Double Eagle Gold Pieces

This largest denomination of all regular United States issues was authorized to be coined by the Act of March 3, 1849. Its weight was 516 grains, .900 fine. The 1849 double eagle of the Liberty $20 series is a unique pattern and reposes in the Smithsonian. The rarest date obtainable is 1884. The 1861 reverse design by Anthony C. Paquet was withdrawn soon after striking. Very few specimens are known.

Designer: James B. Longacre
Weight: 33.346 grams
Composition: .900 gold, .100 copper
Diameter: 34mm
Reeded edge
Mints: Philadelphia, Carson City, New Orleans, and San Francisco
Net weight: .96750 oz. pure gold

1. Motto Above Eagle, Value TWENTY D. 1866-1876

Standard same as previous issue.

2. Value spelled TWENTY DOLLARS 1877-1907

Standard same as previous issue.


This $20 gold piece designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens is considered to be the most beautiful United States coin. The first coins issued were 11,250 high relief pieces struck for general circulation. The relief is much higher than later issues and the date 1907 us in Roman numerals. A few of the proof coins were made using the lettered edge collar from the extremely high relief version. These can be distinguished by a pronounced bottom left serif on the N in UNUM, and other minor differences. High-relief proofs are trial or experimental pieces. Flat-relief double eagles were issued later in 1907 with Arabic numerals, and continued through

The field of the rare extremely high relief experimental pieces is excessively concave and connects directly with the edge without having any border, giving it a sharp knifelike appearance; Liberty’s skirt shows two folds on the side of her right leg; the Capital building in the background at left is very small; the sun, on the reverse side, has rays, as opposed to the regular high relief coins that have only rays extending from the sun.

Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Standards same as previous issue
Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
Edge: E PLURIBUS UNUM with words divided by stars
One specimen of the high relief variety with plain edge is known.

Browse Twenty Dollar Double Eagles