Brilliant semi-reflective gold luster with frost and rose accents, sharp strike, a Gem from the Wells Fargo hoard (NGC)
The 1908 No Motto Saint-Gaudens is readily available in Gem Mint State quality thanks to the extraordinary discovery by Ron Gillio, whose account is published in Q. David Bowers' 2004 A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins and quoted here: "Of all the different hoards I have bought in Europe, Asia, America, and elsewhere, this group of 1908s is the most interesting and highest quality group I have ever purchased. Here is the basic story, although some details must remain confidential. In the 1990s I bought 19,900 pieces of 1908 No Motto twenties. The coins were stored in one place in bags of 500 coins, each with a seal. The seals on the bags of all 19,900 coins were all dated in the 1960s. When I first met with the owners there were several people involved, and I was on hand with a colleague. They had a special book that in which we had to register before they opened the first bag. The book contained the seal number and the date of the seal. We had to sign this book for every bag they opened. The person opening the bags was the person who sealed them originally. At first glance I could tell the coins were fantastic and of high quality, as the bags were never tossed around or recounted over the years, in contrast to most bank hoards. I took the coins and put them in rolls of 50 and then put the rolls back in the bags. By the way, the bags were normal canvas bags that had been used to replace the original bags, which had deteriorated, in which they were sealed in 1917. The coins had something to do with an international payment of some kind in the World War I era. Except for the rebagging, the coins had remained unmoved and untouched since 1917! After I bought the coins they were subsequently moved and stored for a time at a Wells Fargo Bank in Nevada, whose name was later attached to the hoard. Most of the coins were graded by PCGS and NGC receiving the highest grades of any hoard of $20s. Here is an approximate breakdown of the grades: MS-69 (10 coins), MS-68 (200+), MS-67 (1,700+), and MS-66 (6,000+), with the balance being MS-65 and lower. I have never seen a hoard of $20s of this quality, all one date, before this group or after."