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The Origination of the $20 Liberty Gold Coin
There were several reasons surrounding the origination of the $20 Gold Liberty Head coin, among these reasons was the need for a gold coin of substantial value suitable for settling international trade debts and bills. The $20 Liberty gold coin was officially created when President James K. Polk signed a law in 1849 authorizing the creation of the "Double Eagle"as well as a $1 gold coin. The $20 Gold Liberty and the $20 Saint-Gaudens coin are both commonly referred to as "Double Eagles" because of previous legislation in the 1700's that set the value of an "Eagle" at $10 U.S. Another of the more popular reasons for the creation of this gold coin came from the public at large; citizens reasoned that carrying twenty $1 silver coins in their pockets for making large purchases was laborious, if not even dangerous.
In fact, it was not uncommon for a wealthy gentleman to have a special leather wallet with individual pockets to hold Silver Dollars, because carrying a bulky sack of clanging Silver Dollars could lead to a dangerous mugging, or worse. Bankers delighted at the idea of being able to hold a single coin with a value of $20 in their vault, rather than twenty silver coins, as vault space was a costly investment, and large vaults also quite often brought unwanted attention, full or not. Ironically, the $20 gold coins also became popular with stage coach and train robbers, as they found getaways on horseback much easier when the horse only had to carry 1/20th of the weight of a similar robbery of silver coins!
Just as gentlemen, bankers, and bank robbers alike found reasons more than one century ago to acquire and hold $20 Liberty gold coins, there are several reasons today to hold and own these beautiful and rare coins in your portfolio. Perhaps the most important among these reasons is the tangible security and wealth that each and every one of these coins offer.
The fact is, unless you have stacks of cash set aside in your wall safe, the vast majority of today’s investment products and financial vehicles are not tangible and redeemable for currency (American or otherwise) unless the issuing authority or bank agrees to exchange your paper, or more than likely digital, holdings for something you can spend, you are out of luck and out of transaction-able instruments. Long before any of these striking coins were ever minted, gold was established as the agreed upon currency of the world. In this sense, things have changed very little for thousands and thousands of years. These gold coins offer an opportunity to hold wealth that is easily portable and instantly redeemable for currency anywhere in the world.
Secondly, by adding a strong component of rarity and quality to your gold purchase by choosing to own graded and encapsulated rare U.S. Gold coins, you now have the ability and opportunity to see your rare gold coin holdings appreciate and gain value faster than modern issue gold bullion coins. There have been several stretches of time in recent history when the rare U.S. Gold coin market substantially outperformed the gold bullion market!
There were three versions, or "Types" of the $20 Liberty coin produced from 1850 to 1907, and all bare the designs created by James B. Longacre, who was new to the U.S. Mint. He had hoped to complete his design in time go to minting in 1849, but he faced quite s bit of opposition from those at the U.S. Mint, who seemed to be a prissy bunch.
Because the early coins are rather rare and particularly expensive today, we'll discuss the more common design, or type three design. For the front, or obverse side of the coin Longacre sculpted "Lady Liberty" facing left, with her hair loosely coiled in a bun, allowing some of her hair to curl around her neck. She wears a "Coronet" or tiara, with the word "LIBERTY" showing prominently across it's arc. This is where the coin takes it's name "Liberty" though it ia also referred to as a "Coronet".
Lady Liberty is surrounded by 13 stars, signifying the Original 13 Colonies. The date of the strike of the coin is visible below the design of Lady Liberty. The back, or reverse, of the coin consists primarily of a Heraldic eagle poised behind a shield which bears 13 stripes, and above the eagle's head there is a halo of thirteen stars - both which again tribute the Original 13 Colonies.
Encircled by the halo of 13 stars, is the motto "In God We Trust" which was absent on the type 1 design.The type three $20 Liberty is also denoted by the value of the coin being spelled out completely as "Twenty Dollars". Type 2 coins state "Twenty D." as the coins value.
The coin is struck from 90% gold and 10% copper for durability, and contains .9675 Troy ounces of gold, which at the then legally set gold price of $20.67 an ounce, worked out to $19.9982. At the time it was feared, and probably correctly so, that if the coin contained more than $20 worth of gold, U.S. Citizens, and those citizens of other countries, would melt the coins down to capitalize on any extra gold value.