The 1897 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin was designed by James B. Longacre and was struck by the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints. Slightly more than half of that year’s output came from the San Francisco mint, which was located in a region of the United States where gold coinage tended to circulate the most.
While mintage figures were high for the Philadelphia and San Francisco Liberty Head $20 Gold Coins of 1897, unfortunately, few pieces survive today. This is actually the case for virtually all pre-1933 U.S. gold coins. Therefore, it makes sense from the buyer’s perspective to only buy 1897 gold coins that have been authenticated and certified by reputable third-party coin grading firms.
If you are speaking of a coin that is well over 100 years old, something you cannot help but talk about is the condition of the coin. Having been exchanged for any number of decades, these coins are often found in subpar condition. Understanding that the condition of these coins is never guaranteed, collectors will pour over the surfaces of the coin looking for even the smallest imperfections.
Under normal circumstances, a person who is looking to have the condition of their coins judged will defer to the services of a professional coin-grading company. This process, though helpful, is often costly. Understanding that not everyone has the time and money set aside to send a coin away for grading, we have provided below an outline of the different popular coin grades as well as their related characteristics.
Uncirculated: A coin that is determined to be Uncirculated is one that has spent very little time, and sometimes no time whatsoever, in circulation. These coins will appear as though they were just minted and will even have retained most of the mint’s original application of luster. In the eyes of collectors, Uncirculated Liberty Head $20 Gold Coins are the most desirable, but are also some of the most expensive.
Extremely Fine: A coin that is graded as being Extremely Fine is a coin that has spent only a short period of time in circulation. These coins will appear to be identical to Uncirculated editions, but under close inspection you will be able to make out some small signs of wear—most often light scratching. For collectors, these coins are also a great addition to any collection.
Fine:In order to receive this grade, the Liberty Head $20 Gold in question will have spent a good bit of time in circulation but will have avoided many of the signs of wear associated for coins that have been heavily circulated. A lot of light scratching will be on the surfaces of the coin, but apart from that the signs of damage can vary dramatically.
Good: Good is the lowest grade a coin can receive, and is usually a grade reserved for those coins that have been extremely heavily damaged over the years. The surfaces of these coins will have been worn down such that the coin itself feels smooth to the touch. Though in poor condition, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise when you take into consideration just how old these coins actually are.
If you are trying to determine the price of a given 1897 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin, look no further than the type of coin you own and the condition it is in. First, because there were multiple types of these coins minted every year, the exact type of coin you own will play into the asking price. Secondly, because collectors care so much about condition, the coin’s ability to withstand the test of time will also play into the asking price. Listed below is a chart aimed at giving you a better idea of what you might be asked to pay for an 1897 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin given its condition and type.
Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin
|1897 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin||N/A||N/A||$1,475||$1,485|
|1897 Liberty Head $20 Gold Coin (S)||N/A||N/A||$1,475||$1,485||Source: Red Book|