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1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Double Eagle – Paquet Reverse

When it comes to rare gold American coins, the 1861 Liberty Head $20 gold Double Eagle ranks among the rarest.

Since 1850, the United States Mint has produced twenty dollar gold double eagle coins. James Barton Longacre was the man that designed the coin with help from Peter F. Cross. In late 1860, Anthony C. Paquet attempted to improve the design by producing a modified reverse with taller, narrower letters. The mint director approved the design and die sinkers in Philadelphia and the mint produced several sets of coin dies.

Shortly after, the Philadelphia mint shipped several coin dies to the San Francisco mint to be used in production.

In early January 1861, Mint Director James Ross Snowden telegraphed the San Francisco mint with instructions not to use the dies because of a technical flaw. Quality experts contended that the rim of the coin was too narrow to protect the design elements and the coin would wear out quickly. The call was too late though, by that time, the San Francisco mint had already struck 19,250 coins for circulation with the S mintmark.

It’s believed that the Philadelphia mint only produced 3 coins and 2 of them are known to survive. If you’re trying to build a complete collection of Liberty Head $20 dollar gold double eagles, you’ll need a big coin collecting budget to afford this rare gold coin. Someone did sell the gold coin and it fetched quite the payday (see below). Not bad for just one gold coin.

This rare gold coin sold for  $1,645,000. The coin was graded by PCGS and was a PCGS MS-61. The coin was sold on August 2014; Heritage Auctions, ANA US Coins Signature Auction – Chicago, IL

This gold double eagle coin was stunning. If you buy this gold coin, it would have put you back $1.6M – that’s a lot of money for one gold coin.

If you have gold coins, gold bars, or gold jewelry for sale, we’re always looking to buy gold. Be sure to reach out to our coin shop.

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