Rare Twenty Dollar Gold Coin Found
In 2003, ten rare Double Eagle twenty dollar gold coins were found locked in the safe deposit box of the 81-year old daughter of jeweler Israel Switt. In July 2011, a Philadelphia jury ruled that the ten gold coins, safely locked in for nearly 80 years, belong to the US Treasury. The coins were among the 445,000 Double Eagle coins minted (in 1933), but not released by the Treasury. With a face value of $20, the twenty dollar gold coin features the goddess of liberty on one side and an eagle on the other. Designed by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, each of these coins may now fetch up to $4 million. The highest auction price for the 1933 Double Eagle twenty dollar gold coin is $7.59 million.
More on Twenty Dollar Gold Coin
One of the most beautiful gold coins issued by the US Treasury, the first issued $20 gold coins comprised 11,250 high relief pieces. Issued for general circulation, these coins had relief higher than the later issues. Experimental pieces, these high relief proofs featured the date 1907 in Roman numerals. The flat-relief ones, however, issued later in 1907, had Arabic numerals.
The twenty dollar gold coin was called Double Eagle because the ten dollar gold coin was called Eagle. The Double Eagle is also sometimes referred to as the “King of American Coins.” An investor’s favorite, the Double Eagle is poplar because of its inherent value, $20 denomination and design.
With almost an ounce of pure gold, Double Eagle gold coins were produced during 1849-1933. There are basically two types of Double Eagle coins, based on their design and mintage period:
• Liberty Type: Gold coins minted during 1849-1907 are the Liberty type. The obverse of the coin features Lady Liberty facing the left and the reverse features an eagle, stars and sun rays. However, The Liberty Double Eagle coins issued during 1849-1866 did not have any motto or denomination description. The coins issued during 1866-1876 had the inscription “Twenty D,” and those released during 1877-1907 had the denomination spelled out completely, in Capital English letters.
• Saint Gaudens Double Eagle type: Produced from 1907-1933, the coin features the Statue of Liberty on the obverse, holding a torch in the right hand and an olive branch in the left; a flying eagle is featured on the back. Named after its designer Saint Gaudens, the Double Eagle obverse also features 13 stars, representing the original 13 American colonies. Inscribed above the eagle is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and the Latin motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” on the eagle’s beak.
In 1933, the mint began the meltdown of all precious Double Eagles to stop people from hoarding gold. Those that were hidden or taken outside the country survived the meltdown. Hence, it is indeed a matter of pride to possess any of these historical gold coins.
While most Double Eagle gold coins sell at a premium, their premium varies depending on their date. While some sell for small premium, others sell above the spot gold price for modern bullion gold coins. Premium includes the costs of making and distributing the coin and a dealer fee. Rare coins will have an additional premium, given their scarcity, demand, quality and other intangible factors that add to their appeal.
Some rare dates of Saint Gaudens Double Eagle gold coins include the 1907 High relief type (it has a stunning design and the date inscribed in Roman numerals) and the coins issued during 1929-1933, 1927-S, 1921 and 1920-S.