$20 Liberty Head Double Eagle
In California on January 24, 1848, James Marshall was inspecting a sawmill he was building near Sutter’s Fort on the American River. The severe rainstorms of the previous week had washed away rocks, soil and sediment. Marshall noticed gold colored flakes everywhere and the following morning found a yellow nugget, the assay of which proved that he had indeed discovered gold.
20 St. Gaudens Double Eagle
As the U.S. the 20th century, Augustus Saint-Gaudens was widely recognized as the nation’s preeminent sculptor. However, after having his magnificent design for the official medal for the 1892 World’s Columbian Exposition attacked as “obscene” (the reverse of which depicted a nude of a Grecian youth holding a torch and wreaths for the victors) St. Gaudens vowed that he would go to the grave before having anything further to do with the Mint Bureau.