From out of the boom of the California gold rush of the late 1840’s came America’s largest circulating gold coin, the Double Eagle or $20 gold piece. The U.S. Treasury was receiving such an unprecedented amount of gold from California’s mines at that point, that it was forced to expand its plans for a $1 gold piece to include the much larger Double Eagle. On March 3, 1849, Congress passed the authorizing legislation and the Double Eagle was born.
The Liberty Head Double Eagle was designed by embattled Chief Engraver James Barton Longacre, best known for his work on the Indian Head Penny. The coin’s obverse draws inspiration from the ancient Greco-Roman sculpture Crouching Venus. It depicts Liberty in sharp profile, facing left, and wearing a pearl-studded diadem inscribed “Liberty”. The reverse is modeled on the Great Seal of the United States, depicting a heraldic eagle with a shield on its breast beneath a ring of thirteen stars. These coins have a certain majesty befitting their status and face value.
Liberty Head Double Eagles were minted in three slight variations from 1849 through 1907 in Philadelphia (no mintmark), San Francisco (“S” mintmark), New Orleans (“O”), Carson City, Nevada (“CC”), and Denver (“D”), are composed of .90% gold yielding .9675 troy ounces of pure gold per coin, and measure 34mm in diameter.
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|Metal Content||.9675 troy oz|
|Metals Purity||.900 Fine Gold|
|Certificate of Authenticity||NGC|