Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
The Augustus Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle ($20) Coin
I'm Peter the Mint Eagle and I know a classy coin when I see one! In fact, many coin collectors consider this month's selection to be the world's most beautiful coin. Why do you think I picked it for the month of January?
Kids, you may not know this, but Ellis Island celebrates its birthday every January. This important New York City immigrant entry-port opened on January 1, 1892. From then through 1954, over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island. The immigrants, people from foreign countries who moved to the United States, made many wonderful contributions to our country.
Like Ellis Island, this beautiful coin honors the immigrant spirit. Its designer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, was an Irish immigrant. He arrived in the United States in 1848 while still a little baby.
Who could have guessed that little baby would become a world-famous sculptor? But he did. Augustus Saint-Gaudens is the artist behind famous national monuments like General John A. Logan (Chicago), the Pilgrim (Philadelphia) and General Sherman (New York City).
At the end of his career, Augustus Saint-Gaudens designed two coins. This is one of them. A double eagle, worth $20 in its day, is very valuable now. Look for this $20 double eagle whenever you go to a coin show. Ask your grandparents if they still have one.