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Uncle Sam Did Something Right

September 25, 2009 by  

Uncle Sam Did Something Right

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt summoned his personal friend, famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, to the White House. His request: Please design new coinage for the United States. Roosevelt wanted our coins modeled on the coins of ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy.

Although in failing health, Saint-Gaudens accepted what would become his last challenge. He produced a stunning design that many consider to be the most beautiful coin ever produced… the $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Sadly, Saint-Gaudens died without ever seeing his magnificent coin enter circulation.

The Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle was minted from 1907 to 1933. The last gold coin struck by the U.S. Mint for regular issue, it remains a proud symbol of the emerging greatness of the United States in the early part of the 20th Century. In 1933, during the height of the Depression, a different Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, outlawed private ownership of gold by Americans. Production of new gold coins was halted and gold coins in circulation were confiscated. Double Eagles were melted down and added to the Treasury’s horde of gold. The few that weren’t seized are now highly prized collectibles.

In 1975, U.S. citizens were again permitted to own gold. At the time the bullion coin of choice was the South African Krugerrand. For many reasons our government wanted to issue its own gold coin. A representative of the U.S. Mint came to my office in Washington, DC and purchased a variety of gold coins. I was the executive vice president of Deak-Perera then, a company that specialized in foreign currencies, including gold and silver coins. They purchased gold coins minted in South Africa, Austria, and yes, even Mexico.

A few years later the U.S. Mint announced the production of a new American coin—the gold Eagle. It was available in four denominations: 1-oz, ½-oz, ¼-oz, and 1/10-oz of gold. The obverse featured a redesign of the classic Augustus Saint-Gaudens design.

I’m proud to say that during the first year of issue, 1986, my new company, Asset Strategies International, helped a major precious-metals company pre-sell more of these new American gold coins than any other company in the U.S. One day alone we shipped 600 registered packages throughout the country. Over the course of a year literally thousands of gold coins passed through our offices. The Eagle had definitely landed!

In 1986, the U.S. Mint added a silver dollar to its offerings. The silver Eagle contains 1 ounce of silver and has a face value of $1. The mint wisely chose to use Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design on the obverse of the coin. To say it is classically beautiful is an understatement. It is a joy to hold in your hand—and an even bigger delight to drop on your desk where it makes that unique “silver on wood” clink that Americans haven’t heard in years.

There is much that our government has done and wants to do with which we could quarrel. But no one can deny that it makes the most beautiful modern coinage in the world. And you can own some for a small premium over the spot price of their gold and silver content!

The best way to purchase these gorgeous coins is through a reputable coin dealer. You’ll find a list of recommended dealers on the website for the U.S. Mint, I’m proud to note that ASI has been included there for many years.

Because demand can rise and fall, so can premiums. Get two or three different quotes before you buy. (And never, never give your business to mass marketers, who always have the highest premiums around. How do you think they can afford all that advertising?)

With gold hovering around $1,000 an ounce, the gold American Eagle is admittedly expensive. Remember, you can purchase versions as small as 1/10th ounce. But note: the smaller the coin, the higher the premium.

An even better investment, in my opinion, is the silver American Eagle. You can purchase this classic American beauty for less than $20 each. As the price of silver continues to climb (something I think is all but inevitable) your coins could turn out to be a superb investment.

When I was growing up, on every birthday, my parents gave me a bright, shiny silver dollar. I still have those coins, mostly for sentimental reasons. But they’ve also soared in value. If you’d like your children to know what “real money” used to look like, you might consider doing the same. After all, the only thing that’s still good as gold is gold… or maybe silver.

Dr. Michael Cutler

is a graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif. Dr. Cutler is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder and editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter — a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients.

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  • DaveH

    If you do buy precious metals to protect your savings against the upcoming massive inflation, consider buying in small enough amounts to avoid the reporting requirements from precious metals dealers. Avoid leaving any personal information with the dealer. And don’t store your metals in a safe-deposit box. If Franklin Roosevelt could get away with such a massive theft of personal assets, then you know damn well that Urkel is capable of doing it.

  • DaveH

    If you love liberty this is a cool book (and online):

  • Adrienne Williams

    Article on banks, off-shore, etc. – was a stock-broker in the 80s for Smith – husband vice president (retired) on Wall st for largest entity. The plans are already set – that is how government and financial institutions work – 5 to 10 year plans. Agencies in good standing with the administration will be spared. When one door closes for money people another opens and we were able to take advantage of all. Is it right – no. But most Americans sit home enjoy TV, games, sports, etc and love their politicians when they say FREE and pay no attention to what is actually happening or questioning motives. To get the best out of life you have to WORK at reality and not always take the word of these actors/actresses.

    • eyeswideopen

      Well said, kudos to you.

  • Rick @ American Eagle Platinum Coins

    Hi, I really have enjoyed your site. Thank You.

  • David

    Buy pine tree seeds too, they will be worth more when carbon trading morphs past the stock market in trading volume. Oh yea, six pine trees equates to 1 ton co2 offset/year so you will need to purchase some land too! I am just kidding Eyes so be nice to me….

