Liberty Head Type 3 Double Eagle (1877-1907):
The design change that brought about the Type 3 Double
Eagle was the denomination. It went from TWENTY D.
to TWENTY DOLLARS. Like the addition of the motto to the reverse
of the previous Double Eagle, it did not cause any major change
in the rest of the coin’s design. William Barber who
by then was the Engraver following Longacre’s death
in 1869 made the modification. Later, his son Charles further
modified the reverse of the Double Eagle by smoothing the
back of the eagle’s neck. Many of the twentieth century
Double Eagle Coins have the new reverse, but some were made
from left over hubs and have the 1899 reverse.
During this time period there
were extremes of coin mintage. There were several years that
saw Double Eagles’ mintages of over a million and even
two million coins. However, the largest was 1904, which had
a mintage of 6,256,699. Many of these were saved in European
banks and are available in quantity today. On the other hand,
there were great rarities created by low mintages. In 1886
there were only 1,000 coins minted, and that was the third
lowest. The years 1885 and 1882 saw 751 and 571 respectively.
Of course authentication is required for these rarities because
the S mint mark could easily be removed from the common dates
of 1885-S and the 1882-S.