Table of Contents
- 20-dollar Gold Coins History
- 20-dollar Gold Coins Features
- 20-dollar gold coins Details
- 1. GOLD $20 CORONET HEAD DOUBLE EAGLE
- Coronet Head Double Eagle Look
- Coronet Head Double Eagle Value Guides
- Coronet Head Double Eagle Errors
- 2. GOLD $20 SAINT GAUDENS DOUBLE EAGLE
- Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Look
- Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Value Guides
- FAQ about the 20-Dollar Gold Coins
The US Mint produced two versions of $20 gold coins in the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. The Coronet (Liberty Head) Double Eagles are the pieces struck from 1850 to 1907 for commerce. However, there are also rare and expensive pattern coins from 1849. Chief engraver James B. Longacre created both versions.
Another $20 gold American coins are younger. The Saint-Gaudens double eagles were minted from 1907 to 1933 and were named after sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who designed them. The 20-dollar gold coin value varies, depending on the minting year, gold coin type, and each piece’s condition.
20-dollar Gold Coins History
The US Mint produced two gold coin types with $20 face value, including:
The Coronet (Liberty Head) Double Eagles were produced from 1850 to 1907 in four different mints, plus one pattern coin minted in Philadelphia in 1849
The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles were produced from 1907 to 1933 in three mints, depending on the year
Also read: 12 Most Valuable One-Dollar Coin Worth Money
20-dollar Gold Coins Features
Both $20 gold coins are made of 90% of this precious metal and a small percentage of copper. In other words, each piece weighing 1.07483 troy ounces (33.431 g) contains 0.96750 troy ounces (30.093 g) of gold.
20-dollar gold coins Details
|Face value||Twenty dollars ($20)|
|Coin diameter||1.34252 inches (34.10 mm)|
|Compound||90% gold with added copper|
|Coin weight||1.07483 troy ounces (33.431 g)|
|Gold weight||0.96750 troy ounces (30.093 g)|
|Coin thickness||0.09488 inches (2.41 mm)|
The diameter of these pieces is 1.34252 inches (34.10 mm). They have a reeded edge as protection from counterfeiting and stealing and are thick 0.09488 inches (2.41 mm).
Also read: 14 Most Valuable Coins In Circulation
1. GOLD $20 CORONET HEAD DOUBLE EAGLE
Coronet Head Double Eagle Look
James B. Longacre proved how a creative engraver he was after the first of these coins came from the mint.
Gold $20 Liberty Head Double Eagle obverse design includes a handsome Liberty’s head with a pearl-bordered diadem on her head. The designer used Crouching Venus (an ancient Greco-Roman sculpture) as a model.
Thirteen stars surround her image, representing the first States in the Union. The date is below the centrally positioned image, while the word LIBERTY is visible on a coronet in her hair.
This gold coin reverse includes the Great Seal of the US with an eagle wearing a shield. Above its head are sun rays with an oval of 13 stars, representing each of the first States. Below is TWENTY D., showing the denomination, while the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is curved from above. The mint mark is below the bird’s tail.
This coin has a reeded edge. Each piece has precisely 153 reeds.
Coronet Head Double Eagle Value Guides
These coins minted from 1849 to 1907 are valuable and sought-after collectibles today. Besides, their gold content makes them a reliable investment for many business people. You can recognize a few types that are worth differently.
Twenty D No Motto
In 1849, the US Mint started producing $20 gold coins, a Twenty D No Motto variation. Their production lasted until 1907. In the first year, only one coin in PR condition was realized from the Philadelphia mint, and its current price is estimated to be $18,339,466.
In 1850, two mints started with the commercial production. During four years, the one in Philadelphia issued about a million to two million golden coins annually, while the one in New Orleans produced up to 200,000 pieces a year.
Even lower-grader pieces are valuable now because of gold content and age, and you can expect at least $2,300 per one. Most specimens in MS 63 grade cost $30,000 to $75,000, depending on minting year.
