The following is re-posted from the “Bowers on Collecting” column on Coin Update
Time flies, and it seems like only yesterday that I, with the help of Robert J. Galiette, created what turned out to be a very popular book: Liberty Head Double Eagles 1849-1907: The Gilded Age of Coinage. That was back in 2013, 10 years ago.
This series of $20 gold coins comprises three major types:
1850-1866: Without Motto.
1866-1876: With “IN GOD WE TRUST,” denomination spelled as “TWENTY D.”
1877-1907: With Motto, denomination spelled as “TWENTY DOLLARS.”
Within this stretch of years, there are nearly a dozen rarities, including 1854-O, 1856-O, 1861-S Paquet Reverse, 1870-CC, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, and others. However, acquiring one example of each of the three designs is easy enough to do. Affordable grades for the first type are EF and AU; for the second type, low-range Mint State; and for the third type, MS-63 or higher. Cherrypicking within a given grade will pay dividends. Avoid scratches and nicks.
There is something special about holding gold. Acquiring double eagles is a nice way to do this, as today a common-date $20 costs about the same as an ounce of bullion.