The 1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin is the earliest year that total mintages approached 4 million across the three mints issuing the coinage at the time. Another change, there were two reverse designs produced that year: the original design by James B. Longacre and a second one by Anthony C. Paquet. The Paquet design kept many elements of Longacre’s work, but the letters on the reverse are taller and a few other minor details, such as placement of the 13 stars, differ from the regular reverse.
When it comes to collecting these coins, regardless of its type, a collector will always look at the condition the coin is in. Seeing as only the most beautiful pieces are added to most people’s collections, it follows that collectors are willing to pay a hefty price to get their hands on an 1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin in excellent shape.
For coins that are well over a century old, collectors are always going to first consider the condition of the coin before ever making a purchase. Being that condition is absolutely everything, collectors are going to closely analyze every aspect of the coin looking for even the smallest imperfections. These imperfections, no matter the size, are going to affect the opinion of a potential collector.
Being that not every collector is a coin expert, most prefer to have their coins sent away for grading so that a professional can determine the exact condition of the coin. This is an expensive process, so we have provided below a basic outline of the different characteristics associated with coins of certain grades.
Uncirculated: A coin that is graded as being Uncirculated is one that never spent any time being exchanged on the open market. Instead, these pieces were immediately put into safekeeping after being minted. Thanks to this, they have retained their original shine and texture, and are some of the most popular coins in the eyes of collectors.
Extremely Fine: A coin that is graded as being Extremely Fine is one that spent almost no time at all exchanging hands. These coins will have only very minimal signs of wear and tear that will most often consist of light scratching. All in all, collectors love these coins because they are in great condition and are not as pricy as their Uncirculated counterparts.
Fine: A coin that is graded as being Fine is one that was circulated for a good bit of time, but did not incur any major damage during that time. All in all, these coins are in decent shape and apart from scratching on both sides of the coin and the wearing away of the coin’s texture, they are in fairly well-preserved condition.
Good: Good is the lowest grade a coin can receive and is indicative of a piece that has been quite heavily circulated over the years. These coins will be complete with a host of damage including chipping and bending. All in all, their poor condition drives collectors away, but the affordable price makes these coins almost irresistible at times.
When it comes to determining a price for coins that well over 100 years old, there are a few different factors that you absolutely must consider. For one, the fact that there were multiple types of Liberty Head $20 Gold Coins produced every year means that the type you own will undoubtedly play into the price you pay. Secondly, collectors obsess over condition, so it goes without saying that coins that have been well-preserved will sell for higher prices than coins that have been neglected. Below is a chart aimed at giving you a better idea of what you can expect to pay for a 1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin given its condition and type.
Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin
|1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin||N/A||N/A||$2,250||$2,850|
|1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin (O)||N/A||N/A||$24,000||$50,000|
|1861 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin (S)||N/A||N/A||$2,250||$3,250||Source: Red Book|