find rare coins

United States Gold $20 Double Eagle Coins

Skip to content

Gold Double Eagle

Gold Double Eagle Coins

gold double eagle coin

The United States Gold $20 Double Eagle has a rich history that spans over a century. It was first introduced in 1849 during the California Gold Rush, when the need for a larger denomination coin was recognized due to the abundance of gold being discovered in California. The United States Mint was tasked with producing this new gold coin, which featured a face value of $20, making it the highest denomination coin in circulation at that time. The design of the Double Eagle underwent several changes over the years. The original design featured a liberty head facing left on the obverse, with an eagle standing on a branch on the reverse. In 1907, the design was updated to feature a more modern and artistic depiction of Lady Liberty on the obverse, created by renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This new design, often referred to as the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, is widely considered one of the most beautiful coins ever minted in the United States.

The Double Eagle played a significant role in American history, serving as a symbol of the nation’s growing economic prowess during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was used in commerce, traded internationally, and held in reserve by banks and governments around the world. However, the issuance of gold coins for circulation was suspended in 1933 due to the Great Depression and the subsequent banking crisis. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order that prohibited the private ownership of gold coins and required Americans to turn in their gold holdings to the government. Despite the ban on private ownership, some Double Eagles managed to escape melting and confiscation, and a few were discovered in the 20th century. In the 1930s, a small number of Double Eagles were found to have been stolen from the United States Mint and illegally circulated. These coins were subsequently recovered by the government and sold at auction, with one example fetching a record-breaking price of over $7 million in 2002.

In 1974, the ban on private ownership of gold was lifted, and the Double Eagle became a popular choice among collectors and investors due to its historical significance and intrinsic value. Today, the Double Eagle remains a sought-after coin in the numismatic community, with various examples commanding high prices at auctions and being prized as a tangible piece of American history. It serves as a reminder of the United States’ rich gold mining heritage, economic growth, and changing monetary policies throughout its storied past.