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: $1700.94 (9/20/2021)
Diameter: 34mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

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: 9/20/2021

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

1850 $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1825 1825 2100 2750 3500 4150 4750 6500 11000 14500 32500 39000 62500 135000 250000 - - - - -
$ 3700 - 5500 8500 12500 - - 54500 - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1639
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 65

The chart showing F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 9/14/2021 1850 $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---3491413342263133211731033221112-----1639
-----------------------
-------1153-22--------14
-----------------------
Total---3491413342273143261761035241112-----1653
 ---0%3%9%20%14%19%20%11%1%2%1%1%0%0%----- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1850 $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base243624362436252528853238342435063730429053676007820087681037213446163531720818095190152051621670
243624362466264530033300345135813917464955806738838993031139714415166381750418402195152090122754
0000003451358139174649558067388389930311397144151663817504184021951500
0000003479365541035008579474698579983712421153841692317799187082001600
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 5431
Owner: Grandman
 
Grade: AU 58
Points: 5367
Owner: Lycaon
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.