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U.S. Twenty Dollar Gold Coins

★★★★★ Liberty Head Double Eagle ★★★★★

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Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin (Type 1) Obverse Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin (Type 1) Reverse

Type 1 "TWENTY D."
No Motto (1849-1866)

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Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin (Type 2) Obverse Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin (Type 2) Reverse

Type 2 "TWENTY D."
With Motto (1866-1876)

Even being opposed by Chief Coiner Peale and Mint Director Patterson, Chief Designer Longacre produced a double eagle pattern and die trials in 1849, none of which were deemed satisfactory. Classified as proofs or patterns, one or two 1849 Double Eagles were produced. One specimen is on display in the Smithsonian Institute, the second has never surfaced, and perhaps never will.

Liberty on the obverse is said to be modeled after a Greek sculpture, the "Crouching Venus". The reverse displays UNITED STATES OF AMERICA at 12 o'clock and the denomination TWENTY D. is at the 6 o'clock. Without a Motto Liberty Head double eagles are considered common, and though prices for the lower grades reflect the amount of gold contained in this large coin they advance steeply as low Mint State or finer coins.

In 1866 the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse of the double eagle, this resulted in two designs for 1866: TWENTY D. without a motto is referred to as the Type 1 double eagle those with TWENTY D. and a motto is referred to as Type 2.

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Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin (Type 3) Obverse Liberty Head Double Eagle Coin (Type 3) Reverse

& Motto (1877-1907)

Additional changes included the oval of stars above the eagle on the reverse was expanded to accommodate the motto, modification of the reverse shield, ribbons, and rays, and the lengthening of the eagle's tail feathers.

The Type 3 series of double eagles coincided with turbulent political and economic times in this country. In 1878 the Type 3 Double Eagles circulated at the same value as $20 paper money issues, earlier they had traded at a premium. Even so, they did not widely circulate because people had become used to using paper money.

O-Mint issues command higher premiums for nearly all dates, but the 1854-O and 1856-O are extremely expensive.

Other coins with premium prices include:

Coins recovered from several shipwrecks, including the Republic, Central America, and Brother Jonathan have added to the Mint State populations, but often carry a modest premium because of the history associated with those pieces.


Liberty Head Double eagle Specs.

Designer: James Barton Longacre
Content: 90% gold 10% other
Diameter: 34 millimeters
Edge: Reeded
Weight: 33.4 grams
Mint Mark Location: Below the eagle on the reverse
Liberty Head Double eagle Mintage

Date/MintCirculation Strikes Date/MintCirculation Strikes Date/MintCirculation Strikes
Type 1 Liberty Head Double Eagle
18491 in Smithsonian
18501,170,261 1850-O141,000
18512,087,155 1851-O315,000
18522,053,026 1852-O190,000
18531,261,326 1853-O71,000
1854757,899 1854-O3,250 1854-S141,468
1855364,666 1855-O8,000 1855-S879,675
1856329,878 1856-O2,250 1856-S1,189,750
1857439,375 1857-O30,000 1857-S970,500
1858211,714 1858-O32,250 1858-S846,710
185943,597 1859-O9,100 1859-S636,445
1860577,670 1860-O6,600 1860-S544,950
18612,976,453 1861-O17,741 1861-S768,000
186292,133 Civil War 1862-S854,173
1863142,790 Civil War 1863-S966,570
1864204,235 Civil War 1864-S793,660
1865351,175 1865-S1,042,500
1866-S∓ 12,000
Date/MintCirculation Strikes Date/MintCirculation Strikes Date/MintCirculation Strikes
Type 2 Liberty Head Double Eagle
1866698,745 1866-S842,250
1867251,015 1867-S920,750
186898,575 1868-S837,500
1869175,130 1869-S686,750
1870155,150 1870-CC3,789 1870-S982,000
187180,120 1871-CC17,387 1871-S928,000
1872251,850 1872-CC26,900 1872-S780,000
18731,709,825 1873-CC22,410 1873-S1,040,600
1874366,780 1874-CC115,085 1874-S1,214,000
1875295,720 1875-CC111,151 1875-S1,230,000
1876583,860 1876-CC138,441 1876-S1,597,000
Date/MintCirculation Strikes Date/MintCirculation Strikes Date/MintCirculation Strikes
Type 3 Liberty Head Double Eagle
1877397,650 1877-CC42,565 1877-S1,735,000
1878543,625 1878-CC13,180 1878-S1,739,000
1879207,600 1879-CC10,708 1879-S1,223,800
188051,420 1880-S836,000
18812,199 1881-S727,000
1882571 1882-CC39,140 1882-S1,125,000
1885751 1885-CC9,450 1885-S683,500
1888226,161 1888-S 859,600
188944,070 1889-CC30,495 1889-S774,700
189075,940 1890-CC91,209 1890-S802,750
18911,390 1891-CC5,000 1891-S1,288,125
18924,430 1892-CC27,265 1892-S930,150
1893344,280 1893-CC18,402 1893-S996,175
18941,368,940 1894-S1,048,550
18951,114,605 1895-S1,143,500
1896792,535 1896-S1,403,925
18971,383,175 1897-S1,470,250
1898170,395 1898-S2,575,175
18991,669,300 1899-S2,010,300
19001,874,460 1900-S2,459,500
1901111,430 1901-S1,596,000
190234,140 1902-S1,753,625
1903287,270 1903-S954,000
19046,256,699 1904-S5,134,175
190558,919 1905-S1,813,000
190669,596 1906-D 620,250 1906-S2,065,750
19071,451,786 1907-D 842,250 1907-S2,165,800

