1887 Liberty Head double eagle $20 gold coins are quite scarce today, as less than 284,000 were originally made and many have since been melted. Only the San Francisco mint, located near the epicenter of United States gold mining activity, handled striking of $20 gold double eagles in 1887. The Philadelphia mint struck a very limited supply of proofs that year.
Here’s a breakdown of the mintages and values of 1887 double eagle $20 gold coins:
1887 (proof only), 121; $143,000
1887-S, 283,000; $1,550
*Values are for coins in a grade of Extremely Fine 40 unless otherwise specified.
1887 $20 double eagle gold coins contain 0.9613 ounces of gold, weigh 33.44 grams, and measure 34 millimeters wide. Their relatively heavy weight and large size are two reasons these coins remain popular with coin collectors and bullion investors today. $20 gold coins also have a romantic allure, as their roots can be traced back to the Gold Rush years of the 1840s and are widely associated with the “Old West.”
1887 double eagles are much scarcer than the mintage numbers above would ordinarily suggest as many of these gold coins were melted in later years, leaving behind only a small number of survivors. For that reason, these $20 gold coins should be regarded as considerably scarce. It’s wise to purchase these coins in slabs from highly reputable third-party coin grading firms such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).