Augustus St. Gaudens and President Theodore Roosevelt thought that the appearance of the Deity in the motto, “In God we trust,” was blasphemous. Their reasoning was that money could be used for immoral or illegal activities such as gambling, bribes and prostitution and that it was wrong to have the Deity mentioned on objects that could used for such purposes.
Many people in the religious community disagreed, however, and made their opinions known to Congress. Responding to public pressure Congress passed a law that required the motto to appear on certain gold and silver coins, including the eagle and double eagle.
With the change Charles Barber took the opportunity to correct the problems that had appeared on the No Motto type $10.00 gold pieces. He strengthened central hair detail on Ms. Liberty and made other minor changes which some critics have called “fussy.” In my opinion Barber’s work made the coin more suitable for commerce. Counterfeiters can more easily duplicate coins that have areas of design weakness.
The coin displayed above is a very sharp and smooth example of this design. It has only a few minor tick marks, great luster and strong strike.