Liberty Head Gold Double Eagles were first minted in 1849 and continued production until 1907. This example was struck at the San Francisco Mint during 1874 and is graded MS61. Although the total mintage of this year is 1,214,000, it is unknown how many of these coins still exist due to the passing of Executive Order 6102. This order sought to revive the American economy by recalling circulating gold to be melted down. It is because of this order that gold coins of this era, such as the Liberty Head Double Eagle, are so rare. Out of all 1874-S Liberty Heads, only about 1,000 are graded Mint State 61.
The Liberty Head Gold Double Eagle, designed by James B. Longacre, was the first Double Eagle, or twenty dollar denomination coin, minted in the United States. The reasoning behind creating a new twenty dollar coin composed of 90% gold was due to the California Gold Rush, which introduced massive amounts of gold into the economy.