Types of Liberty $20 Gold Pieces
For 84 years the $20 gold pieces known as the Double Eagles were the symbol for American wealth and were used as real money in large transactions. Today, the Double Eagles still hold intrinsic value, as well as, personal wealth for those that own them in their mint state.
In the National Collection of the Smithsonian, you will find one of the first $20 gold pieces minted in 1849. It wasn’t until 1950 that the gold coins were minted for circulation. The first $20 dollar gold coins are known today as Type One or “No Motto.”
The following years would produce different variations of the $20 gold piece which today all have their own unique value based on the gold content plus the increased rarity factor.
The "No Motto" $20 Liberty (Type One)
The Type One “No Motto” $20 Liberty gold coins were minted from 1850 to 1866. While you can find many different variations of numismatic gold coins in mint state this is not the case of Type One. None of the Philadelphia Mint productions of $20 gold coins from the 1850s are known to exist in MS65.
“No Motto” $20 Liberty gold coins were found some 8,000 ft below in the ocean depths. The famous ship of gold was discovered which had over 5,000 gold pieces from 1857 with many still in excellent condition. After many years in court regaling, the gold coins went on sale and were immediately some of the fastest selling numismatic gold coins in history.
The "With Motto, Twenty D." $20 Liberty (Type Two)
The $20 Liberty Type Two was minted from 1866 to 1876. This new variety of gold coin had the addition of “In God We Trust” printed on the back side of the coin.
As of March 2000 3,336 Type Two $20 Liberty gold coins had been graded as mint state. Only thirty one of those just over three thousand pieces were graded as high as MS64 with only three graded MS65. This makes the highest mint quality ultra-rare. Do to the rarity of MS64 and above there has been significant interest in the MS63 mint state.
The "With Motto, Twenty Dollars" $20 Liberty (Type Three)
Type Three $20 Liberty gold coins were minted from 1877 to 1907. A simple change in design from TWENTY D. to TWENTY DOLLARS was minor to the Liberty gold coin designers though to numismatic gold coin buyers the change is significant. The Type Three $20 Liberty is common place as it relates to rare $20 Liberty gold coins with 1,804 coins graded MS65 or better. Though common is a relative term when you consider there are only 215,633 pieces certified in mint state.
The two most abundant years for Type Three $20 Liberties are from 1904 (71%) and 1901 (12%). If you are looking for Type Three $20 Liberty coins before 1900 than there are few to choose from with 5 gold pieces from 1895, 19 gold pieces from 1898, and only 6 pieces from 1899.