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Image of United States, 10 Dollars, 1908
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Materials: Gold
Measurement: Dia. 27.1 mm, Wt. 16.721 g
Source: Transfer from U.S. Mint
Note: Breen 7098

United States, 10 Dollars, 1908

In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt asked sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to lead an effort to redesign American coinage. Saint-Gaudens developed a concept that many consider the most beautiful American coin ever conceived, the Ultra High Relief $20 piece.

In addition to this $20 Dollar coin, Saint-Gaudens also redesigned the $10 coin, or eagle, but did not live to see this effort through to completion. With Saint-Gaudens's passing, the eagle project was entrusted to Chief Engraver Barber.

There was little he could do to bowdlerize the artist's original: Saint-Gaudens had put most of his efforts for high relief coinage into the double eagle. His ten-dollar piece offered modest innovations in terms of its relief, but it didn't awake Barber's opposition to the extent that the double eagle design had. The redesigned eagle was struck through early 1933, essentially in the form in which Saint-Gaudens had created it.

There was one innovation in mid-1908. Theodore Roosevelt frowned on the inclusion of the motto "In God We Trust," on American money. He said religion and commerce didn't mix. So neither the new double eagle nor the new eagle bore the traditional inscription for the first year or so. But Roosevelt would soon be on his way out of office and the motto was reinstituted on both coins. This coin is one of the earlier "godless" ones. When the motto returned, it appeared before the eagle's breast on the reverse.
Related Events
1901: Theodore Roosevelt becomes president when President McKinley dies.
1902: Congress authorizes building of the Panama Canal.
1904: Theodore Roosevelt elected president in his own right.
1907: Augustus Saint-Gaudens dies. His son, Homer, with others, completes the coin redesign project.
1908: Ford Motor Company introduces its Model T car.
Legendary Beauties The following objects are in this section.
Ancient Greek Silver Coin (Dekadrachm), about 400 B.C.E.United States, 20 Dollars, 1906 (Pattern)United States 10 Dollars, 1907 (Pattern)
Roosevelt Inaugural Medal, 1905United States, 20 Dollars, 1907United States, 10 Dollars, 1908
United States, 20 Dollars, 1907 (Pattern)United States, 20 Dollars, 1907 
United States, 20 Dollars, 1907 (Experimental)United States. 20 Dollars, 1908 (Matte Proof) 
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