  • Earl Ellison

    All good except silver will far out perform gold because it has been manipulated down more than gold,it is far more scarce than gold, has wide industrial uses that is growing, is a smaller market by far so that if a tiny amount of gold bugs switch some $ to silver or convert paper promises to physical silver,it will explode past $100/oz within 2 years. Industry will pay any price for silver because only tiny amounts are needed for effect and thus a small cost of the total product or use. The company won’t shut down due to silver price. The bigger fear to soon be realized is they can’t find silver to buy, and those that do will begin to hoard. HI HO SILVER AWAY!

  • Cybercorrespondent

    The Obama elixir as shown in this video- was prescribed by George Soros and the far left. I wish we had congressmen like the concerned citizen in this video that read what he was asked to sign first. After you finish watching the video, ask yourselves these important questions. Why are the public officials we elleted allowing Obama to shred our Constitution? Do you think Obama should remake the health care system with new federal regulations, mandates and big-government? Don’t you think that taking money from the productive sector of our society and distributing it to the nonproductive will destroy this great country of ours? Why is congress and other politicians dooing nothing about the Obama czars and other communist- fashist appointees he chose to assist him in shreding our constitution? If the thread doesn’t turn live, copy and past it onto Google.

  • caradoc1

    i hate to correct the author but he’s wrong about the date that silver eagles were introduced, he states that in 2001 the mint offered silver dollars ( a.k.a eagle’s) the fact is they offered them in 1985, the first year of production of both gold and silver eagles’, i have several eagles dateing back to 1987. so a correction us needed.

    • Rich Checkan

      Dear “caradoc1″:

      Thank you for catching this typo. As Michael’s business partner of 40 years, Glen O. Kirsch, always says, “It is tough to be perfect in an imperfect world.” We actually caught this typo in the initial draft stage of this article, but, somehow, the correction was never made, and it slipped out into the final version undetected.

      Silver Eagles were initially released to the public in 1986…the first year of issue for both the Gold and Silver Eagle Programs.

      Thank you again for helping us set the record straight. It is good to know that someone out there is reading.

  • Jim

    I want to get my gold out of the country. Is there some safe way to send it out to a friendly location? Sounds like a stupid question, but I want to follow it out in a few years or sooner, when this place becomes intolerable or dangerous to live in. Also, are there some countries where its easy to become a permanent resident?

  • William

    I also noticed the obvious date mistake, and at the same time I thought my 1986 and up silver coins will be really rare items.

  • caradoc1

    does anybody out there know why the older versions of the silver eagles have a much more brialliant shine to them then the newer ones. was just curious, but i think the older ones pre 1990′s look alot better, the newer ones 2000 and above. there shine seems to be more
    dullified. as if they werent somehow buffed up as the older ones seems to appear.

    • s c

      Caradoc1, unless those eagles have a high silver content (but not pure silver), I’d suggest buying ‘junk’ silver. The big boys know how to play the game when they stock up on bullion. For most of us ‘mortals,’ that’s another league.
      I prefer coins that are already collector’s items. Anything silver that is dated no ‘later’ than 1964 will be worth having. Most coins ‘newer’ than 1964 might be good for filling up continers to serve as bookend weights.

  • Mary

    where do you buy gold coins?

  • antoniobacalhau

    what i think is, that the materials used this days, are not as good as it used to be in the old days, and i believe it applies for just everything.
    WE humans ,not pure as used to be, it goes with the times.

    Tony B.

    • s c

      To me, being wowed by ‘attractive’ coins helps the government. At the same time, it makes me a slave to a government that lost its way before I was born.
      When a government goes out of its way to DEVALUE the dollar, the American people should know they’re been scammed and screwed by their ‘compassionate, caring and enlightened’ government.
      The first sign occurred when people couldn’t get gold for paper. The second sign happened when people couldn’t get silver for paper. The next step is to put ‘full faith and credit’ to its ultimate test. Those who believe in ‘full faith and credit’ will be screwed. Those who believe in having currency that has REAL VALUE will survive. Why would anyone be a slave to a government that is not fit to govern?

      Denial is an ugly thing. History says NO government can be trusted for very long. Our government went the way of Judas in the early 1900s.

  • http://m Botun Nyein

    Indeed,Uncle Sam did the right thing.I am historian.This is a landmark
    of history.I am Myanmar.I am searching for Saint Gauden $20 souble Eagle mint in Myanmar.I found a fake one.So the gold coins always be precious.

  • DaveH
  • DaveH
  • DaveH

    This is unbelievable. Have I been teleported back in time to the 1970s USSR?

  • DaveH

    Speaking of Gold, this man has awesome talent:

  • Joe H.

    The silver eagles are all 99.9% pure silver so they would be just as valuable for bullion value as the pre 64 coins. Collectors value, however, makes pre 64 coins more valuable! Some coins in the silver eagles do seem to “tone” more than others due to some unknown reason. Possibly like the 1970 fords the metal was not taken to high enough temp when smelted?

  • s c

    It will never happen, but I’d know America still had a chance if at least three coins contained 50% silver [dime, quarter and a half dollar). At this rate, we’ll soon have plastic coins and holographic dollars.
    Someone needs to put Bernanke in a corner, and remind him that the Swiss know how to take care of their currency. For someone who supposedly knows more about the Depression than anyone else in America, Ben the Boob acts more like a 2009 California teenager (fer sure!).
    I don’t see how a group like the Three Stooges could do any worse than Bernanke. At least the stooges are familiar with comedy. Bernanke has been living on a self-centered pedestal (like Greenspan) for too long.


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