The Origination of the $20 Liberty Gold Coin
There were several reasons surrounding the origination of the $20 Gold Liberty Head coin, among these reasons was the need for a gold coin of substantial value suitable for settling international trade debts and bills. The $20 Liberty gold coin was officially created when President James K. Polk signed a law in 1849 authorizing the creation of the "Double Eagle"as well as a $1 gold coin. The $20 Gold Liberty and the $20 Saint-Gaudens coin are both commonly referred to as "Double Eagles" because of previous legislation in the 1700's that set the value of an "Eagle" at $10 U.S. Another of the more popular reasons for the creation of this gold coin came from the public at large; citizens reasoned that carrying twenty $1 silver coins in their pockets for making large purchases was laborious, if not even dangerous.
In fact, it was not uncommon for a wealthy gentleman to have a special leather wallet with individual pockets to hold Silver Dollars, because carrying a bulky sack of clanging Silver Dollars could lead to a dangerous mugging, or worse. Bankers delighted at the idea of being able to hold a single coin with a value of $20 in their vault, rather than twenty silver coins, as vault space was a costly investment, and large vaults also quite often brought unwanted attention, full or not. Ironically, the $20 gold coins also became popular with stage coach and train robbers, as they found getaways on horseback much easier when the horse only had to carry 1/20th of the weight of a similar robbery of silver coins!