Liberty Head $20 (1849 – 1907)

#1 Liberty Head $20 Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson

History

Made with 90% gold, (the remainder being 10% copper for durability), the Liberty Head twenty dollar gold coin was minted from 1849 until 1907 and was, to date, the largest denomination United States coin and, from the outset, was highly successful in commerce, simplifying transfers of large sums of money between financial institutions. Liberty Head gold pieces were minted in the Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, Denver and Carson City mints. The first regularly minted twenty dollar coin, it was developed in response to the significant amounts of gold being produced from the gold rush in California. The series is highly collectable as it not only spanned fifty-eight years but was also produced in quantity from five different mints providing collectors a myriad of ways to collect within the series. The Liberty Head twenty dollar gold piece was dubbed a “Double Eagle”, the term being used because the original Ten Dollar gold pieces were called “Eagles” and since the denomination was twice that of the ten dollar coin, the term “Double Eagle” became the popular reference.

The obverse or front of the coin displays a bust of Liberty with her hair pulled back and partially covered by a coronet with the word “Liberty” across the front. Liberty’s image is encircled by thirteen stars (representing the thirteen original colonies) and the date of mintage appears below her neck. The reverse of the coin depicts a heraldic eagle holding a double ribbon in its beak inscribed with, “E Pluribus Unum”. The eagle’s wings are outstretched and it has a shield on its chest. The eagle holds an olive branch and arrows in its talons and thirteen stars form a halo over its head along with an arc of rays. The series has three primary varieties, without the motto, “In God We Trust” on the reverse, with the motto above the eagle’s head on the reverse and finally with the word “Dollars” spelled out in the denomination on the reverse, (the two prior varieties had abbreviated “Dollars” using just the “D”). The mintmark appears below the eagle on all coins.

Value

There are several factors that determine the value of the Liberty Head coins. First, since they are large for a gold coin, (34.1 mm in diameter and weighing 33.43 grams) and since they are 90% gold, a large aspect of their value is based purely on the gold content. While they have a “twenty dollar” face value, their intrinsic value is tied to their gold content, which is 0.9675 of a troy ounce. This suggests that regardless of any other factor, they will always be worth an amount equal to their weight in gold consistent with the current gold spot price or “melt value”. Other determiners of value are true of any collectible coin. These include, scarcity and condition.

Many years of the series are not particularly rare and the common dates, in moderate to low mint state condition, do not carry a premium much above their gold content. The first variety, without motto and spanning the years 1849 to 1866, generally carry a premium above the later varieties. Most coins reach values in the tens of thousands of dollars in mint state through 1893. All Carson City minted issues carry a high premium, especially in higher grades, some of which have reached the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 1861, what is known as a “Paquet” reverse, notable for its block lettering, has produced a rarity worth close to two million dollars. The 1849 coin, and first year of mintage, was never released into circulation with the only example residing in the Smithsonian Museum collection.

Because there are so many varied opinions on the condition (or grade) of a coin, the values mentioned reflect the highest retail prices that have been obtained for those coins that have been assessed by a third party grading company. Such coins have been authenticated, graded and encapsulated by expert coin grading companies to minimize any doubt as to their authenticity, quality and value and therefore their potential worth.

We Buy Liberty Head Twenty Dollar Gold Coins

We want to buy your coins and as a business it is our pledge to offer you the best value for your coins, however, always remember that the prices you may find online or in price guides usually represent the highest retail value for the coin in an already certified condition. As a trusted dealer we will have our coin specialists evaluate your coins at no cost and offer you a price that is both fair for you, but that also allows us to realize a reasonable profit.