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$20 Liberty Gold Coins MS65

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$20 Liberty Gold Coin MS65

Both Collectors and Investors love the $20 Liberty Gold coin, in fact it’s quite possibly one of the most popular collectible coins in the United States today, along with the $20 St Gaudens. Its rich history is what makes it so popular. Originally, the largest coin minted by the U.S.A. was the $10 Single Eagle up until 1850. With the California gold rush that started in 1848, the supply of gold increased significantly encouraging the USA to add a new coin that was larger. It was commonly called the “Double Eagle” and the “$20 Coronet,” but it’s real name came to be the $20 Liberty Head.  The MS65 is availabe as a 1904 twenty dollar gold coin.

Design and Specifications

When the $20 American Liberty was first minted in 1850, the set price for one ounce of gold was $20.67. So in order to keep a value at an even 20 dollars, 0.9675 ounces of gold was used in each coin to compensate for the slightly higher cost per ounce. Over the 57 year span that the Double Eagle was minted (1850 to 1907) it found itself in five different United States mints (San Francisco, Denver, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Carson City).

The front of the coin, known as the obverse, is an image of Lady Liberty wearing a crown with the word LIBERTY on the coronet, and was designed by James B. Longacre. Lining the edge of the obverse, surrounding the liberty head, is 13 stars signifying the original 13 colonies. An ever-powerful eagle with a shield under 13 stars and all surrounded by the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” depicts the revers, or backside, of the $20 Liberty gold coin.

Limitations of Use

Since $20 was a lot of money back in the mid to late 1800s, the $20 Double Eagle wasn’t used much in daily commerce. Instead, the large denomination was more commonly used for loans between banks and payment of debt from the United States Government to other nations.

Three Different Types:

Through the 57 year life of the $20 Gold Liberty there were three different Types of the coin. The first, Type I, minted from 1850 to 1866, didn’t have the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” printed on the reverse. And the denomination of $20 was spelled out at “TWENTY D”. The second type, Type II, was made between 1866 to 1876, and now included the “IN GOD WE TRUST” motto. There was also a change in the design of the shield from straight into a curved “rococo” style. The last variation, the Type III, was produced between 1877 to 1907. For the final type the denomination name of “TWENTY D” was changed to a more complete “TWENTY DOLLARS”.

$20 Liberty Gold Coin Details

Artist - James B. Longacre
Gross Weight - 1.179 oz
Gold Content - 0.9675 troy oz
Composition - 90% gold, 10% copper
Diameter - 34mm
Edge - Reeded
Dates - 1850 to 1866 (Type I); 1866 to 1876 (Type II); 1877 to1907 (Type III)    

Mint Locations and dates:

Carson City - (1870 to 1879; 1882 to 1885; 1889 to 1893)
Denver - (1906 to 1907)
New Orleans - (1850 to 1861; 1879)
Philadelphia - (1850 to 1907)
San Francisco - (1854 to 1885; 1887 to1907)

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