United States $20 Liberty
Grade: Brilliant Uncirculated
Actual Gold Content: .9675 troy ounce
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Nothing demonstrates dollar depreciation to Americans more precisely than coins from the Gold Standard era, particularly the artistically beautiful and popular $20 gold pieces, also known as Double Eagles. Although each was minted with a face-value of $20, the coin's value today just in terms of gold content exceeds $1700. These items remain among the most popular gold acquisition items from Americans despite the typically higher premium.
The Liberty design was minted from 1850 to 1907 and was largely the product of the discovery of gold in Colorado and California. The St. Gaudens design, named after the sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens, is considered among the most beautiful renditions of the numismatic art. It was minted from 1907 to 1932, and is still frequently requested as an acquisition item.
The average premium during the past decade for the most common date U.S. $20 gold pieces has been in the 35% to 40% range, significantly higher than the premiums generally prevailing for other pre-1933 coinage. Double eagle prices track the gold price over time, but the premium fluctuates, thus increases and decreases in value do not necessarily follow gold on a dollar for dollar basis.
Given the prolonged nature of the financial crisis which began in 2008, and the continuation of economic uncertainties, demand should continue unabated for the Liberty and St. Gaudens coinage; and the average premiums could rise from their current lows as a result -- providing the potential for profit both from a rising gold price and rising premiums. Double eagles are generally available in uncirculated condition.