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.