The Flat Reliefs



Between 1907 and the end of the coin's run in 1933, Flat Relief versions of the Saint were struck, and they were struck in huge numbers, 70 million in all. Many were subsequently melted down by the Mint, however.

Still, there's a plentitude of Flat Relief Saints on the market at any given time, making them considerably easier to afford than their higher relief forebears. Uncirculated specimens start at around $350. Though Flat Reliefs have less than half the edge thickness of the Ultra High Reliefs, they retain the timeless Saint-Gaudens design in all its glory.

Unlike the Ultra High Reliefs and High Reliefs, which feature Roman numerals for the date, the Flat Reliefs feature regular Arabic numerals. Proofs were struck but only in small numbers--687 in all, from 1908 through 1915. They start at about $10,000.

All Saints minted from 1907 to 1911 have 46 stars on the obverse, while those minted from 1912 to 1933 have 48 stars, marking the admission of New Mexico and Arizona to the Union.

But the biggest variation in the Flat Reliefs is with the motto, "In God We Trust." All of the coins of 1907--Ultra High Reliefs, High Reliefs, and Flat Reliefs--were "No Motto" Saints, as were 90 percent of the more than five million Saints of 1908. This was a design decision made deliberately by Roosevelt and Saint-Gaudens.

Roosevelt, a devout man, believed that God belonged in houses of worship, not in the places where coins circulate, which include saloons, casinos, and brothels. To this day many other people feel that including God on our nation's coins defiles the First Amendment and the separation of church and state that it mandated.

Members of Congress at the time, however, objected to the absence of the motto. In late 1908, "In God We Trust" was added to the Saint's reverse above the sun. The "With Motto" versions are of slightly higher relief than the "No Motto" Flat Reliefs struck in 1907 and 1908.

Though Augustus Saint-Gaudens died from cancer in August 1907, shortly before mass production of his namesake coins began, his vision
lives on.
















The Appeal




Flat Reliefs




More Info

Other glomworthy coins:

Oldest Coins

 Athenian Owls

Alexander the Great Coins

Medusa Coins

Thracian Tetradrachms

House of Constantine

Draped Bust Coins

Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles

Coin sites:
Coin Collecting: Consumer Protection Guide
Glomming: Coin Connoisseurship
Bogos: Counterfeit Coins

© 2014 Reid Goldsborough

Note: Any of the items illustrated on these pages that are in my possession are stored off site.