Lady Liberty Gold Coins

December 15, 2009 – Our government first produced $20 Lady Liberty gold coins in 1849, after many years of only minting coins with $10, $5, $2.50, and $1 denominations. A one-ounce, $20 gold coin was a novel idea for the US Mint, but the discovery of gold in California gave the United States’ gold reserves sufficient padding to produce the one-ounce variety of the Lady Liberty.

The $20 Lady Liberty gold coins were minted from 1849-1907, when the $20 Saint Gaudens coin design was authorized by President Theodore Roosevelt. The obverse, or front of coins within the heralded Liberty series depicts Lady Liberty herself, and the reverse of the coin features the majestic American bald eagle.

Lady Liberty gold coins were produced in three distinct varieties, with each version displaying a slightly different reverse design. The Type-1 Liberty was minted until 1866, and this version is entitled the “No Motto” because its’ design lacks the designation, “In God We Trust.”

The Type-2 coin, which was minted for 10 years beginning in 1866, includes the “In God We Trust” motto, as well as a “Twenty D” marking.

The third and final version of the $20 Liberty was minted from 1876 until the Saint Gaudens replaced the Liberty in 1907, and this Type-3 coin carries the motto and the inscription “Twenty Dollars.” Many collectors and investors make it a goal to own all three types of $20 Lady Liberty coins.

Sadly, the vast majority of the $20 Lady Liberty gold coins were melted down by order of President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. Only a small number of these coins survived Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102, which was in effect until 1971. This order decreed that all gold bullion bars and coins were to be turned in to our government, which needed the metal to restore strength to a weakened US currency.

If our government implements another gold seizure, the remaining Lady Liberty gold coins would most likely be exempt from such a confiscation (even though we all know that our government COULD do ANYTHING). Pre-1933 gold coins that have survived all this time in Uncirculated Mint State condition are considered to be rare American antiquities, and there also aren’t enough of these coins to aid or detract from our fiat currency’s value.

Feel free to browse to learn more about the historic confiscation of gold bullion within US borders, or check out one of our helpful investment tutorials below. 

Kevin Johnson

Senior Staff Writer –

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