Gold Double Eagle

The United States Gold $20 Double Eagle is a coin with a rich and storied history that spans over a century. Its origins can be traced back to the turbulent days of the California Gold Rush in 1849, a time when the need for a larger denomination coin became apparent due to the abundant gold discoveries in California. To address this growing need, the United States Mint was tasked with the production of a new gold coin, one that would carry a face value of $20, making it the highest denomination coin in circulation at that time.

The initial design of the Double Eagle featured a Liberty head facing left on the obverse side of the coin, while the reverse depicted an eagle perched on a branch. However, this design would undergo several transformations over the years. In 1907, the coin received a remarkable update, a transformation that would forever change its appearance and elevate it to a status of artistic brilliance. The design was revamped to showcase a more modern and exquisite representation of Lady Liberty, and this iconic design was the creation of none other than the renowned sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This new design, often referred to as the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, is widely regarded as one of the most aesthetically pleasing and beautiful coins ever minted in the United States.

The Double Eagle transcended its role as a mere currency and played a pivotal role in American history. It symbolized the nation’s growing economic might during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was used extensively in commerce, not just within the United States but also internationally. Banks and governments around the world held it in high regard, with many reserves consisting of these precious Double Eagles. Its significance in economic transactions and as a symbol of economic prowess during that era cannot be understated.

Yet, the course of history took an unexpected turn when the issuance of gold coins for circulation was suspended in 1933. This dramatic move was driven by the Great Depression and the subsequent banking crisis that sent shockwaves throughout the nation. It was during this time that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order, a defining moment in American history, that prohibited the private ownership of gold coins. The order also mandated that American citizens turn in their gold holdings to the government. The objective was to mitigate the economic crisis and stabilize the financial system.

CoinWeek Coin Giveaway