The new mines yielded the greatest mass of gold in recorded history. Vast quantities of the yellow metal helped to speed development of the American West and had far-reaching effects on the worlds coinage. The first California gold to reach the Philadelphia Mint was dispatched by the territorys Governor, Col. Mason to Secretary of War William L.
This coinage was small, but it soon became obvious that the sheer mass of gold reaching the mints was going to require a much larger denomination than the quarter eagle, half eagle and eagle then authorized. North Carolina Congressman James Iver McKay, a powerful member of the House Ways and Means Committee, had already prepared legislation authorizing the smallest U. Gold coin, the gold dollar. The authorizing statute was passed by Congress on March 3, 1849. The designing of both coins coincided with a conspiracy to oust Chief Engraver James Barton Longacre.
Mint Director Robert Maskell Patterson sought to replace him with the great medalist Charles. Cushing Wright, and the corrupt Chief Coiner Franklin Peale feared that Longacre would disrupt his illicit medal-making racket. Patterson and Peale harassed Longacre mercilessly at every turn, forcing him to create three separate double eagle obverses before the first patterns could be struck bearing the date 1849 (Judd 117, 118).
Longacre, whose initials JBL appear on Libertys neck, survived the campaign, and developmental patterns were struck in silver without a date in early 1850. Circulation coinage finally began on January 26. It was modeled after an ancient Greco-Roman sculpture, the Crouching Venus. His reverse reflected his training as a two-dimensional engraver.
Based on the Great Seal of the United States, it depicts a spread eagle with a shield on its breast, 13 stars in an oval with rays above. The nations name appears above, the denomination expressed as TWENTY D. The Type 1 (or No Motto) double eagles were struck at the Philadelphia Mint every year from 1850 through 1865, at New Orleans from 1850 through 1861, and at San Francisco from 1854 through 1866.The O or S mintmark is found below the eagles tail. Average mintages were several hundred thousand, but ranged up to just under three million for the 1861 issue. The San Francisco coins of 1866 were the last of the design, and were also issued as part of the Type 2 series, with the new motto IN GOD WE TRUST. These early twenties range from elusive to very rare in all Mint State grades. Branch mint pieces are particularly so, with many New Orleans issues numbered among the great rarities of the series. Low mintage New Orleans dates include 1854-O with 3,250 pieces struck; 1855-O, 8,000; 1856-O, 2,250; 1859-O, 9,100; and 1860-O, 6,600 pieces. The only overdate in the series is the rare 1853 over 2, discovered in 1959 by the late Walter Breen. Other legendary rarities are the Paquet Reverse issues of 1861 and 1861-S.
These coins were the result of Mint engraver Anthony C. Paquets attempt to improve the reverse design. Paquet used tall, boldly elongated lettering for the legend and a very narrow raised border in place of the wide rim of the Longacre reverse.
This rim was inadequate to shield the design from immediate wear and caused early die breakage as well. The San Francisco Mint struck 19,250 Paquet Reverse coins that made it into circulation before Mint Director Snowdens frantic orders to stop coinage were received. Proofs of the series are excessively rare, with perhaps two known of the 1850 and 1854. Proofs were first placed on public sale in 1858, and three or four exist with this historic date. These first proof sets included the copper-nickel cent, silver half dime, dime, quarter, half dollar and dollar as well as the gold dollar, quarter eagle, half eagle, eagle and double eagle.
The few collectors then active were far more interested in large cents than in gold by date. Individual numismatists such as Bostons bean-baker Lorin G. Parmelee saved a few Proofs, but only the fabulously wealthy railroad magnate, John Work Garrett of Baltimore assembled anything like a run of early dates, including 1860 and 1862 through 1865.
The item "1854-O LIBERTY HEAD $20 NGC AU 58" is in sale since Thursday, November 21, 2019. This item is in the category "Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ US\Gold (Pre-1933)\$20, Double Eagle". The seller is "rarecoinwholesalersca" and is located in Irvine. This item can be shipped to United States, Ukraine.