In 1854, the San Francisco mint joined the production with over $140,000 pieces. You can expect to get $3,000 to almost $60,000 per coin with the mint mark of this mint. The most expensive coins in this group are collectible, and you can expect to pay:
- $792,262 for the 1854 O MS 60 gold coin
- $1,136,977 for the 1856 O MS 60 gold coin
- $2,895,855 for the 1861 P MS 60 Paquet Reverse gold coin
- $8,564,061 for the 1861 P MS 63 Paquet Reverse gold coin
- $2,895,855 for the 1861 P MS 60 Paquet Reverse gold coin
- $8,564,061 for the 1861 P MS 63 Paquet Reverse gold coin
Proofs minted in Philadelphia in 1859 and 1959 are worth $291,996 each. However, coins of such quality that came from the following years reach about $175,000.
Twenty D With Motto
From 1866 to 1876, the US Mint issued these gold coins with Motto. You can find most pieces for approximately $2,000 to $80,000, depending on quality. The only exceptions are gold coins from Carlson City.
These minted in 1871 are worth $292,014 in MS 63 grade, while you can get $175,117 for those minted at the same place in 1873. Proofs cost almost $112,000.
Finally, you can recognize a group of twenty-dollar gold coins minted from 1877 to 1907. Expectedly, they are the most modest in the series, with prices ranging from $2,270 to over $10,000. The priciest are the following specimens:
- 1879 O MS 60 coin – $175,122
- 1879 O MS 63 coin – $260,197
- 1882 P MS 60 coin – $163,625
- 1882 P MS 63 coin – $292,031
- 1886 P MS 60 coin – $175,129
- 1886 P MS 63 coin – $214,786
The price range for proofs is from $34,500 to $133,700.
Coronet Head Double Eagle Errors
Interestingly, even some of these gold coins are errors. You can recognize pieces with:
The 1904 gold $20 coins with a doubling on design around the rim are estimated at $17,000.
The 1904 gold $20 coins with a 15% off-center obverse error are valued at $250,000.
2. GOLD $20 SAINT GAUDENS DOUBLE EAGLE
Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Look
Engraver Augustus Saint Gaudens created these beautiful coins with a unique look.
The Gold $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle is a beautiful coin depicting standing Lady Liberty in the central position. She looks confident while walking in front of the rising sun.
You can see a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in the left, representing enlightenment and peace. The date is next to her raised foot, while the LIBERTY stays above her head.
This coin side includes a flying bald eagle in front of the rising sun. It has two inscriptions above (TWENTY·DOLLARS and UNITED·STATES·OF·AMERICA) and one on the coin bottom (IN·GOD·WE·TRUST). The mint mark is below the eagle.
This $20 gold coin with High Relief has an incused edge with a raised rim. It shows E PLURIBUS UNUM and stars along the entire surface.
Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Value Guides
The US Mint produced these beautiful gold coins from 1907 to 1933. Even though they typically cost less than older pieces, you shouldn’t underestimate their value. After all, the most expensive specimen in the world is one of them!
Famous Augustus Saint Gaudens designed the gold $20 Double Eagle coins named after him. The No Motto gold variation production started in 1907 when the Philadelphia mint issued the following:
- One unique plain-edged coin with Ultra High Relief Pattern
- 17 lettered-edged proof coins with Ultra High Relief that cost $3,728,303 nowadays
- One unique plain-edged coin with High Relief that cost $759,097 in MS 60 grade
- 12,367 wire-rimmed coins and an unknown number of flat-rimmed pieces with High Relief with a price range from $11,852 (VF) to $26,944 (MS 63)
- One unique coin with Large Letters and Edge Arabic Numerals
- 361,667 coins with Small Letters and Arabic Numerals with a price range from $2,174 (VF) to $3,112 (MS 63)
In 1908, these coins came from the Denver and Philadelphia mints, and their current prices are about $2,000.
From 1908 to 1933, three mints minted coins With Motto. Their mintage varies depending on year, but prices are pretty uniform for most pieces. You can expect to pay over $2,000 for regular coins and $36,500 to $46,400 per proof. The list of costly exceptions includes gold specimens in MS 63 grade from the following year:
- 1920 S gold coin – $98,625
- 1921 P gold coin – $224,504
- 1927 D gold coin – $1,718,155
- 1927 S gold coin – $50,521
- 1930 S gold coin – $111,941
- 1931 P gold coin – $69,778
- 1931 D gold coin – $91,763
- 1932 P gold coin – $86,296
Finally, there is a best-of-the-best, the 1933 P Saint Gaudens Double Eagle. This 20-dollar gold coin, estimated at $21,602,551, is the priciest worldwide. It is also the only American coin you can’t possess legally.
