Until 1849, the U.S. Mint produced only $2.50,
$5 and $10 coins. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill and the ensuing California gold
rush, however, soon prompted Congress to authorize the mintage of the legendary $20 Double
In January 1850, the first regular production
Liberty Double Eagles were struck.
Over the years, this coin was produced in three
types. Type I, the "No Motto" variety, was minted from 1849 to 1866. Type II,
bearing the designation "Twenty D" on the reverse, was minted from 1866 to 1876,
followed by the most common variety, Type III (1877-1907), with "Twenty Dollars"
fully spelled out. This historic coin offers the highest gold content of any regular issue
U.S. gold coin of its era and possesses one of the most arresting reverses on any United
States coin: a dauntless eagle, its wings fully spread. The obverse bears a classical
Greek rendition of Lady Liberty.
This gleaming keepsake from America's past
reigned as King of American coins from 1850 to 1907 and remains a tangible reminder of our
rich, hard-money heritage.