In 1909, Theodore Roosevelt left on the famous Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition shortly after leaving office. The expedition, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, was conducted to acquire African specimens for the Washington museum. The former president and his hunting party collected 23,151 specimens from insects to elephants, many of which would remain on display for the rest of the 20th century. Could this 1909 double eagle have been used by Scribner's Magazine as part of the $50,000 given to Roosevelt in exchange for his documentation of the adventure?
In 1908, Congress mandated that the motto IN GOD WE TRUST once again take its place on the Double Eagle. This ruling overturned an earlier decision by President Theodore Roosevelt, who believed that the use of a diety's name on circulating coinage was an act blasphemy. The Motto portion of the Saint-Gaudens series continued through 1933 with a singe interruption in yearly production from 1917-1919. By far the rarest issue of this era is the final-year 1933, of which only a single example is currently legal to own. That coin fetched a record $7,590,020 at auction in 2002. Other key dates are the 1920-S, 1921, 1927-D, 1927-S, 1929, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D and 1932, most examples of which were melted in the Mint after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued the Gold Recall Act in 1933. Semi key-date issues include the 1908-S, 1924-D, 1924-S, 1925-D, 1925-S, 1926-D and 1926-S.