- USA Coin Book
- Gold $20 Double Eagle
- Coronet Head
- 1849-P : Unique - Smithsonian Collection
1849 P Coronet Head Gold $20 Double Eagle : Unique - Smithsonian Collection
Liberty Head - Twenty D - No Motto
Metal Composition: 90% Gold - 10% Copper
Diameter: 34 mm
Mass / Weight: 33.44 grams
What this coin looks like (obverse, reverse, mint mark location, special features, etc.):
The 1849 $20 Liberty Head Gold Double Eagle is one of the rarest and most valuable US coins ever produced. Technically this is a pattern coin which was used for testing the new double eagle denomination design. The US Mint classified the $10 "Eagle" as the standard gold coin unit to be used starting in 1795 - the largest denomination used up through 1849 mainly for banking and overseas trade business. Although this all changed when gold was first discovered in California in 1848 (and the ensuing 49er's gold rush the following year).
Huge volumes of gold were being shipped to the Philadelphia Mint to strike $10 gold eagles. The Mint decided that it was becoming more practical to produce a larger coin and denomination. In 1849 the US Mint produced a pattern coin for the $20 gold coin - which would be known as the "Double Eagle". This pattern coin reference is also known as Judd-117 and Pollock-132. The creation of the $20 double eagle denomination was a direct result of the California Gold Rush. The particular coin above now resides in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institute. Some experts estimate that if this coin went up for sale at private auction - it would be worth between $10 million and $20 million - making it the most valuable coin ever.
MELT VALUE: $1163.36
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