Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $20 (1850-1907)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,170,261
Obverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Reverse Designer: James B. Longacre
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 33.4400g
AGW: 0.9675oz
Melt Value: $1249.62 (11/22/2017)
Diameter: 34mm
Edge: Reeded
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1850 $20 MS obverse 1850 $20 MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

Production of the double eagle is tied to the enabling legislation for the gold dollar. The gold dollar was in trouble in the House, and Mint Director Robert Maskell Patterson opposed it as well. The objection was the tiny size of the gold dollar--it seemed to Patterson to be little more than play money and he deemed it unworthy of a great nation. However when the double eagle was added to the bill for the gold dollar, there was a new and powerful constituency for the larger coin. Bankers especially liked the twenty dollar gold piece as it could be used to store large quantities of money in a relatively small space. Thus, legislation for the gold dollar was passed on the coat tails of the double eagle's popularity.

Preparation of dies took considerable time in 1849 and only two patterns were struck with that date. One is in the Smithsonian today, and the whereabouts of the other piece are unknown. The 1849 twenty is obviously a pattern, as one can readily see when viewing the piece, which makes the 1850 the first year of regular issue for this highly collectible series. Relatively large numbers of 1850 twenties were set aside, no doubt as curiosities. Most survivors are XF-AU, and Uncirculated examples are rarely encountered.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/23/2016

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1850 $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1800 1875 1925 2350 3350 5800 6700 8450 12250 18350 23500 41500 62500 135000 275000 - - - - -
$ - - 7000 9750 13000 - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1508
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 65


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/20/2005 PCGS AU 55   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 2467 $4,370.00
4/18/2005 NGC AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #35, 39/Lot# 901 $2,530.00
4/2/2007 PCGS AU 53   Teletrade Auction 2348, 2348/Lot# 2380 $2,912.00
1/29/2012 PCGS XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 01/29/2012, 5/Lot# 34789 $2,640.00
5/30/2012 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers The June 2012 Baltimore Auction, 137/Lot# 4405 $1,968.13
6/9/2013 NGC XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/09/2013, 78/Lot# 120597 $2,702.70
9/25/2013 NGC Details UNC Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1189/Lot# 5335 $3,671.88
1/4/2017 NGC AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2017 January 4 - 9 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Session(6), 1251/Lot# 7016 $3,772.93


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1850 $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base188623352385241725853281363940644333490056106581770489681022612757165812451836780559235770359524
20362352239624732817340037814154452251375934695581259387110701403219227286054316156516583100
0000003781415445225137593469558125938711070140321922728605431615651600
0000003922424347115373625773308547980711913153062187232693495425711000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 5610
Owner: Grandman
 
Grade: AU 55
Points: 4900
Owner: palmernck
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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