Even though 445,000 pieces were struck in April 1933, they were never released into circulation. Officially, all were melted except the two specimens. However, jeweler Israel Switt obtained 20 of these coins. Although he paid for them, the US government considers these pieces stolen.
The Secret Service found and destroyed nine pieces. A Switt family member had the other ten specimens, but they were confiscated and returned to the government after a trial. One went to King Farouk of Egypt, and it has stayed the only one a private collector can possess.
FAQ about the 20-Dollar Gold Coins
Which 20-Dollar Gold Coins are worth a lot of money?
Coronet (Liberty) Head Gold $20 Double Eagle
- The most expensive Type 1 No Motto coin is the 1861 Paquet MS 67 Liberty Head – $7,200,000 on August 22, 2021
- The most expensive Type 2 (Twenty D) With Motto coin is the 1870 CC AU 53 Liberty Head – $1,620,000 on November 14, 2021
- The most expensive Type 3 (Twenty Dollars) With Motto coin is the 1885 CC MS 63 Liberty Head – $264,000 on April 13, 2022
- The most expensive Type 1 No Motto proof DCAM coin is the 1861 PR 66 Liberty Head – $1,800,000 on January 16, 2022
- The most expensive Type 1 No Motto proof CAM coin is the 1860 PR 65+ Liberty Head – $1,200,000 on September 29, 2022
- The most expensive Type 2 (Twenty D) With Motto proof coin is the 1866 Motto PR 65 CAM Liberty Head – $660,000 on October 9, 2022
- The most expensive Type 3 (Twenty Dollars) With Motto proof coin is the 1885 PR 67 Liberty Head (DCAM) – $990,000 on November 9, 2022
- The most expensive Special strike coin from New Orleans is the 1856 O SP 63 Liberty Head – $1,437,500 on May 1, 2009
- The most expensive Special strike coin from Denver is the 1906 D SP 66 Liberty Head – $440,625 on April 24, 2013
Saint Gaudens Gold $20 Double Eagle
- The most expensive Type 1 (High Relief) coin Wire Edge is the 1907 MS 69 St. Gaudens – $660,000 on September 20, 2020
- The most expensive Type 1 (High Relief) coin with Flat Edge is the 1907 MS 69 St. Gaudens – $573,300 on September 23, 2013
- The most expensive Type 2 (No Motto) coin is the 1907 MS 67 St. Gaudens – $276,000 on May 8, 2022
- The most expensive Type 3 (With Motto) coin from Philadelphia is the 1933 MS 65 St. Gaudens – $18,872,250 on June 8, 2021
- The most expensive Type 3 (With Motto) coin from Denver is the 1927 D MS 66 St. Gaudens – $4,440,000 on August 28, 2022
- The most expensive Ultra (Extremely) High Relief proof coin with Lettered Edge is the 1907 PR 68 St. Gaudens – $3,600,000 on February 25, 2021
- The most expensive Type 2 (No Motto) proof coin with Saint Small Edge Letters is the 1907 PR 68 St. Gaudens – $1,680,000 on January 15, 2023
- The most expensive Type 3 (With Motto) proof coin is the 1913 PR 66 St. Gaudens – $336,000 on August 25, 2021
- The most expensive Type 3 (With Motto) from Special Strikes coin is the 1921 SP 64+ St. Gaudens (Satin finish) – $2,010,000 on August 22, 2021
- The most expensive Type 3 (With Motto) with Experimental finish from Special Strikes coin is the 1910 SP 66+ St. Gaudens – $840,000 on January 16, 2022
What are the priciest 20-dollar gold coins?
The most valuable 20-dollar gold coin is the 1849 P Coronet (Liberty Head) Double Eagle pattern proof. It is unique because only one was minted in Philadelphia. Nowadays, this beautiful specimen is a part of the Smithsonian Collection.
The highest estimated coin from the Saint Gaudens Gold Double Eagle series was minted in Philadelphia in 1933, but no one could get it legally.