OverviewBecause the 1848 California Gold Rush flooded the U.S. gold market, Congress authorized the United States Mint to create the $20 gold Liberty (also known as the Coronet and Double Eagle) on March 3, 1849. It remained in production until 1907, when the United States Mint began producing the $20 Saint Gaudens.
DesignDesigned by James B. Longacre, the obverse (front) of the $20 Liberty gold coin shows Lady Liberty wearing a crown inscribed “LIBERTY.” Representing the original 13 colonies, 13 stars and the date encircle her.The reverse shows the U.S. Great Seal, and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” arcs the top.Three different versions of the $20 Liberty were minted. Depending upon the date and type, other pieces of information are listed on the reverse, as listed below.
MintingThe United States Mint began producing the $20 Liberty gold coin in 1849. Introduced into circulation in 1850, the $20 Liberty remains the largest denomination of all regular U.S. coins issued. From 1849-1907, the $20 Liberty was minted at five different mints.Although $1, $2.5, $5 and $10 gold coins were already in circulation in 1849, the United States Mint realized that it could produce a $20 Liberty in half the time it took to produce two $10 gold coins with the same amount of gold. But the $20 Liberty was too large for most day-to-day consumer transactions; $20 was a lot of money in the 19th century. So, the $20 Liberty was usually used for bank-to-bank transfers and foreign debt payments.
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