Denver Gold and Silver
5475 Leetsdale Dr Suite 210
Denver, Colorado 80246
Monday - Saturday 10 am to 5 pm
Sundays by Appointment Only
Call anytime - leave a message: Main Number: 303-333-1411
A Double Eagle is a
gold coin of the United States with a denomination of $20.
(Its gold content of 0.9675 troy oz was worth $20 at the then
official price of $20.67/oz). The coins are made from a 90% gold
(0.900 fine = 21.6 kt) and 10% copper alloy.
Although the "eagle"-based nomenclature for gold U.S. coinage is
often assumed to be a nickname, the "eagle," "half-eagle" and
"quarter-eagle" were specifically given these names in the Act of
Congress that originally authorized them ("An Act establishing a
Mint, and regulating Coins of the United States", section 9, April
2, 1792). Likewise, the Double Eagle was specifically created as
such by name ("An Act to authorize the Coinage of Gold Dollars and
Double Eagles", title and section 1, March 3, 1849).
The first double eagle was minted in 1849, coinciding with the
California Gold Rush. In that year, the mint produced two pieces in
proof. The first resides in the Smithsonian Institution in
Washington DC. The second was presented to then Treasury Secretary
William M. Meredith and was later sold as part of his estate - the
present location of this coin remains unknown.
In 1850 regular production began and continued until 1933 (when
the official price of gold was changed to $35/oz by the Gold Reserve
Act). Prior to 1850, eagles with a denomination of $10 were the
largest denomination of US coin. $10 eagles were produced beginning
in 1795, just two years after the first U.S. mint opened. Since the
$20 gold piece had twice the value of the eagle, these coins were
designated "double eagles". In 1850, the double eagle would have
been equivalent to the purchasing power of $523.28 today.
$20 Double Eagle Fs-101 Triple Die Obverse MS 64