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About Pre-1933 U.S. Gold Coins

The first United States gold coins were struck by the Philadelphia Mint in 1795. The very first denominations were the $5 Half Eagle and the $10 Eagle. Later, the $2.50 Quarter Eagle was added in 1796, followed by the $1 Gold Dollar and $20 Double Eagle in 1849. The U.S. Mint also issued a $3 gold piece from 1854-1889. President Franklin Roosevelt halted the issuance of American gold coinage in 1933.

Pre-1933 United States gold coins are popular among both collectors and investors. They are a superb way of owning gold with historical and numismatic significance. In particular, $5 Half Eagles, $10 Eagles and $20 Double Eagles are regarded as outstanding hybrid precious metals products that have both collector and bullion value. In many cases, these historic gold coins can be bought for a relatively small premium over melt value.

Monument Metals maintains an outstanding selection of Pre-1933 vintage U.S. gold coins in both “raw” and graded form. Our graded coins are certified by either PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) or NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). Our uncertified coins are graded using strict standards by our in-house expert staff. We unconditionally guarantee the quality of our vintage American gold coins.

About the $20 Liberty Gold Double Eagle

Produced from 1850 through 1907, the $20 Liberty Double Eagle was one of America’s most heavily produced gold coins. Not only was it popular as a unit of exchange in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but it remains an extremely desirable collectible today. During its lifespan, the $20 “Lib” underwent two minor design changes, which resulted in the formation of three distinct types. This article explains the differences between the three types in terms of appearance and market value.

Type I Liberty $20 Double Eagles were struck from 1850 until 1866. They were produced largely in response to the California Gold Rush, as a tremendous amount of the yellow metal needed to be converted into coinage. Interestingly, Type I $20s generally fall into two categories: well-worn or superbly preserved. Why? Most coins that entered circulation were “workhorses” and saw extensive use in day-to-day commerce. However, quite a few ended up on shipwrecks like the SS Central America, the SS Brother Jonathan and the SS Republic. The contents of these vessels—which included many Type I $20s—were later recovered and brought to the marketplace. These ex-shipwreck $20 pieces were essentially brand new when the ships met their watery demise. Then, they sat untouched (and largely undamaged) in the water for over a century before returning to land again.

Following the Civil War in 1866, the motto “In God We Trust” was added to the $20 Liberty, thus creating the Type II series. Whereas Type I $20s can be readily found in MS 64-65 due to shipwreck discoveries, Type II $20s are quite scarce above MS 62. Most Uncirculated coins are seen with heavy marks from having been stored in canvas bank bags. Whereas a circulated Type II is worth less than a circulated Type I, a pristine Type II is worth many times that of a similarly-preserved Type I.

The $20 Liberty underwent another minor design change in 1877. The most noticeable change is how the denomination was expressed; the abbreviated “TWENTY D.” was expanded to “TWENTY DOLLARS” on the reverse. In addition, the obverse and reverse designs were tweaked over so slightly—probably in an effort to make the coins easier to strike.

Type III $20s are by far the most common and were produced without interruption from 1877 to 1907. The most available dates are 1900, 1904 and 1907. They are readily available in all Uncirculated grades up to MS 65 and are sometimes seen in MS 66. Type III $20s often exhibit strong “cartwheel” luster and rarely show any strike weakness. 

About the 1907-1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle

The Saint Gaudens double eagle can trace its roots directly to President Theodore Roosevelt. After viewing a collection of Greek coins, Roosevelt realized that America’s coinage was extremely mundane and bland compared to ancient money. Not one to parse words, Roosevelt said in a letter that US coinage was in a state of “atrocious hideousness” and was in severe need of overhaul. Up until this point all US coins were designed by Mint employees, but Roosevelt felt that an outside artist should be brought in.

In late 1904, Roosevelt asked renowned sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens if he would be interested in revamping America’s gold coinage. Saint Gaudens accepted the project, but he would face significant logistical challenges. Both Saint Gaudens and Roosevelt sought to adopt a high relief design reminiscent of ancient Greek coinage. While visually stunning, Saint Gaudens’ proposed design in extremely high relief would prove difficult to manufacture. The mint produced a couple dozen prototypes, but found that it took nine impressions of the dies to properly strike the coins. This was simply impractical for a mass-produced coin. A lower relief version was then attempted, but this too required multiple strokes of the press.

Saint Gaudens and Roosevelt insisted that the coin be produced in high relief only, but in the name of efficiency, the Mint staunchly objected. Sadly, Saint Gaudens would pass away in the summer of 1907 and Roosevelt eventually yielded to the Mint’s demands. The final adopted version retained Saint Gaudens’ basic design elements, but was flatter and dramatically easier to strike. In retrospect it was extremely fortunate that the Mint settled on an easy-to-produce format, as the coin would become a staple of American commerce. A more complex design would have been impossible to make in large quantities.

The $20 gold piece was America’s largest denomination coin and was used extensively for intra-bank transfers, gold reserves and large international payments. Like the US gold eagle today, the Saint Gaudens double eagle was universally recognized and accepted due to its trusted weight and purity. Countless bags of “Saints” were exported to Europe, as overseas institutions and governments preferred to hold gold double eagles in lieu of paper money or their own native currencies. 

