United States, 20 Dollars, 1907 (experimental)

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 6/11/2009

This is the fourth object in the Roosevelt/Saint-Gaudens object group.


Someone once observed that a giraffe was a horse designed by a committee. The same might be said of this coin: what had seemed a good idea around a table in the boardroom proved to be an interesting but spectacular flop as it neared production.

The coin resulted from a project that President Theodore Roosevelt began in 1905 to redesign American coinage. He commissioned sculptor August Saint-Gaudens to create the new designs, and Saint-Gaudens developed a plan for an ultra-high relief $20 coin. The coin here, which appears to have been struck early in 1907, followed Saint-Gaudens' basic designs, but there the similarities ended...