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: $1421.35 (11/21/2019)
Diameter: 34mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1850 $20 MS obverse 1850 $20 MS reverse
Expand All    Collapse All

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

Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation

 
NGC PRICE GUIDE
NGC CENSUS
AUCTION PRICES REALIZED
NGC REGISTRY
SCORE
FIND IT ON EBAY

Select Grade

Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/20/2019

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

1850 $20 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1830 1890 2050 2400 3500 4800 5300 6500 11000 16200 26500 41500 70000 135000 250000 - - - - -
$ 3750 - 6100 9500 13000 - - 54500 - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1623
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: 11/19/2019 1850 $20 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---348138332228307317172932231112-----1623
-----------------------
------51153-22--------19
-----------------------
Total---348138337229308322175934251112-----1642
 ---0 %3 %8 %21 %14 %19 %20 %11 %1 %2 %2 %1 %0 %0 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/24/1996 NGC XF 45   Teletrade Auction 0809, 809/Lot# 855 $606.63
2/20/2005 PCGS XF 45   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 2468 $1,437.50
5/8/2008 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 245, 251/Lot# 6230 $1,782.50
1/1/2013 PCGS XF 45   Stack's Bowers The January 2013 Americana Sale, 180/Lot# 12662 $3,290.00
9/25/2013 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(8), 1189/Lot# 9666 $1,880.00
12/5/2013 NGC AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2013 December 5 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1192/Lot# 5198 $4,112.50
2/16/2014 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/16/2014, 174/Lot# 171540 $2,161.50
8/5/2014 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2014 August 5, 7 & 9 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(2), 1208/Lot# 4046 $9,400.00


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

Related Articles

E Pluribus Unum, Part Two

8/17/2009 — In the second part of a new series, David W. Lange continues to de-mystify a great legend in numismatics.
View full article >
The Coronet Liberty Double Eagle

2/1/2005 — The double eagle, or twenty-dollar piece, was a late arrival to the family of United States coins. The drafters of the Mint Act of 1792 never imagined the need for such a high value piece, nor could they have imagined that the nation would ever have enough domestic gold to undertake such a coinage.
View full article >


NGC Auction Central Disclaimer