United States, 20 Dollars, 1854

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 10/19/2009

The sheer size of the California gold strike altered the nature of American numismatics. It was not only that mintage figures dramatically increased; the actual range of denominations increased as well.  Prior to 1849, there had been three gold coins: the quarter eagle, half eagle, and eagle (or $2.50, $5.00, and $10.00 coins). By 1854, three more had been added, a dollar, a three-dollar piece, and a double eagle, or twenty-dollar coin.

Artist James Barton Longacre designed all three of the new coins. The double eagle was the most popular...

Related Artifact

related artifact Templeton Reid, 5 Dollars, 1830

Before the famous California gold rush, several important strikes were made in the East: in North...

Related book

Children of the Wild West

A photographic look at life for kids on the frontier.

Read More