The obverse features a classic Greek rendition of Lady Liberty facing left. Thirteen stars circle the coin. The year of mintage is mentioned below.
The reverse displays the Great Seal of the United States, with the words ” UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ” and the denomination ” TWENTY D. ” circling its outer. The Great Seal represents an eagle with wings extended to their full span. Thirteen stars are engraved above the eagle, and surround the motto ” IN GOD WE TRUST “.
This coin was designed by the former U.S. mint chief engraver James B. Longacre. He also created the design of the Indian Head Cent (1859 – 1909) and the Shield Nickel (1866 – 1883).
Longacre is also best known for his private art endeavors. He has created illustrations for books sold throughout the United States that depict. His illustrations include those of President James Madison and President Andrew Jackson.
History of the 20 Dollars Liberty Head
In the year 1840s, the $10 Gold Liberty Eagle was the highest denomination of U.S coins. But in 1848, people in United States rushed to California in search of gold, after hearing its discovery at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma. As a result, the American Congress decided to create new denominations of American Gold Coins. The Liberty Head Gold Coin was named ‘Double Eagle’ because it was twice the legal tender value of the 10 Dollars Gold Eagle. This coin is also known as the Liberty Coronet Double Eagle.
The 20 Dollars Liberty Head was the largest circulating coin during the late 1840s in United States. Back in the 1800s, a $20 Liberty Head was able to buy a lot and had a great purchasing power. These shows how powerful and useful were these coins back in the day.
First produced in 1849, it was minted in three types:
Type I “No Motto” variety (1850-1866)
Type II variety with “Twenty D” on the reverse (1866-1876)
Type III variety with “Twenty Dollars” spelled out (1877-1907)
The motto “In God We Trust” was added to the coins in accordance with an 1865 Act of Congress. The 20 Dollars Gold Eagle was introduced due to the influx of gold from the California Gold Rush. In was manufactured from 1850 to 1907 in various mints, such as Philadelphia, Carson City, Denver, New Orleans or San Francisco.
The somewhat large coin is interesting because it was one of the first of its kind, and a coin that had a face value higher than most others ever produced by the US Mint. For this reason, it is a bit more special than your average gold coin from the same era.
In 1933, the Mint discontinued the production of 20 Dollars Double Eagle, as gold was made illegal by a presidential executive order.