1911-D/D ST. GAUDENS $20 NGC MS67
GEM SATIN LUSTER. JUST A SINGLE MS67+ GRADED HIGHER.
NGC PRICE GUIDE IS $57,000
Featured Price: $39,500
Competition is the key component in a capitalist society, which allows all participants an equal opportunity to earn and gain within their respected niches. This was part of the American Dream from the beginning and has remained this way since our founding. Though, as with anything, everything was not always perfect and practice makes perfect. Part of the practice was the early trial and error of capital power- when and where does it stop? By 1890, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an act proposed by Senator John Sherman of Ohio who wished to provide legality for the federal government to regulate interstate business. At this point, Sherman was tied up in red tape while he struggled to limit the Standard Oil Company’s expansion. Sherman along with much of Ohio felt that John Rockefeller had crossed the line nearly two decades prior to the passage of the Anti-Trust Act. Rockefeller, a now well-known name, became the titan of industry we know when he invested in a small oil refinery outside of Cleveland that he would continue to build upon for years. By 1870 The Standard Oil Company controlled or operated 90-95% of America’s oil refineries as a result of mergers and contracts- which was the first of many red flags. In 1882, the company took a leap and created a Trust that gave it the ability to own all affiliated business as well as purchase, create or dissolve other business related to the Trust. In the end the trustees owned or operated more than forty corporations, which tightened Rockefeller’s grasp on the oil industry. Efforts to dissolve the company were not uncommon, but the trustees had adopted a series of legal mazes that made it nearly impossible to investigate. However, Ohio knew it could control intrastate business so the Ohio based office was ordered to shut down in 1892, but Standard Oil was able to remain in operation through its New York office. Eventually, thanks to the greed that success often breeds, Rockefeller changed the names of other state branches to reflect his brand: Standard Oil. This maneuver raised brows and once the New Jersey branch had adopted the new name, enough was enough. The company was finally brought to the Supreme Court in 1906 and the final ruling that the Standard Oil Company maintained an unfair monopoly crossed the bench in 1911. With the verdict in hand the company was forced to dissolve its New Jersey branch and divest its assets before the end of 1911. Slowly but surely the company did as it was told, but it still stuck around across the U.S. In fact, many companies we know today are a result of the dissolution of Standard Oil, which include: Chevron, Exxon/Mobil, Amoco, and BP.
Unlike the ugliness the Standard Oil Company faced in 1911, this twenty-dollar coin is unrivaled in beauty and artistry. Its origins lie in the hands of renowned twentieth-century sculptor, Augustus St. Gaudens who received the honor of designing the coin from President Theodore Roosevelt. Gaudens and Roosevelt had become friends a few years earlier when Gaudens created a commemorative medal for Roosevelt, during which he truly demonstrated his craft. The topic of U.S. coinage was not something Roosevelt took lightly as he had a vested interest in making American coins beautiful. Upon discussing coinage the two men confessed their adoration for the high-relief coins of Greece, which they felt were true art. This in turn sparked their interest in a collaboration to bring these coins to the U.S. St. Gaudens jumped on the opportunity and fashioned what is now considered the most beautiful coin in American history. The first designs of these coins featured an Ultra High-Relief strike of Lady Liberty standing in front of brilliant rays on the obverse. The reverse, also originally struck in Ultra-High relief, donned a majestic eagle in flight that conveyed a true sense of freedom. These first strikes were never intended for circulation, but Roosevelt and St. Gaudens did want the business strikes in a high relief. This however, turned out to be impractical because the coins would not stack due to the height of the design. A few 11,250 coins later, the design was flattened to enable stacking. Regardless, this did not take away from the beauty and each coin produced thereafter is just as beautiful as the first.