Last of Their Kind Liberty Head Coins
By Brian Zweig
In the realm of U.S. gold coinage, 1907 is known as a noteworthy and magical year. It marked the end of the venerable Liberty motif – which had been used continuously since the 1830’s – and the beginning of new designs for all four gold denominations.
Being such an important coin, the Mint could not afford to cease production while this shift took place. Therefore, in 1907, they continued to strike Double Eagles with the Liberty design until the Saint-Gaudens design was 100% ready. Consequently, the year’s production was split between two different motifs, resulting in two scarcer issues of each.
Collectors have always had a fondness for transitional coins or situations where two different coinage designs were produced the same year. These instances are few and far between, but are coveted items among numismatists. Some of these transitional pieces are wildly rare; many are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. Coins like the 1907 Rolled Edge $10 Eagle (typically worth $150,000-$500,000) and the 1907 Ultra High Relief $20 Double Eagle (valued at $1,750,000-$2,500,000) immediately come to mind.
While they may not receive as much attention, the Liberty gold issues of 1907 are both historically significant and much rarer than their price tags would suggest. They are among the very last Liberty design gold coins ever struck before the new Indian Head and Saint-Gaudens versions were introduced. In addition, 1907 gold coins are extremely difficult to acquire in higher Uncirculated grades. This scarcity is reflected in the price of MS65 and above pieces – yet somehow an MS63 can trade for an extremely modest premium.
The $20 Double Eagle traces its roots back to the California Gold Rush, an event that forever changed gold’s role in the national economy.
When the yellow metal was first discovered, private assayers and refiners converted it into bars, ingots and privately-issued coins. These firms served an important role in transforming the raw gold into a more acceptable form, but ultimately merchants and bankers preferred sovereign-issued currency. A need emerged for new government issued-coins - and a minting facility.
The federal government’s first actions were to issue two new gold coin denominations: the gold dollar and the $20 Double Eagle. The task of designing these new coins was assigned to Chief Engraver, James B. Longacre.
Longacre’s design was first tested on a single 1849 Double Eagle; this unique proof specimen resides in the Smithsonian Institute and is considered one of the world’s most valuable coins. This 1849 issue would be the first of many Longacre/Liberty Double Eagles struck. The design remained in place without any significant modification until it was discontinued in 1907, in favor of the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle.
While considered a common date by some, the 1907 $20 Liberty is significantly rarer than the most common date (the 1904), but trades for only a modest premium. This is reflected in the NGC population figures; just 7,162 from 1907 have been certified MS63 by NGC from an original mintage of 1.4 million.
Like many U.S. gold coins, pricing for the numismatically desirable 1907 issue is caught in a slump. Despite being rarer and more desirable than generic dates, the market is unfairly underpricing 1907 pieces. This gives savvy buyers the opportunity to own 1907 Liberty gold pieces at a dramatic discount to their 10-year highs.
NGC’s price guide currently pegs the 1907 $20 Liberty in MS63 at $1,880. In late 2009, the coin peaked at $3,220. As the gold bull market heats up, the numismatics market will also gain steam and we could see a return of many gold coins to their peak pricing or higher.
The substantial heft and large size of $20 gold coins are just two of many appealing factors to coin collectors and bullion investors alike, notwithstanding the historical value of double eagles. Also, even though these coins were struck over a century ago, they are graded Mint State 63, therefore retaining much of the original luster.
Like all of our Spotlight Coin selections, you’ll find this Liberty Head Eagle graded and slabbed, ready to be added to your collection at a great value to you.
MS63 1907 $20 Liberty Eagle at just $1,749 per coin
Or $1,699 per coin if you purchase 5 or more*
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Call 800-831-0007 or email us today to get your hands on some of the last coins of the Liberty Double Eagles series ever minted. Act now!
*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 for all quantities ordered. Offer expires Friday, November 22nd, 2019, or while supplies last.