The Arlington Collection Image Gallery

Selected Favorite Coins from A.C. Dwyer's Type Collection

About the Coin

The 1857-S $20 gold double eagle is listed in the book 100 Greatest U.S. Coins by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth.

For shipwreck treasure collectors like myself, Type 1 double eagles recovered from major shipwrecks like the S.S. Central America, S.S. Brother Jonathan, and S.S. Republic created some great excitement.

They also allowed us to add some beautiful gems to our collections. The Arlington Collection has an MS-65 example from each of the three shipwrecks.

The Type 1 double eagle spanned some of the most memorable years in our nations history. It owes its existence, along with the gold dollar, to the California Gold Rush. The Type 1 came to an end when rising religious sentiment during the Civil War led to the Type 2 double eagle with the adding of the motto "In God We Trust" on the reverse.

Although this S.S. Central America shipwreck example from The Arlington Collection is not one of those graded MS-65, it is definitely one of my favorites. It is the only double eagle I have ever come across with the DMPL (Deep Mirror Proof-like) designation on its holder. This example is one of only seven S.S. Central America shipwreck coins graded as DMPL.

I have a number of double eagles with the PL designation on their holders and yet this DMPL example is like nothing I have ever seen. The deep, dark orange coloring and deep mirror reflectiveness gives this coin a unique and very appealing appearance. The photos don't do justice to this coin.

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

1857-S Gold $20 Double Eagle

Type 1 No Motto — S.S. Central America

1857-S Gold $20 Double Eagle DMPL Obverse
1857-S Gold $20 Double Eagle DMPL Reverse

The Arlington Collection of U.S. Type Coins