Theodore Roosevelt and the Renaissance of American Coinage

May 14, 2013 in Coins, Collecting, Commemorative, Design, Education, Gold, Gold Coins, History, Numismatica, Numismatics, USA Coins

May 13, 2013 (

Theodore Roosevelt  Presidential 1 Dollar Coin (2013)

Theodore Roosevelt Presidential 1 Dollar Coin (2013)

Back in December 1904, three years after he took office, Theodore Roosevelt sent a famous letter to Treasury Secretary Leslie Shaw that ushered in a new age of American coinage.

Here’s what he said:

 I think our coinage is artistically of atrocious hideousness. Would it be possible, without asking permission of Congress, to employ a man like Saint-Gaudens to give us a coinage that would have some beauty?

Roosevelt’s strong words are not surprising coming from a man of great passion and conviction who rarely did anything by half measure. The Saint-Gaudens referred to in the letter is, of course, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a Roosevelt family friend who would go on to design the $10 and $20 gold pieces that are still beloved by collectors today.

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