1933 Double Eagle $20

The 1933 Double Eagle $20 coin is one of the most storied and sought-after coins in American numismatic history. While it was originally intended for circulation, most of the 1933 Double Eagles were melted down before they ever left the mint, making the surviving specimens exceptionally rare and valuable. 

Designed by renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the 1933 Double Eagle features a stunning depiction of Liberty striding forward on the obverse, carrying a torch and olive branch, with the rays of the sun behind her.  

Despite the beauty of its design, the 1933 Double Eagle was never officially released into circulation due to the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, which prohibited the ownership and circulation of most gold coins. 

The legal status of the 1933 Double Eagle has been the subject of controversy and litigation for decades. In 2002, a single example of the coin was sold at auction for over $7 million, making it the most expensive coin ever sold at the time. 

Today, the surviving 1933 Double Eagles are among the most coveted and valuable coins in the world. Each specimen represents a rare and tangible piece of American history, embodying the artistry of Saint-Gaudens and the turbulent economic and political climate of the Great Depression era.  

The saga of the 1933 Double Eagle $20 coin is a fascinating tale that intertwines elements of art, law, and intrigue. Designed by the eminent sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the coin was intended to embody the ideals of American liberty and progress, with its exquisite craftsmanship and elegant design. 

However, the coin's journey from the mint to circulation was abruptly halted by the passage of the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, which effectively ended the circulation of gold coins in the United States and required citizens to turn in their gold coins to the government. 

Despite the government's efforts to reclaim the coins, a small number of 1933 Double Eagles managed to escape destruction, finding their way into the hands of collectors and dealers through illicit channels.  

The legal saga surrounding the 1933 Double Eagle reached its climax in the early 2000s, when a single example of the coin surfaced and was slated for auction. The ensuing legal battle between the government and the coin's owner captivated the attention of the numismatic world .

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