Twenty Dollar Gold Coin: Part of a Proud Collection

As per a news article published in Auction Central News on January 27, 2011, Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers & Appraisers are set to launch its new auction on January 30, 2011 at 1 p.m. local time. The auction features nearly 100 items collected overtime from fine family estates. The collection includes one Italian Figarope neck chain studded with a twenty dollar gold coin. It is being considered as one of the top attractions of this auction and is estimated to be sold at between $5000 and $7000.

At another auction that took place at the Fort Myers Coin Show on January 22, 2011, nine gold coins donated to the Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades counties were put up for sale. Seven of these gold coins were found in a red kettle in the form of charity in December 2010. The last two coins were received through mail earlier this year. One of these coins is a $20 Liberty Eagle gold coin which is valued at between $1400 and $1600.

Historical Twenty Dollar Gold Coin

The Twenty Dollar Gold Coin minted in America has always been popular with gold investors. Since a $10 gold coin minted at that time was called Eagle, the $20 gold coin came to be known as Double Eagle. It is about the size of a half dollar coin and weighs almost one ounce in gold. It is sometimes also called ‘the king of American coins’ by virtue of its intrinsic gold content and aesthetic design.

The Twenty Dollar Double Eagle coin is available in two types, as it was minted during two different periods and was designed by two different designers.

  • The first of this series is the Liberty Double Eagle designed by James Longacre in 1849. Its obverse depicts the bust of Lady Liberty surrounded by 13 stars that represent the original 13 colonies of the US in the past. The word ‘LIBERTY’ is inscribed on the coronet of the figure of the Lady. A flying Eagle ornaments the reverse of the coin with the motto ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ inscribed above it and a Latin motto – "E PLURIBUS UNUM" (‘Out of many, one’) – inscribed on its beak.
  • The Saint Gaudens Double Eagle was the next in this series with the same denomination. The then president of America, Theodore Roosevelt, was a great admirer of Greek art and wanted to bring the same into the US coinage. Therefore, he asked the designer Saint Augustus Gaudens in 1907 to design the twenty dollar gold coin. The obverse of this coin depicts the standing figure of Lady Liberty with a torch in one hand and an olive branch in the other hand. The reverse features a fearless flying eagle with the same motto inscribed over its image. The coin is a great work of art of that time and is still appreciated for its aesthetic appeal.

Denomination and Motto Description on Twenty Dollar Gold Coin

The design of the $20 Gold Coin has changed several times. For example, there is no motto inscription or denomination on the coins minted from 1849 to 1866, but for coins minted during 1867-1876, you would notice ‘TWENTY D’ etched under the image of the Eagle. This denomination is fully spelled for the coins minted after 1877.

There is limited availability of American Double Eagles today. Most of the coinage of this period had been confiscated following the Gold Recall order of 1933. It remained in circulation from 1849 to 1933 and holding a piece of it today is matter of pride.