Because of the beauty of the design and the fact that it represented the first significant design change in the 58 year history of the Double Eagle series, High Reliefs were saved in quantity and preserved with great care. As a result, many High Reliefs exist and a substantial portion of them are in choice or gem uncirculated condition. Its history, beauty and low mintage have made it one of the most popular U.S. gold coins and this popularity has brought about the High Relief's comparatively valuation.
Some Wire Rim coins, especially circulated ones, have much, if not most, of their wire rim missing and so it is sometimes difficult to tell whether a particular coin is a Wire Rim or a Flat Rim merely by looking at the rim. However, since the varieties resulted from the use of collars, they are also distinguishable by looking at the lettered edge. On the Flat Rim variety there is a number of raised lines on the edge running parallel to the rim. These are absent on the Wire Rim variety.
All High Reliefs were struck a minimum of three to five times , so it is not surprising that they are always fully struck. Most specimens are very frosty but many of them have a very satiny texture and often display a myriad of raised die swirls and scratches in the fields. Luster is always excellent and the color is most often a light to medium greenish gold. A few specimens have a coppery hue, however.
Four years prior to the production of the High Relief $20 gold coins in late 1907, President Roosevelt sent a letter dated August 3, 1903 congratulating Saint-Gaudens on his recently completed Sherman monument installed at New York's Grand Army Plaza. Commissioned a few years later to redesign the double eagle, the sculptor adapted the allegorical figure Victory for the Sherman monument. The striding figure of Liberty on the this piece a three-dimensionality lacking on other coins, especially those struck around the turn of the last century. This design is one of the most beautiful and understandably, popular in all of numismatics.