1850 GOLD $20 LIBERTYThe 1850 $20 Gold Double Eagle is a coin of historic proportion. The year 1850 in the United States was a very exciting time with the discovery of gold in California and the Gold Rush was in full swing. President Zachary Taylor died in office (July 9) and is succeeded by his vice president, Millard Fillmore. California became the 31st state of the United States of America, The Compromise of 1850 was passed. It admitted California to the Union as a free state but failed to abolish slavery in new territories acquired from Mexico. Tension between the states increased. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco become cities.
1850 was the first year of circulated issues of the $20 Double Eagle. In 1849 only two patterns were struck with that date. One is in the Smithsonian today, and the whereabouts of the other piece are unknown. There were 1,170,261 pieces struck in Philadelphia that first year, and relatively large numbers of 1850 twenties were probably set aside, as curiosities and keepsakes. Bankers especially liked the twenty dollar gold piece as it could be used to store large quantities of money in a relatively small space. Today, most survivors are usually in XF-AU condition, and uncirculated examples are rarely encountered, and this is one of those rare examples graded PCGS MS 64 CAC. The 1850 double eagle is a very popular issue as it is the first collectible issue from the mint.