Home U.S. Coin Forum

Two Monster Proof $20’s

I had an opportunity to pick up two really marvelous Ed Trompeter proof $20s- the finest and second finest Type 2 proof Liberty Head $20’s

1866 $20 with Motto, PR67 DCAM
ex- Ed Trompeter Collection
Finest Type 2 Proof $20 Liberty for the entire series (1866-1876)

Nathan M. Kaufman Collection- Ed Trompeter Collection. Single finest known Type 2 proof $20 Liberty Head. The Type 2 $20 Liberty Head was minted from 1866-1876. This is the single finest known example from the entire series.

According to Mint records, only 30 proof Liberty double eagles were struck in 1866. Twenty-five coins were delivered for inclusion in proof sets on January 15, 1866, and five more were delivered on June 8 of that year. The number actually distributed is unknown, but the June striking may indicate that the initial 25 sets had sold out.

The design of the double eagle was modified in 1866 to include the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the reverse. The new reverse motif, known as the Type Two design, may have increased collector-demand for the double eagle in 1866, accounting for the extra coins struck in June.

PCGS and NGC have combined to certify only 15 coins, including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers. PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population as 14-16 examples in all grades, with two pieces impounded in institutional collections at the Smithsonian Institution and the ANS.

About this coin:

Nathan M. Kaufman Collection- part of a complete 1866 gold proof set broken up and sold by Rarcoa in their 1978 auction, this coin was lot 919 which sold for $20,000

Previous thread from 2012 regarding the Marquette, Michigan Kaufman family:


This old thread provides background on the Kaufman family and provenance and how many of the coins were rim damaged by being mounted to boards between three nails driven into the boards at the edge of the coins to hold them into place for display. Excellent info from @EagleEye, @FredWeinberg, @MrEureka, @CaptHenway, and @WinLoseWin.

Moving forward, this coin was featured in the 1986 San Diego Sale, Mid-American Rare Coin Auctions, Sept. 1986, lot 1229. The lot description states “This coin DOES NOT have the tack-induced edge damage which other coins in the Kaufman collection had.” Trompeter acquired this coin from the sale or shortly after.

Ed Trompeter Collection, a California industrialist and pioneer in electronic missile tracking (i.e. Patriot Missile System). Following his service as a radioman on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise during WWII, and subsequent career in television working for the FCC, Mr. Trompeter parlayed his knowledge of radio and television transmissions into his own company specializing in digital electronic connectors used to relay information in television stations, aircraft, telephone systems and the Patriot Missile System.

Mr. Trompeter died of cancer in March of 1992 at 73 years of age. He was known for quietly assembling a 600 coin collection over a twenty year period that many consider the world’s finest collection of United States proof gold coins.

Auction- 2/25/1992- Trompeter Sale Part 1- Superior Galleries auction of 209 smaller denomination coins, gold dollars through eagles for almost $4 million.

Part 2 never happened due to legal issues- both within the family and with the IRS.

1998- Heritage Rare Coin Galleries purchased the remaining gold coins, including this proof $20, from the Trompeter estate for $15.2 million.

Heritage spent the next two years selling these coins, with the last being sold at its Philadelphia 2000 sale.

2007- this coin appeared in the Pre-Long Beach Superior Auction, Lot 1096

2011- Liquid Bullion Coin and Collectibles reported they sold this coin to a private North Texas investor.

This coin was most recently housed in an NGC 67 UltraCameo holder until being crossed to PCGS 67 DCAM.

John H. Clapp Collection
Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection
Ed Trompeter Collection
Tacasyl Collection

Second Finest Type 2 Proof $20 Liberty for the entire series (1866-1876)



Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file