The Arlington Collection Image Gallery

Complete Set of Gold $20 Type 1 Double Eagles

About the Coin

1850 is the first year of issue for the double eagle. There is a unique 1849 specimen generally regarded as a proof, but in fact, is a pattern.

There was a single obverse master hub used for all double eagles from 1850 through 1858. A new obverse master hub was created for 1859 and used through the end of the type 1 double eagles in 1866. There are two differences, among others, that can be easily seen upon close inspection.

The first difference is that the master hub used from 1850 until 1858 had the word LIBERTY misspelled as LLBERTY which was corrected by placing the I over the second L.

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The second difference is that the engraver's initials, J.B.L. for James B. Longacre, were moved from under the hair curls further to the left on the neck truncation.

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This date is very popular among collectors due to it being the first year of issue and the fact that it is relatively common overall among type 1 double eagles with over 1000 examples believed to exist. But as you can see from the rarity totals, the coin is very rare in mint state with no more than 50 examples believed to exist.

The 1850 double eagle in The Arlington Collection is one of two graded MS61, with none finer, recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck. It is tied as the finest known from the shipwreck for that date and mint.

A total of 55 coins were recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck with only three of those grading mint state.

In addition to the 55 examples recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck, 29 examples were reportedly found in the SS Central America shipwreck with none of those grading mint state.

Designer: James B. Longacre
Weight: 33.436 grams
Diameter: approx. 34mm, reeded edge
Composition: 90% gold, 10% copper/silver

1850 Gold $20 Double Eagle

Type 1 No Motto — S.S. Republic

SS Republic Population

Total Mintage: 1,170,261
Overall Rarity Ranking: 36 of 44 coins
Overall Population: approx. 1555 to 2055 coins

Tied for finest from the shipwreck

1850 Gold $20 Double Eagle SS Republic Obverse
1850 Gold $20 Double Eagle SS Republic Reverse

The Arlington Collection of Double Eagles