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The Notable 1908 No Motto Saint in Three Grades

As perhaps one of the most popular gold coins in American history, the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is a quintessential coin celebrated for its beautiful design and equally fascinating history. When the $20 “Saint” first debuted in 1907, it received tremendous praise from the general public. Art critics and newspaper editorialists lauded the coin’s stunning design. While there was never a complaint about the coin’s aesthetics, some Americans were incensed by one glaring omission. 

Since 1866, in the Civil War’s immediate aftermath, all United States Double Eagles displayed the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” on the reverse. Including this inscription was not (yet) required by law, but became regular practice for the U.S. Mint. When these words vanished from the Double Eagle, many citizens were outraged.

In response to this public outcry, Congress ordered the U.S. Mint to place “IN GOD WE TRUST” on all coins upon which the motto previously appeared. This legislation specifically targeted the Saint-Gaudens-designed $10 Eagle and $20 Double Eagle—both of which lacked the motto. The Mint immediately complied with this mandate and restored the inscription on both gold coins. Consequently, the 1908 $10 and $20 gold pieces exist in “No Motto” and “With Motto” versions.

This turn of events transformed the 1908 “No Motto” $20 Saint into a notable coin. These “ungodly” Double Eagles became a distinct and short-lived design type—as such, they became favorites among collectors

However, the coin gained even greater notoriety over 90 years after its initial release. A surprise discovery in a Nevada bank vault turned the 1908 “No Motto” $20 Saint into one of America’s most famous coins.

In the late 1990s, a California coin dealer stumbled upon a pristine and intact hoard of 20,000 1908 “No Motto” $20 Saints. The find was one of the most spectacular in American numismatics and made national headlines. Not only was the hoard remarkable for its enormous size, but the quality of the coins was truly exceptional.

Even with all the Nevada hoard discoveries entering the market, the “No Motto” $20 Saint is still scarcer than the “With Motto” version—but you wouldn’t know it from looking at price guides. The 1908 “No Motto” $20 Saint is one of the few high-grade coins within the average collector’s budget. 

Today's Offer
Today’s “No Motto” issue is the perfect complement to your collection. This is a fantastic way to add variety to your set across multiple grades.

  • Your cost per MS64 coin is $2,399* delivered.
  • Your cost per MS65 coin is $2,599* delivered.
  • Your cost per MS66 coin is $3,399* delivered.

Please call us today at 800-831-0007 or email us to purchase one or more 1908 “No Motto” $20 Saints.

*Prices subject to change based on market fluctuation and product availability. Prices reflected are for cash, check, or bank wire. Free shipping, handling, and insurance are available for all quantities ordered. Grading service selection is random and depends on availability. Offer expires Friday, December 17, 2021, or while supplies last.