US Coins

Georgia Collector Wins Free Mint State High Relief $20

Continuing an annual tradition begun in 1996, Heritage Auctions has awarded a Mint State High Relief double eagle as the Grand Prize in Heritage's annual survey of clients. The seventeenth rarity, certified by NGC as an MS-60, has gone to Rick Owen, a collector from Georgia. The Surveys are undertaken by the auction firm to support high levels of service.

According to Mr. Owen: "All day I have had a smile on my face. It is still very hard to believe that I won the High Relief Grand Prize from Heritage's Survey. Things like this do not happen to me. I want to thank Heritage for this outstanding gift."

Mr. Owen's interest in rare coins," explained Heritage Vice-President David Mayfield, "started when he was just 9 years old. His grandfather had collected coins for most of his life, and started his grandson in the hobby. Rick took on a paper route to earn money to start buying coins from the local coin shop — that was 57 years ago and he is still collecting!"

"Over the decades," added Mr. Owen, "I completed nearly all of the Twentieth Century American series in high grade, and the Morgan dollars. I am currently working on completing my Walkers and Barbers. I also have complete runs of proof sets from 1900 to date, and Mint Sets from 1939 to date. I have also been buying more modern Mint products through Heritage — I just purchased the 1995-W American Silver Eagle proof from Heritage at Central States this month, using Heritage LIVE!"

Continued Owen: "For the last several years I have used Heritage Auctions to buy coins, and my dealings with the Heritage staff have always been a pleasure. When I cannot attend a major show, I use Heritage LIVE! — it's really like being on the auction floor. I must note that the Heritage archives always provide me with a resource that I cannot put a price on. When I go to a coin show, I always take my iPad — and before I buy any coin I always check the prices realized archives. What coin collectors are actually paying is the most important piece of information a buyer can have. Heritage has provided collectors an even playing field for that information."

The 1907 High Relief Double Eagle, dated with the Roman numerals MCMVII, is generally voted the most beautiful American coin ever minted. It also enjoys popularity as a first-year-of-issue coin, and a less-than-one-year type, with a tiny mintage of 12,367 pieces. The High Relief double eagle is avidly pursued at every coin show and auction where it appears. Even novice collectors quickly become aware of the fascinating history of the coin, starting with President Theodore Roosevelt's desire to improve the aesthetic qualities of America's coinage. 'Teddy' selected sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to render his vision, with an appreciation for the coins of ancient Greece with their high relief designs and strong artistic traditions. Unfortunately, production problems (multiple blows were required to bring up all of the details) and stacking problems in banks limited the High Reliefs' commercial usage. 

Community Comments