The first U.S. gold double eagle was minted in 1849, coinciding with the discovery of gold in California. Official production was to begin in 1850, but as a trial, the U.S. Mint produced two pattern coins dated 1849 - and only one of those coins is known to still exist! That sole coin is unquestionably the rarest coin in American history and now resides in the Smithsonian Institution. Some experts have estimated its value to be between $10 and $20 million. However, as part of the Smithsonian collection, the coin cannot be sold and is considered to be priceless.
Designed by James B. Longacre, the Liberty Head Double Eagle features a left-facing Liberty, her hair bundled and secured with a beaded tie, with a few loose curls cascading down her neck. She is encircled by thirteen six-point stars. On the reverse, a left-facing heraldic eagle appears, wings outstretched with a shield, a bundle of arrows, and an olive brance in his talons.
Available exclusively from American Mint, this 24k gold-layered coin is meticulously reproduced from the only existing specimen of the priceless 1849 Liberty Head Double Eagle which is currently under lock and key at the Smithsonian Institution. To make our replica truly special, we accented coin designer James Barton Longacre's beautiful Grecianinspired Miss Liberty in .9995 pure platinum!
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