see it clearly
Learn more

Double Eagle Gold Coins

Double Eagle Gold Coins were minted from 1850 to 1933. They were 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper alloy. The face value of the double eagle coins is 20 dollars. Read on for more information about the development and design of the Double Eagles.

Double Eagle Gold Coins

About Double Eagle Gold Coins

When the US Mint first started making gold coins, the eagle was the highest denomination at 10 dollars. The four base units of coins were the cent, the dime, the dollar, and the eagle ($10.00). Subsequently, the half eagles were worth 5 dollars and the quarter eagle was worth $2.50. The making of the $20 Double Eagles coincided with the California Gold Rush. The Double Eagle Gold Coins were the last gold coins minted in the United States for circulation. Because of this and their attractive design, they are sought after by coin collectors from around the world.

The design did not change much while it was being produced. It started with the Liberty Head design, which ran from 1849 to 1907, designed by James Barton Longacre. He shows the profile of Miss Liberty looking up, and she is wearing a coronet. Around her are a circle of 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies, and the date of minting is at the bottom of the coin. The back side of the coin has an eagle with extended wings and a shield. Inscribed around the edges are the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and at the bottom are the words TWENTY D. There were a few minor changes to this coin. From 1849 to 1866, the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST was not on the coin, and was added from 1866 to 1876. The TWENTY D was replaced with TWENTY DOLLARS from 1877 to 1907.

The Saint Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coin was produced from 1907 to 1933 and was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The front of the coin has a full length image of Miss Liberty walking with the sun behind her. She has an olive branch in her left hand and a torch in her right hand. Around her are 46 stars, the number of states in the US at that time. The reverse side of the coin has rays of sunshine coming up from the bottom behind an eagle in flight with his wings pointing up. At the top is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and at the bottom is TWENTY DOLLARS. In 1907, St. Gaudens made a high relief version of the coin. It had no motto (In God We Trust) and the date was in Roman numerals. This high relief version was too difficult to make and the coins did not stack well, so the design was changed to a low relief version with Arabic numerals. In the middle of 1908, the motto was added. The only other change was made in 1912, when two more states were added to the Union, so two more stars were added to the coin.

Value of Coins

There are several factors that enter into an evaluation of a coin’s value. The rarity of the coin is one, and this is often the case when a US Mint doesn’t produce many coins in a particular year. Error coins have more value than others, when there is either a flaw on the stamp that makes the coin or the coin if struck twice. Lastly, the condition of the coin can make a big difference in its worth.

Here are some of the more valuable Double Eagle Gold Coins and their price range. The range starts with a coin that has almost no details or is in fairly good shape to a Mint State coin with high luster and no wear or scratches.

  • 1921 = $14,500 to $1,000,000
  • 1925 = $910 to $120,000
  • 1926 D = $4,050 to $125,000
  • 1927 S = $3,620 to $125,000
  • 1929 = 4,320 to $100,000
  • 1930 S = $13,500 to $235,000
  • 1931 = $8,900 to 115,000
  • 1931 D = $9,500 to 130,000
  • 1932 = $9,450 to 120,000

One of the reasons people buy gold coins is for the value of the gold. Since these gold coins are 90 percent gold, the intrinsic value of the coin can change with the current market price of gold. As of October 31, 2010, the melt value of a Double Eagle Gold Coin is $1315.60.