberty cap upon it. Behind her is a bald eagle with its wings spread. Sun rays appear behind Liberty, along with the motto “In God We Trust.” For this limited release, a 2020 date has been added, as has the Smithsonian sunburst. The original “20 Dollars” has been replaced by “Double Eagle,” as this proof bears no official legal-tender value.
The obverse displays Liberty in a Phrygian cap with her name emblazoned across it. Also known as a pileus or Liberty cap, these hats were worn as a symbol of Liberty during the French Revolution. Also surrounding her head is an olive branch, symbolizing peace. The 1906 date rests below, while 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies surround Liberty’s profile. It’s believed that Barber took inspiration from the 1872 Gold Double Eagle pattern created by his father and predecessor as U.S. Mint Chief Engraver, William Barber.
Ultra High Relief Reverse Proof
For the first time ever, Barber’s historic design has been struck in double-sided Ultra High Relief with a Reverse Proof finish. To strike such a commemorative is no simple feat, and requires both great skill and state-of-the-art equipment.
Each commemorative begins as a highly polished, double-thick Piedfort planchet. Using intricately carved and specially treated dies, the planchet is struck multiple times under extreme pressure. The result? A beautiful proof with deep, concave fields that feature a frosty finish while the devices sit high above with a stunning mirrored finish.
The minting technology of the early 1900s could never have produced Barber’s design in such incredible detail or relief. It’s literally more impressive than Barber could ever have dreamed possible, and it comes officially approved by the Smithsonian®!
Struck in 99.9% Gold or Silver
This limited-edition 1906 Barber Double Eagle Ultra High Relief Reverse Proof is available struck in one ounce of 99.9% pure gold, two ounces of 99.9% fine silver or five ounces of 99.9% fine silver. Each piece features the same stunning level of relief and a reverse proof finish.
Certified Flawless by NGC
If you’re going to add this storied “what if?” design to your collection, you’ll want it in the best possible condition. That’s why a number of these proofs are available certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), one of the world’s leading third-party grading services, as flawless Proof-70 Ultra Cameo (PF70 UC) condition.
World Exclusive Limited Release
This is a world exclusive release, but mintages of the 1906 Barber Double Eagle Ultra High Relief Reverse Proofs are incredibly limited. Just 1,500 two-ounce silver, 750 five-ounce silver, and a mere 250 one-ounce gold proofs have been authorized worldwide. Even fewer are available certified by NGC as perfect PF70 UC.
Each proof will arrive in a black presentation case with a certificate of authenticity and a storybook that allows you to share the complete story of Barber’s 1906 Double Eagle Pattern.
Don’t miss out on this historic release!
2020 Smithsonian One-Ounce Gold 1906 Barber Double Eagle Ultra High Relief Reverse Proof
2020 Smithsonian Five-Ounce Silver 1906 Barber Double Eagle Ultra High Relief Reverse Proof
2020 Smithsonian Two-Ounce Silver 1906 Barber Double Eagle Ultra High Relief Reverse Proof
Each non-denominated commemorative proof is privately-minted and officially licensed by the Smithsonian®
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