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You're reviewing: $20 Saint-Gaudens/$20 Liberty Double Eagle Extremely Fine (XF) Dates of Our Choice

$20 Saint-Gaudens/$20 Liberty Double Eagle Extremely Fine (XF) Dates of Our Choice

Product code: US-USG-$20LibSaint-XF
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Gold
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Best Prices On Pre-1933 U.S. Gold!
OR
Additional Information
Metal Type Gold
Metal Weight 0.9675
Grading Service Ungraded
Date Random Date
Purity .900 Fine Gold
Country of Manufacture United States
Manufacturer United States Mint

About Pre-1933 U.S. Gold Coins

The first United States gold coins were struck by the Philadelphia Mint in 1795. The very first denominations were the $5 Half Eagle and the $10 Eagle. Later, the $2.50 Quarter Eagle was added in 1796, followed by the $1 Gold Dollar and $20 Double Eagle in 1849. The U.S. Mint also issued a $3 gold piece from 1854-1889. President Franklin Roosevelt halted the issuance of American gold coinage in 1933.

Pre-1933 United States gold coins are popular among both collectors and investors. They are a superb way of owning gold with historical and numismatic significance. In particular, $5 Half Eagles, $10 Eagles and $20 Double Eagles are regarded as outstanding hybrid precious metals products that have both collector and bullion value. In many cases, these historic gold coins can be bought for a relatively small premium over melt value.

Monument Metals maintains an outstanding selection of Pre-1933 vintage U.S. gold coins in both “raw” and graded form. Our graded coins are certified by either PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) or NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). Our uncertified coins are graded using strict standards by our in-house expert staff. We unconditionally guarantee the quality of our vintage American gold coins.

About the $20 Liberty Gold Double Eagle

Produced from 1850 through 1907, the $20 Liberty Double Eagle was one of America’s most heavily produced gold coins. Not only was it popular as a unit of exchange in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but it remains an extremely desirable collectible today. During its lifespan, the $20 “Lib” underwent two minor design changes, which resulted in the formation of three distinct types. This article explains the differences between the three types in terms of appearance and market value.

Type I Liberty $20 Double Eagles were struck from 1850 until 1866. They were produced largely in response to the California Gold Rush, as a tremendous amount of the yellow metal needed to be converted into coinage. Interestingly, Type I $20s generally fall into two categories: well-worn or superbly preserved. Why? Most coins that entered circulation were “workhorses” and saw extensive use in day-to-day commerce. However, quite a few ended up on shipwrecks like the SS Central America, the SS Brother Jonathan and the SS Republic. The contents of these vessels—which included many Type I $20s—were later recovered and brought to the marketplace. These ex-shipwreck $20 pieces were essentially brand new when the ships met their watery demise. Then, they sat untouched (and largely undamaged) in the water for over a century before returning to land again.

Following the Civil War in 1866, the motto “In God We Trust” was added to the $20 Liberty, thus creating the Type II series. Whereas Type I $20s can be readily found in MS 64-65 due to shipwreck discoveries, Type II $20s are quite scarce above MS 62. Most Uncirculated coins are seen with heavy marks from having been stored in canvas bank bags. Whereas a circulated Type II is worth less than a circulated Type I, a pristine Type II is worth many times that of a similarly-preserved Type I.

The $20 Liberty underwent another minor design change in 1877. The most noticeable change is how the denomination was expressed; the abbreviated “TWENTY D.” was expanded to “TWENTY DOLLARS” on the reverse. In addition, the obverse and reverse designs were tweaked over so slightly—probably in an effort to make the coins easier to strike.

Type III $20s are by far the most common and were produced without interruption from 1877 to 1907. The most available dates are 1900, 1904 and 1907. They are readily available in all Uncirculated grades up to MS 65 and are sometimes seen in MS 66. Type III $20s often exhibit strong “cartwheel” luster and rarely show any strike weakness. 

About the 1907-1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle

The Saint Gaudens double eagle can trace its roots directly to President Theodore Roosevelt. After viewing a collection of Greek coins, Roosevelt realized that America’s coinage was extremely mundane and bland compared to ancient money. Not one to parse words, Roosevelt said in a letter that US coinage was in a state of “atrocious hideousness” and was in severe need of overhaul. Up until this point all US coins were designed by Mint employees, but Roosevelt felt that an outside artist should be brought in.

In late 1904, Roosevelt asked renowned sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens if he would be interested in revamping America’s gold coinage. Saint Gaudens accepted the project, but he would face significant logistical challenges. Both Saint Gaudens and Roosevelt sought to adopt a high relief design reminiscent of ancient Greek coinage. While visually stunning, Saint Gaudens’ proposed design in extremely high relief would prove difficult to manufacture. The mint produced a couple dozen prototypes, but found that it took nine impressions of the dies to properly strike the coins. This was simply impractical for a mass-produced coin. A lower relief version was then attempted, but this too required multiple strokes of the press.

Saint Gaudens and Roosevelt insisted that the coin be produced in high relief only, but in the name of efficiency, the Mint staunchly objected. Sadly, Saint Gaudens would pass away in the summer of 1907 and Roosevelt eventually yielded to the Mint’s demands. The final adopted version retained Saint Gaudens’ basic design elements, but was flatter and dramatically easier to strike. In retrospect it was extremely fortunate that the Mint settled on an easy-to-produce format, as the coin would become a staple of American commerce. A more complex design would have been impossible to make in large quantities.

The $20 gold piece was America’s largest denomination coin and was used extensively for intra-bank transfers, gold reserves and large international payments. Like the US gold eagle today, the Saint Gaudens double eagle was universally recognized and accepted due to its trusted weight and purity. Countless bags of “Saints” were exported to Europe, as overseas institutions and governments preferred to hold gold double eagles in lieu of paper money or their own native currencies. 

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: $20 Saint-Gaudens/$20 Liberty Double Eagle Extremely Fine (XF) Dates of Our Choice

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