The Arlington Collection Image Gallery

Complete Set of Gold $20 Type 1 Double Eagles

About the Coin

The Type 1 double eagle is by far my favorite series. It is big. It is heavy. And it is gold. The Type 1 double eagle was struck from 1850 through 1866 at which time the reverse was changed to include the motto "In God We Trust."

The Type 1 double eagle spanned some of the most memorable years in our nation's history. It owes its existence to the California Gold Rush and it came to an end due to rising religious sentiment during the Civil War leading to the adding of the motto on the reverse.

The 1856-O Type 1 double eagle has the lowest mintage in the series with only 2,250 having been struck. The 1856-O, along with the 1854-O, are the two major rarities of the series. This coin was the final hole that was filled to complete The Arlington Collection of Type 1 Double Eagles. Only 20-25 examples of this coin are believed to exist today.

One interesting note about the 1856-O double eagle is that it is one of only two Type 1 double eagles not to have been found on the S.S. Republic shipwreck. The other being the 1866-S No Motto. This is a reflection of the true rarity of the 1856-O.

The 1856-O double eagle is listed in the book 100 Greatest U.S. Coins by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth.

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

1856-O Gold $20 Double Eagle

Type 1 No Motto — Major Key Date
Condition Census

Total Mintage: 2,250
Overall Rarity Ranking: 1 of 44 coins
Overall Population: approx. 20 to 30 coins

1856-O Gold $20 Double Eagle Obverse
1856-O Gold $20 Double Eagle Reverse

The Arlington Collection of Double Eagles