The United States Mint issued the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin to fulfill the artistic vision of the sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens. His original vision for the $20 gold piece could not be realized during his time, but utilizing 21st century technology, the Mint was able to faithfully recreate a masterpiece.
To produce the 2009 UHR Double Eagle, the original Saint Gaudens coin plasters were digitally mapped. A number of minor updates were performed, which included changing the date to “MMIX” (2009), increasing the number of stars from 46 to 50, and adding the motto “In God We Trust” on the reverse of teh coin. A small border was added to both sides of the coin to create a more consistent edge.
Each coin was struck in 24 karat gold, which is more malleable than the 90% gold composition that was used for circulating gold coins. The diameter of the recreation is 27 mm with a thickness of 4 mm. All coins were stuck with an uncirculated finish, which can appear proof like for some examples.
The 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle was first revealed to the public at the ANA World’s Fair of Money held from public had its first glimpse of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Gold Coin when it was unveiled at the ANA World’s Fair of Money on July 30 to August 3, 2008. The coin was included within a four phase exhibit that illustrated the story of the coin from raw material to finished product. Four museum style cases included 24 karat gold bars, the original plaster casts that were digitally mapped, feasibility and progression strikes, and the final coin with packaging.
The US Mint commenced sales of the eagerly awaited coins on January 22, 2009. The Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins were initially priced at $1,189, with an ordering limit of one coin per household. Within the first day of availability, sales had reached more than 28,000 coins. Sales would continue for the rest of the year, with adjustments made to the pricing and ordering limits. The last opportunity to order the coins directly from the United States Mint was December 31, 2009.