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LIBERTY HEAD (NO MOTTO ON REVERSE) TWENTY DOLLARS OR DOUBLE EAGLE (1849-1866)
Double Eagle Gold Coins
Circulation Strike Mintage Small numbers; all probably destroyed. Proof Mintage Probably 1
DATE MINTAGE FOR CIRCULATION MINTAGE OF PROOFS NOTES
1849 0 2 known? The only known example is in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. A second example may be in private hands.
1850 1,170,261 Unique?  
1850-O 141,000 0  
1851 2,087,155 Unknown  
1851-O 315,000 0  
1852 2,053,026 Unknown  
1852-O 190,000 0  
1853 1,261,326 Unknown Look for the rare 1853/2 overdate.
1853-O 71,000 0  
1854 757,899 Unique? Found with Small and Large Dates.
1854-O 3,250 0  
1854-S 141,468 1  
1855 364,666 Unknown  
1855-O 8,000 0  
1855-S 879,675 0  
1856 329,878 Unknown  
1856-O 2,250 0  
1856-S 1,189,750 0  
1857 439,375 est. 5  
1857-O 30,000 0  
1857-S 970,500 0  
1858 211,714 est. 10  
1858-O 32,250 0  
1858-S 846,710 0  
1859 43,597 80  
1859-O 9,100 0  
1859-S 636,445 0  
1860 577,670 59  
1860-O 6,600 0  
1860-S 544,950 0  
1861 2,976,453 66 Only three examples are known of the variety with a reverse designed by Anthony Pacquet.
1861-O 17,741 0  
1861-S 768,000 0 A small proportion of this mintage bears a reverse designed by Anthony Pacquet.
1862 92,133 35  
1862-S 854,173 0  
1863 142,790 30  
1863-S 966,570 0  
1864 204,235 50  
1864-S 793,660 0  
1865 351,175 25  
1865-S 1,042,500 0  
1866-S est. 12,000 0  
Size really does matter. In so many areas, it is often felt that "bigger is better" and this seems to be especially true for most Americans and nearly all things American. We love our big cars, trucks and SUVs more than we do smaller ones. Ask any electronics retailer and you will hear that the "big screen" TV sets attract the most attention on his showroom floor. Fast food customers are much more likely to ask for their order to be "biggie" sized rather than downsized. The list goes on and on.
Undoubtedly, size matters in numismatics as well and the two denominations that appeal to more collectors of U.S. coins than any others are silver dollars and double eagles. A great many more collectors are interested in silver dollars than are interested in half dimes or dimes, for example. Similarly, in the field of gold coins, double eagles are much more popular than gold dollars or quarter eagles, and size, without question, plays a major in that greater popularity. As more than one collector has told me over the years, "Double eagles are just a lot easier to see than gold dollars," and I suppose that is as good a reason as any other to prefer one denomination over another.
Of course, there is so much more to like about double eagles than just their physical size and status as the largest denomination gold coins ever issued for general circulation by the U.S. government. They are beautiful coins, especially the issues from 1907 to 1933 with the famous Saint-Gaudens design which is widely regarded as the most beautiful design on any U.S. coin ever minted. They also have so much history, from their popularity in the Old West to the relatively new status of certain Liberty Head double eagles as "treasure ship" coins.
Double Eagle Gold CoinsThere is also the interesting and unique story of President Theodore Roosevelt's personal involvement with the Saint-Gaudens design, evolving from his desire to make our coinage equal in beauty to the classical Greek coinage of antiquity. But what really makes the double eagle series so enticing to me are the many great rarities of the series which are among the rarest and most valuable of all U.S. coins. In fact, a strong argument could be made that the first and last issues of the series, the 1849 and 1933, are the two most valuable and desirable U.S. coins regardless of denomination. To these two famous issues one must add to unique, but relatively unknown, Proof 1854-S that was truck to commemorate the first year of operation of the San Francisco Mint; the somewhat mysterious and controversial 1861 Philadelphia Paquet issues of which just two examples are known; the rare and popular Proof-only issues of the 1880s; and, of course, the 1907 MCMVII Extremely High Relief and the legendary 1927-D Saint-Gaudens issues.

In addition to the ones just mentioned there are a great many other rare and interesting issues such as the 1854-O, 1856-O, and 1870-CC as well as many condition rarities, that is, issues which are readily available in lower grades but are very rare, if not unknown, in higher Uncirculated grades.

Because the double eagle series is so popular with collectors, one might reasonably expect there to be many books on the subject. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Prior to the publication of the book on the subject in 1982, no other book on U.S. double eagles had ever been written. Walter Breen's pioneering monographs on the U.S. gold denomination, written in the 1960s, stopped with the one on eagles and, although it was his original intention to do so, he never wrote one on double eagles even though be continued to write on other numismatic subjects over the next 25 years. Although several books covering specialized areas of the series have been written recently, in the 22 years since my book was published, no other book covering the entire spectrum of this most popular of all U.S gold coin series has ever been written. Until now.
Q. David Bowers' new book on the subject, A Guide Book of Double Eagle Gold Coins: A complete History and Price Guide, is something that has been long awaited and very much needed by every collector interested in the double eagles series. Dave is the pre-eminent numismatic author of all time and he has applied his expertise and 50 years of experience handling many of the greatest gold coin collections ever assembled to the task of writing a scholarly, but eminently readable, book that will appeal to the most advanced double eagle collector as well as the beginner who is just approaching this tantalizing series for the first time. Every issue is described in detail with vital information given on rarity, estimated total population, striking characteristics, die varieties, selected auction appearances and, where possible, finest known examples. Market values, in an appropriate range of grades, are also given. In short, everything one could reasonably want and need to know about every U.S. double eagle issue from 1849 to 1933 is right here in this one remarkable volume!
I am proud that my book on U.S. double eagle has served as a reference work on the subject for more than two decades. But it has been obvious for some time now that a new, up-to-date, comprehensive reference work was needed, and this exceptional work by Q. David Bowers meets all the requirements of a definitive text on the subject of U.S. double eagles. In my opinion, no finer book on a single series of U.S. coins has ever been written, and it will certainly be one of the most often referred to books in my personal numismatic library for years to come.
Note:
Show us copy of recent invoice totaling $10,000.00 or more in numismatic purchase, then we will send you the Double Eagle Gold Coins book.


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