1878 Liberty Head double eagles are relatively common as many examples of the 2.2 million-plus $20 gold coins from that year still survive to this day. The San Francisco mint produced the lion’s share of those coins, which is not surprising given the West’s role in gold mining. That’s also the region that saw the most use of gold coins in circulation, though bear in mind $20 was a lot of money in the 1870s and, thus, double eagles didn’t see much general usage as compared to smaller denominations.
Here is a breakdown of the mintages and values of 1878 double eagle gold coins:
1878, 543,625; $1,670
1878-CC, 13,180; $11,500
1878-S, 1,739,000; $1,550
1878 proof, 20; $260,000
*Values are for coins in a grade of Extremely Fine 40 unless otherwise specified.
1878 $20 double eagle gold coins weigh 33.44 grams, contain 0.9613 ounces of gold, and are 34 millimeters wide, which means they are 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, though the history behind these coins – directly linked to the discovery of gold during the Gold Rush, adds a romantic dimension to these classic American coins.