US Coins

Market Analysis: Ultra High Relief revived for double eagle in 2009

A 2009 Ultra High Relief $20 gold double eagle graded PCGS First Strike MS-70 Prooflike brought $7,200, nearly three times what a typical, uncertified example in its original mahogany box might bring.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

2009 saw the U.S. Mint revive one variation of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ famed Ultra High Relief 1907 double eagle design for use on a $20 Ultra High Relief gold issue.

As the “Red Book” explains, “It was made as a tour de force to demonstrate how technical advances in minting techniques can now accommodate manufacturing such a coin,” since no Ultra High Relief double eagles were struck for circulation in 1907.

The 2009 issue was made in a smaller diameter than the 1907 double eagle and struck in 24-karat gold, with the date presented in Roman numerals. The resulting coins measure 4 millimeters thick and contain 1 ounce of .999 fine gold. All 114,427 coins were struck at the West Point Mint.

While typical examples in their original mahogany boxes sell for around $2,500 in online auctions, collectors place added value on First Strikes or Early Release coins in top grades.

Heritage offered one graded Professional Coin Grading Service Mint State 70 Prooflike with a First Strike designation, confirming that it was received from the U.S. Mint within the first 30 days of issue. It sold for $7,200, a massive premium over a more typical example.

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