The Replicas


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, goes the adage. Along with the U.S. Mint with its American Gold Eagles, many private mints have flattered the timeless design of Saint-Gaudens' twenty-dollar gold piece.

As part of my own little collection, I have an MS-63 1908 No Motto Saint and an MS-69 2000 American Gold Eagle, plus the following Saint replicas in gold, gold plating, brass plating, and copper. Each, in its own way, is a variation on a theme.









Here's an American Historic Society low-relief replica of a High Relief Saint. Unlike many Saint replicas, it's a same-size replica--same diameter as the Real McCoy. Consisting of gold-plated copper, it weighs 22.1g compared with 33.4g for Saints.









This is an oversize gold-plated proof replica of a High Relief Saint from the Morgan Mint. It measures 47mm in diameter, compared with 34mm for Saints, and weighs 49.3g. It's more flamboyantly designed than the original, with more face detail and a powerfully muscular left thigh.









This is a VERY oversize High Relief replica, measuring 3 in. (75mm) in diameter. It consists of "goldene" (brass)-plated zinc and is available through Jake's Marketplace, the coin supply and coin dealer. Ms. Liberty's breasts, particularly the right one, are more accentuated than in authentic Saints. This replica doesn't feature a "COPY" mark. Astonishingly, one of these went up on eBay recently, described as an authentic coin, with bidding reaching $325 before the seller, from being contacted by others, canceled the auction.











Here's is a very small High Relief replica from National Collector's Mint. It's just 10mm in diameter and weighs 0.6g, consisting of solid 24k gold. Despite its tiny size, the design is faithful to that of authentic Saints.









Here's another miniature replica of a High Relief Saint, measuring 11mm in diameter and weighing 0.5g, only this one is poorly executed. The design is crude, with the eagle looking a bit like a snail. "TWENTY DOLLARS" is missing from the reverse and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" is on two lines instead of one. It doesn't feature a "COPY" mark. This proof replica is gold plated and has prominently reeded edges. I bought it on eBay and don't have a clue who made it.









This is another well-executed 24k miniature Saint replica, this time of a 1924 Saint. An offering of Rhodes Commemorative Society of Houston, TX, it's the smallest replica here in terms of diameter, measuring just 9mm, and it weighs 0.3g.










This is another miniature replica of a 1924 Saint. It's the thinnest and lightest replica here, weighing only 0.2 grams, and measuring 10mm in diameter. It consists of 8k gold. I bought it on eBay and don't know who made it.










Here's the nicest of the 1933 Saint replicas that hit the market after the sale of the genuine article in July 2002. It's a same-size proof replica from Royal Oak Mint that consists of gold-plated silver and weighs 23.3g. The "COPY" countermark sits fairly inconspicuously above the eagle's tail feathers.











This is another Saint replica from National Collector's Mint, this one an oversize proof replica of the 1933 Saint. Consisting of gold-plated bronze, it measures 39mm in diameter and weighs 27.0g.








  Here's the largest and most curious of the Saint replicas on this page. From the Washington Mint, it measures a whopping 3-1/2 in. (90mm) in diameter and weighs fully one-half pound (227g). Impressively, this proof replica consists of 24k gold-plated silver. Curiously, the obverse features the slimmed down Ms. Liberty and date of an American Gold Eagle, while the reverse features the flying eagle and sun of a Saint.

This is a bullion round, a replica made primarily as an attractive way to invest in bullion. Bullion rounds traditionally have been made of silver, and the copper of this one is indicative of copper's increasing value. Typical of bullion rounds, this one is inscribed on the reverse with its metal purity and weight, though this particular piece at 32.8g is actually slightly heavier than the 31.1g of a troy ounce. With a diameter of exactly 40mm, it's also somewhat larger than Saints. It's a handsome proof piece with a reeded edge, skillfully designed and attractively priced, a nice way to appreciate the beauty of pure copper. It was made by the Orlando Mint of Orlando, FL, and sold by Steel City Copper of Pittsburgh, PA.

More information about Saints, this way.





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.