1851 Liberty Head double eagle $20 gold coins were struck to the tune of more than 2.4 million pieces between the Philadelphia and New Orleans mints. One would think that with a relatively hefty mintage in the millions that these coins would be fairly common. However, early Liberty Head double eagles are actually quite scarce. Bear in mind, much of the value for gold coins, including double eagles, owes to the intrinsic bullion value. However, scarce pre-1933 gold coins have a huge numismatic premium, and that’s the case with these 1851 $20 gold double eagle coins.
What follows is a rundown on the mintages and values of both 1851 double eagle issues:
1851, 2,087,155; $2,250
1851-O, 315,000; $4,200
*Values are for coins grading Extremely Fine 40.
$20 double eagles weigh 33.44 grams and contain 0.9613 ounces of gold, which amounts to a gold content of 90 percent. Double eagles are 34 millimeters in diameter, which, all told, makes for a substantially large and heavy gold coin. In addition to their size, pre-1933 U.S. gold double eagle coins have an historical appeal that attracts both coin collectors and individuals who may not consider themselves numismatists but still enjoy relics such as the 1851 Liberty Head double eagle.