1859 Liberty Head double eagles $20 gold coins are quite scarce, as less than 700,000 were made across the three minting facilities striking these coins during that year, which include the Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco mints. As was typical for gold coins made during that era, the San Francisco mint struck the largest share of that year’s double eagle output, followed by Philadelphia and New Orleans.
Here’s a rundown of the mintages and values of 1859 $20 gold double eagles:
1859, 43,597; $2,450
1859-O, 9,100; $18,500
1859-S, 636,445; $2,225
1859 proof, 80; $280,000
*Values are for coins in a grade of Extremely Fine 40 unless otherwise specified.
1859 $20 double eagles weigh 33.44 grams and contain 0.9613 ounces of gold. They’re also 34 millimeters wide, which places their diameter roughly between the size of a modern-day half dollar and silver dollar. The double eagle’s heavy weight and large size make them very popular among coin collectors and investors alike.
1859 Liberty Head double eagles were designed by James B. Longacre, who also engraved dies for many other popular coins from the era, including the Indian Head penny and 2 Cent coins. He served as the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint between 1844 and 1869.