In 1904 the President, Teddy Roosevelt, decided that the United States required a coinage of greater artistic merit worthy of the country's growing status in the world. He persuaded the leading American sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, to undertake the task. The first design to emerge was for the double eagle.
Liberty is now a full figure striding forward and holding a torch and laurel branch. Behind her is a rising sun. At the bottom left the Capitol can be seen. Above is the word LIBERTY and at the bottom right the date and a monogram, of the artist's initials ASG.
The reverse depicts a magnificent eagle flying to the left with the rising sun behind. Above is the inscription, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TWENTY DOLLARS. Above the sun are the words, IN GOD WE TRUST. On the edge of the coin is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (One from Many).
The new coin was struck in huge numbers from 1907 until 1933. Then, with the Great Depression at its height, the United States ceased minting gold coins and ordered its citizens to give up those they possessed. These were melted down into gold bars to be held at Fort Knox.