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Thanks to the California Gold Rush, America had enough gold in 1849 to contemplate a brand new denomination – the $20 Double Eagle. James Barton Longacre set to work creating dies for this massive coin that contained nearly a full ounce of gold. Longacre’s design lasted 58 years, with only minor modifications – one of the longest running series in American numismatics. A complete date set is easy and relatively inexpensive to assemble, with one exception – the elusive, low-mintage 1886. High-grade sets are a real challenge, especially in the earlier dates, where higher weights reflect the rarity of Mint State examples. When you’re done with this set, you’ll have 58 coins, nearly 57 ounces of pure gold, and an impressive collection that even non-numismatists can appreciate.
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