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Among the most beautiful coins minted by the US Mint, the $20 Liberty Head is among collector’s favorite coins. It is considered to be “THE numismatic coin of the United States”, especially with rarer grades like an MS-65 being much rarer than the same grade in the Saint Gaudens. This implies fewer of these coins exist in such beautiful condition than Saint Gaudens and other rare US coins.
The $20 Liberty design was conceived of by James B. Longacre. The coin features Miss Liberty donning a crown which has the word ‚LIBERTY‘ inscribed into it. Thirteen stars encircle, which represent the original 13 colonies, as well as the mint-date of the coin.
The reverse features a bald eagle behind a striped shield. The words „UNITED STATES OF AMERICA arc the coin’s top.
The Coinage Act of 1849 approved the minting of the $20 Liberty gold coin. About two of these coins were minted in December of that year, one of which is currently located in the Smithsonian.
The $20 gold coin was uncommon in consumer transactions, since $20 was a considerable amount of money in the 19th century. The $20 Liberty, rather, was used for bank-to-bank transfers and payment of debts to foreign investors.
In 1866,the motto “In God We Trust” was added to the Liberty Coronet double eagle, creating a second subtype. In 1877, the coin’s denomination design on the reverse was changed from “Twenty D” to “Twenty Dollars” creating a third and final subtype for the Liberty Head series.