Double Eagle Gold Coins
The Liberty Gold Double Eagle ($20) gold coin came out of the California Gold Rush where huge quantities of gold poured out of the hills causing the need for a larger gold coin for banking and large commerce transactions. The name, $20 Double Eagle was because they were exactly double the size of a $10 Eagle. James B. Longacre, the fourth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, designed the double eagle gold coin.
The obverse features a bust of Liberty facing left, wearing a coronet inscribed with her name “Liberty,” in a circle of 13 stars. The reverse depicts facing American eagle with the Union shield across its breast, holding an olive branch and arrows in its claws, with the glory of rays and an elliptical constellation of 13 stars above.
There are three varieties of Double Eagles: Type 1 (1849-1866), without a motto on the reverse; Type 2 (1866-1876), with the motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST” engraved above the eagle in an oval of stars. Type 3 (1877-1907), “TWENTY D” was changed to “TWENTY DOLLARS”.