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U.S. Liberty Head $20 Double Eagles Book Review

The following review was written by Doug Nyholm and printed in the April 2014 issue of The Mint Master, newsletter of the Utah Numismatic Society.

“Q. David Bowers has done it again. This very prolific author has published a book that I believe is one of his best. Entitled U.S. Liberty Head $20 Double Eagles / The Gilded Age of Coinage this book covers the history of our country through the years of the Liberty Head $20’s dated from 1849-1907. This book is NOT a year-by-year, mint-by-mint analysis of double eagles with price lists in every common grade and values listed. There are many other books covering this data, while this book covers each year they were minted, covering both historically significant events that affected the Liberty Head Double Eagle, and also the events which occurred during the year.

For example, let’s take the year 1860. The chapter is entitled ‘1860 A Divisive Election.’ The subparagraphs include ‘The Presidential Election,’ ‘After Lincoln’s Victory,’ ‘Money and Minting,’ ‘Gold and Silver in The West.’ ‘The Numismatic Scene,’ and ‘Other News of 1860.’ In addition to the above paragraphs, each chapter (and for that matter the entire book) is profusely illustrated with pictures, events, drawings, ads, and maps, which are related to the year is discussion. Each chapter has pictured at least one example/mint of a double eagle minted for that year, with many chapters depicting a beautiful full page picture for each the obverse and reverse of the Liberty Head double eagle. The book is printed on high gloss quality paper in full color and is truly a beautiful book you will have a hard time setting down. Reading each of the chapters is a mini-course in U.S. history and you will come away with a much-expanded knowledge of history during the years 1849-1907.

The book consists of 361 pages in 8 1/2 x 11 format and is definitely a book you will want to read cover to cover and not just look at the pictures and then put it on your bookshelf. The price for this book is also reasonable at $49 plus shipping directly from Stack’s Bowers Galleries. Even if you don’t own a single $20 Liberty I can’t imagine anyone who enjoys history and U.S. coinage not appreciating this book. I highly recommend this book.

— Doug Nyholm

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