The Twenty Cent Piece was struck in a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper. Uncirculated pieces have a weight of 5 grams (72.2 grains) and a diameter of 22 millimeters. Unlike other silver denominations, the twenty cent piece has a plain edge.
During the four years of production, the pieces were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in proof and uncirculated versions. The Carson City Mint struck circulating coins from 1875 to 1876, and the San Francisco Mint struck circulating coins in 1876. The mint mark is located on the reverse of the coin under the eagle.
Since the word LIBERTY on the obverse shield is raised rather than incuse, circulated coins in lower grades will often have no letters visible. As such, carefulness and a slightly different approach is necessary when grading circulated twenty cent pieces compared to other silver coinage of the era.