Roosevelt had specifically requested Saint-Gaudens not to put “In God We Trust” on the new coin, feeling that the motto’s presence on coins was a debasement of God’s name, as the coins might be spent to further criminal activities Saint-Gaudens was quite willing to omit the motto, as he felt the words detracted from the design elements. There was a public outcry about the omission of the motto, and what Breen describes as an “outraged and furious” Congress ordered the motto to appear. Barber duly modified the coin to include the motto, taking the opportunity to make several minor changes to the design, which, according to Breen, do not improve the coin. In 1912, two more stars were added to the obverse to reflect the admission of New Mexico and Arizona to the Union. The existing stars were not adjusted in position; the two new ones were placed on the outcropping at the lower right.
The only major variety of the series occurred in 1909, an overdate in which an 8 shows under the final nine in the date. This most likely happened when a 1908 die was struck by a 1909-dated hub, creating the overdate. Perhaps half of the 161,282 double eagles struck at Philadelphia that year display the overdate.
In 1916, minting of double eagles ceased, as bullion prices were rising because of World War I, which also caused an influx of American gold coins from Europe. Holders of gold coin, such as banks, refused to pay them out at par value, and they vanished from circulation. In the aftermath of the war, international demand for the coin was restored; many Europeans distrusted their local currencies and desired double eagles to hold. The coin was struck in large numbers once coinage was resumed in 1920, but it was now almost exclusively a coin of international trade, or was held by banks as backing for gold certificates. The coin itself rarely circulated in the United States. The onset of the Depression in 1929 did not halt the minting of double eagles, but the coins were for the most part held in Treasury vaults, and few were released. Many of the great rarities of the Saint-Gaudens series stem from its final years. Despite a mintage of almost 1.8 million pieces of the 1929 double eagle, it is estimated that fewer than 2,000 exist today, with all the rest melted by the government in the late 1930s.
Article Source: en.wikipedia.org
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