Better Date Liberty Head Double Eagles
By Brian Zweig
The Liberty $20 Double Eagle series is divided into three main types:
- Type 1 (dated 1850-1866): Denomination expressed as “TWENTY D.” on reverse with no motto.
- Type 2 (dated 1866-1876): Denomination expressed as “TWENTY D.” on reverse with the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
- Type 3 (dated 1877-1907): Obverse and reverse design tweaked slightly, denomination expressed as “TWENTY DOLLARS.”
All three share the same basic design element (i.e. the Coronet or Liberty Type motif) but there is a drastic difference in survival rates. The Type 3 is by far the most commonly encountered, as it lasted the longest. Furthermore, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, $20 Double Eagle mintages were at their peak. The coin had literally become the world’s gold standard and was in intense demand.
The Type 2 $20 Liberty is the second most common edition in the series. While decidedly scarcer than the Type 3 – especially in higher grades – it can still be found in average circulated condition without too much difficulty. This is especially true for a few dates in particular, which appear to have been hoarded extensively.
The Type 1 $20 Liberty, however, is an entirely different story in terms of rarity. Not only was it struck in much smaller numbers, but survival rates were miniscule compared to the later types. By looking at the production dates, you may have already figured out why so few coins exist today. The vast majority of Type 1 $20 Liberties were made before or during the Civil War – when vast quantities of U.S. gold coins were melted.
During times of economic uncertainty and political turmoil, precious metals prices often rise dramatically. That was especially the case during the Civil War, as the intrinsic value of most U.S. coins (in all metals) exceeded their face value. Since these coins were worth more dead than alive, many were destroyed for their bullion content.
The Type 1 $20 Double Eagle was no exception. While it’s true that fewer were made compared to its Type 2 and Type 3 brethren, the real difference in rarity can be attributed to wartime melting. These coins were primarily issued immediately before and during the Civil War. Consider these stats:
To summarize this table, the Type 1 is an impressive 20 times rarer than the Type 3. Suffice to say the Civil War had a tremendous impact on the number of surviving examples. Since this design type was made from 1850-1866, all but a few Type 1 Double Eagles were produced immediately before or during the war.
Today, we’re excited to showcase a group of Type 1 Double Eagles struck during the climax of the Civil War. These 1865-dated specimens were made in San Francisco right before the coin’s design was changed. As you may recall, the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” was added to the Double Eagle in 1866 soon after the war concluded. This change marked the end of the Type 1 $20 and the beginning of the Type 2.
The coins we have available today are all graded Extremely Fine (XF) 40 or better by PCGS or NGC. This means that they show honest wear – but no signs of harsh cleaning or severe damage. These problems are often encountered on Type 1 $20 Eagles, but the specimens being offered today are remarkably problem-free. In fact, they look like they were plucked directly out of circulation in the 1860's!
In addition to being physically attractive, you’ll be find the price to be attractive too.
Like all Type 1 Double Eagles, the 1865-S is a tough date with fewer than 1,500 pieces certified by NGC in all grades. By comparison over 234k (!) have been graded of the 1904. Yet, despite this enormous difference in rarity, the 1865-S can be had for less than double its melt value!
1865-S $20 Liberty Head Double Eagle for $2,049 plus FREE SHIPPING!
NGC assigns a value of $2,625 to this coin in XF, but we are making it available today for just $2,049 per coin. That’s a significant discount to its current price guide listing – and a great buy considered the level of rarity. In essence, you’re getting a coin that’s 50-150 times scarcer than a common date for less than double the price.
Gold has been surging lately and better-date $20 Double Eagles often benefit from this kind of activity. A fresh 5-year high in spot prices has been attracting serious interest in both the bullion and numismatic markets. We urge you to take advantage of today’s offering, which will resonate with both history buffs and value buyers. These 1865-S Double Eagles are fascinating keepsakes of the American Civil War and a remarkable value too. With just 22 pieces available, we doubt this month’s offering will last long!
To add an incredible better date Lib to your portfolio today, please call us at 800-831-0007 or email us.
*Prices subject to change based on market fluctuation and product availability. Prices reflected are for cash, check, or bank wire. Free shipping, handling, and insurance are available at any quantity. Offer expires Friday July 12, 2019, or while supplies last.