Liberty Head Double Eagle Grading

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St. Gaudens Double Eagle 1907 - Present

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St. Gaudens $20 Coin (Type 1) Obverse St. Gaudens $20 Coin (Type 1) Reverse

Type 1 No Motto
Roman Numerals (1907 1908)

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St. Gaudens $20 Coin (Type 2) Obverse St. Gaudens $20 Coin (Type 2) Reverse

Type 2 No Motto
Arabic Numerals (1907)

Whenever the subject of beautiful coins comes up, one of the first and most frequent coin mentioned is certain to be the Saint-Gaudens double eagle, or twenty-dollar gold piece. Many believe United States coinage had never been more beautiful than it was in the early years of the 20th century.

The Saint-Gaudens double eagle is stunning coin, resulting from a bazaar relationship between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and President Theodore Roosevelt. Saint-Gaudens was the best known American sculptor at the turn of the 20th century and was admired by Roosevelt.

After Roosevelt personally prevailed upon Saint-Gaudens in 1905 to design his official inaugural medal, The metal proved to be exceptionally beautiful. At a Washington dinner party some time later, they discovered they both had a mutual admiration for the high- relief coins of ancient Greece. President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned the artist to create a series of U.S. coin designs based on those classic Greek models.

The Wire Rim protruded around the outer extremity of the coins, caused by metal flow between the die face and collar during the striking process. Unlike today's collectors who consider the Wire Rim to be highly collectible, Mint officials considered it to be a striking deficiency. This flaw was corrected by mid-December, and later High Relief double eagles had a Flat Rim.

The first production pieces were made with high relief. But after striking just 12,367, Mint officials substituted new dies with the modified, lower relief, and these remained in use through the end of the series. As if to underscore the shift from the classical to the commercial, the Mint used Arabic numbers in dating all reduced-relief double eagles.

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St. Gaudens $20 Coin (Type 3) Obverse St. Gaudens $20 Coin (Type 3) Reverse

Type 3 With Motto

The reason the date was changed to Arabic numerals instead of the original Roman numerals was to comply with the Act of March 3, 1865. Regardless of the reasons for the omission, in 1908 Congress required that the motto be restored (as on the Liberty Head Double Eagle). The change would bring the double eagle into compliance with the Act of March 3, 1865.

The last significant change of the double eagle was adding the Motto at the 6 O'clock, position in another arc. In 1912 the number of stars was increased from 46 to 48, marking the addition of New Mexico and Arizona. Most double eagles minted after 1928 were stored by the Treasury and not released into circulation.

The 1907-1908 double eagles do not have the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. This became an issue even though the Coinage Act of 1890 did not include it as part of the required wording which was to be placed on all U.S. coins. E PLURIBUS UNUM in raised letters, with thirteen separating raised stars, is on the edge of the coin.

Double Eagles without Motto were minted in Philadelphia and Denver. Thousands of "Without Motto Saint-Gaudens" business strikes have been certified, most of them are 1908 Philadelphia issue. Prices are modest for pieces through MS62, often trading not much above bullion value, but prices increase above the MS62 grade.


Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Specs.

Type 1 Without Motto (1907-1908)
Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens (modified by Charles E. Barber)
Diameter: 34 millimeters
Content: 90% gold 10% other
Weight: 33.4 grams
Edge: Lettered |******E|*PLURIBUS*|UNUM*****
Mint Mark Location: Above the date on the obverse

Type 2 With Motto (1908-1933)
Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens, modified late in 1907 by Charles E. Barber
Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Mintage

Without Motto (1907-1908)
Date/MintCirculation Strikes Date/MintCirculation Strikes Date/MintCirculation Strikes
19084,271,551 1908-D663,750
With Motto (1908-1933)
1908156,258 1908-D349,500 1908-S22,000
1909161,215 1909-D52,500 1909-S2,774,925
1910482,000 1910-D429,000 1910-S2,128,250
1911197,250 1911-D846,500 1911-S775,750
1913168,780 1913-D393,500 1913-S34,000
191495,250 1914-D453,000 1914-S1,498,000
1915152,000 1915-S567,500
1920228,250 1920-S558,000
19221,375,500 1922-S2,658,000
1923566,000 1923-D1,702,250
19244,323,500 1924-D3,049,500 1924-S2,927,500
19252,831,750 1925-D2,938,500 1925-S3,776,500
1926816,750 1926-D481,000 1926-S2,041,500
19272,946,750 1927-D180,000 1927-S3,107,000
19312,938,250 1931-D106,500

St. Gaudens Double Eagle Grading

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