I have been fascinated with coins of the Gold Rush and the Wild West. My first Whitman book was for the Buffalo Nickel with its beautiful Indian head and buffalo reverse. Maybe growing up in Texas and around real cowboys and ranch life is where the fascination took its roots. I can’t say for sure. But one thing I am sure of is that coins of this important period of American history caught my imagination at an early age.

The series of coins in my professional career for which I have become known as an authority is America’s first big $20 gold coin. I first wrote about them in 1990 attempting to encourage collectors and investors to consider them for their historical significance, extreme rarity and high quality. Back then these big gold coins did not have a lot of “set’s appeal,” but I believed strongly that would change as the market place continued to mature. Today it is very popular to collect Type I Double Eagles in a number of different ways and to fit any budget.

Since February 2003, Monaco Rare Coins has recommended the aggressive acquisition of all dates and varieties of U.S. $20 Type-I “Double Eagles.” Those who have taken our advice have benefited handsomely . . . these coins have enjoyed significant price appreciation ever since, with some specimens increasing three or four times their original price.

Whether you are new to the rare coin marketplace, or a seasoned pro . . . whether you are looking for common-date coins, mint-state or proof coins, or a high-end numismatic treasure . . . whether you are interested in a great deal now, or just want to investigate, chances are Monaco Rare Coins can and will be a valuable resource for you, especially if you are looking for the best deals available on U.S. Type-I Double Eagles.


During the 19th century, a “young” America experienced the sensational California Gold Rush . . . a Civil War that pitted brother against brother . . . and the minting of its first $20 gold coin, the Type-I Double Eagle (1849-1866).

It was, in fact, the immense amount of gold produced by the Gold Rush that inspired and permitted the minting of the large Double Eagle gold pieces. This caused the U.S. government to seek a more compact form to pay large-scale domestic and international transactions that were payable in gold. Thus, the $20 Double Eagle was born.

Many dates, once extremely rare and prohibitively expensive, today are more affordable than ever, thanks to the lost hoards of Type-I coins discovered and retrieved from the SS Brother Jonathan, SS Central America and SS Republic shipwrecks. Today, despite consistent price gains over the years, quality Type-I Double Eagle specimens are available and still very affordable for the private investor or collector.

Monaco Rare Coins is the nation’s leader in Type-I Double Eagles because we have researched, acquired and specialized in this historically-significant series for many, many years. Numismatic Author, Adam Crum wrote “THE BOOK” on this legendary coin type, An Insider’s Guide to Collecting Type-I Double Eagles. Widely acclaimed throughout the rare coin industry, Adam’s Insider’s Guide is considered a “must-have” resource for the serious $20 gold piece collector.

This guide-book to the exciting Type-I series is the culmination of years of experience of buying, selling and trading these popular gold coins since Adam’s beginnings with the series in the 1980s. In fact, Adam’s first published article, entitled “$20 Liberties to Buy Now: Type I Double Eagles,” appeared in the August 1991 issue of U.S. Rare Coin News and was the result of a market study which convinced him that date-collecting of these early $20 gold coins was seeing a dramatic rise in popularity. Focusing on the ever-popular New Orleans “O” branch mint mini-series (1850-1861) or the historied San Francisco issues (1854-1866) are different ways to get started in this spectacular series.

Philadelphia New Orleans San Francisco Total Issues
1850 1850-O
1851 1851-O
1852 1852-O
1853 1853-O
1854 1854-O 1854-S
1855 1855-O 1855-S
1856 1856-O 1856-S
1857 1857-O 1857-S
1858 1858-O 1858-S
1859 1859-O 1859-S
1860 1860-O 1860-S
1861 1861-O 1861-S
1862 1862-S
1863 1863-S
1864 1864-S
1865 1865-S
1866-S No Motto
16 12 13 41
Paquet Reverse Variety:
1861 1861-S
Total Issues of Basic Set with Major Varieties: 43

Would you, as a collector, like a copy of Adam Crum’s Insider’s Guide to Collecting Type-I Double Eagles to help you get started with Monaco? Simply call us at 1-888-900-9948, and we’ll send you one with our compliments . . . no cost, and no obligation (not available to dealers).


Of all of the coins featured in Jeff Garrett’s “100 Greatest U.S. Coins,” a book endorsed by the Professional Numismatists Guild, an astounding seven are Type-I Double Eagles, more than any other coin series. Over the years, Monaco Rare Coins has purchased and sold five of these world-class coins (and some of them more than once)…the two exceptions being the 1849 and the 1854-S Presentation Strike specimens, both of which are one-of-a-kind “ultra-ultra-rarities” residing in the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

While some Type-I Double Eagles can today command prices into the millions of dollars (the 1861 “Paquet” being the most prominent) most dates can be acquired for far less…and some beautiful examples for just a few thousand dollars.