1908 $20 Motto MS67 Certification #06666146, PCGS #9147
David Akers (1975/88)In mid-1908, after considerable public agitation for it, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse and the obverse hub (and consequently the dies) was significantly strengthened. As a result, the 1908 With Motto appears more sharp and detailed than the earlier No Motto issues. (Interestingly, there are some 1908 With Motto specimens that have the weak 1908 No Motto obverse. I have seen only a few such specimens and they probably are quite rare.) The typical 1908 With Motto is very sharply struck and has the "soft" frosty finish; I don't recall ever seeing a satiny one. Lustre is usually a little subdued and the color is most often a light to medium greenish gold and orange. This is certainly not one of the "flashier" looking issues of the series.
In the past, this issue has sometimes been touted as being a tremendous rarity in Mint State. There is no doubt that it is very rare in MS-64 or better condition but below that level, it is only scarce, certainly not rare. Even in gem condition, I do not find it to be as rare as the 1909, 1911 or 1914 although admittedly others' experience may differ from mine. Dr. William Crawford once owned the nicest I have seen, a beautiful frosty gem he purchased from dealer Gordon Wrubel. Dr. Thaine Price owns another exceptional specimen. Dr. Steven Duckor and a prominent Eastern collector both have gems and there are others. Still, in gem condition, this is an issue that is almost never available.
Augustus Saint Gaudens
90% Gold, 10% Copper
The United States of America
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded