$10 Indian Head Eagle Gold Coins – 1907 to 1933

By: John Douglas

The $10 Indian Head Eagle gold coin, also know as the $10 Eagle, minted from 1907 to 1933, is considered to be one of the most beautiful American gold coins produced by the U.S. Mint. Its production came about through the insistence of President Theodore Roosevelt. He did not like the current design on his Inaugural Medal that was designed by Charles E. Barber and George T. Morgan, nor other coins being produced by the mint at the time.

The President had some artistic friends who encouraged him to have it re-done. “I think our coinage is artistically of atrocious hideousness,” President Theodore Roosevelt wrote in a note to Secretary of the Treasury Leslie Mortier Shaw on December 27, 1904, and then continues, “Would it be possible, without asking permission of Congress, to employ a man like
Saint-Gaudens to give us a coinage that would have some beauty?”

President Roosevelt commissioned the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens for the task of coming up with a new design. Saint-Gaudens accepted this assignment, but was so terribly busy that he only had time to sketch out some rough ideas on a paper napkin while making the train trip from
Washington. He had told President Roosevelt that he would need to have his associate, Adolf A. Weinman, to do most of the actual work on the design. Collectors today will probably know Weinman for his work on the Mercury dime and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar.

Several modifications of the initial design were made for reasons of minting problems and the $10 Indian Head Gold coin was finally released to the public. There were 239,406 of these that were put into circulation in the fall of 1907. They continued using this last design until the early part of
1908.

Indian Head Eagles are 26.80 mm in diameter, weigh 16.718 grams and are composed of .900 fine gold. The reverse depicts a standing eagle, wings slightly spread, regal in appearance. The obverse depicts Lady Liberty wearing a Native American war bonnet. The edge of the coin is unique decorated with 46 raised stars for the 46 current states in the union at the time instead of the typical reeded edges that had become so common.

President Roosevelt strongly felt that using the words In God We Trust was blasphemous so they did not appear on these new coins at first. So there were 33,500 of these coins made in Philadelphia, and another 210,000 in Denver that did not have those words on them in 1907 and 1908. However, Congress was not happy with this decision and insisted that the words be put
back on the coins. In 1908 they appeared to the left of the eagle on the back side of the $10 Indian Head Gold coin. The mint marks for Denver (D) and San Francisco (S) appear to the left of the bundle of arrows the eagle is standing on. There is no mint mark for $10 Indian Head Eagles produced in Philadelphia.

While there were regular issue coins that were made at all of the mints from 1908 to 1911, and then in 1914, only Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints made eagles in 1912, 1913 and 1915. They were made only in San Francisco in 1916 and 1920.

As far as collecting goes, there have been a few of both the 1930-S and the 1933 $10 Indian Head Gold coins that have shown up periodically. If you are looking for scarce and rare coins to add to your collection, you will want to search for the ones with 1909-D, 1911-D 1913-S, 1915-S and 1920-S. All of these coins are rare, especially in mint state condition. So you are a lucky collector if you find any of them. Common date Indian Head Eagles are widely available in mint state certified condition at reasonable prices. The $10 Indian Head Eagle was well received when introduced to the public in 1907 and continues to be popular with collectors today.

Article Source: http://collectibles-articles.com

An avid fan and collector of American gold and silver coinage, John Douglas writes extensively on the history and mintage of pre-1933 American Gold Coins. Find in depth information about collecting American Gold Coins, their history and design, and supplies for all coin collectors at www.americangoldcoinshop.co

$5 Indian Head Half Eagle Gold Coins – 1908 to 1929

By: John Douglas

America in 1908 was a nation in the midst of wide ranging social and economic change. Headlines of the day sound like they were ripped right from todays news. Women were banned from smoking in public in New York City. A car began production that was advertised to get 25 miles to the gallon. The first “Round the World” car race was staged. New Years Day was celebrated by the famous ball dropping for the first time in New York’s Times Square. And the new $5 Indian Head Half Eagle gold coin, as well as its smaller sibling the Quarter Eagle, debuted in November 1908 to great controversy.

President Theodore Roosevelt had determined it was time for the nations coinage to change and become more beautiful. The well known sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt designed the obverse and reverse for the Half Eagle as well as the smaller Quarter Eagle. And the design was controversial from the start. It didn’t look like the typical American gold coin with its incuse, or sunken, design. Complaints were made that the portrait of the Native American model appeared emaciated. Banks complained the gold coins were difficult to stack and would be too easy to counterfeit. It was even claimed by some that the coins design would harbor dirt, germs and disease making them a hygiene problem, all of which proved untrue.

Roosevelt let the coins production move forward as planned despite the complaints and the complainers. The $5 Indian Head Half Eagles production lasted only a few, short years from 1908 through 1916. It was resurrected again in 1929 with a production run of 662,000 pieces but the majority of those were destroyed before ever leaving the mint. It was the last time a $5 Half Eagle gold coin was to be minted for circulation in the United States. From the time American gold coins were first minted in 1795 to 1916 the $5 gold coin only missed production in 3 years, 1801, 1816 and 1817. It was one of the most successful denominations produced by the U.S. Mint.

Today, the $5 Indian Head Half Eagle is one of the most popular collectible American gold coins. It is relatively inexpensive when compared with its big brother, the $20 St. Gaudens Double Eagle.

The obverse features a proud Native American facing left and wearing a War Bonnet. Around the obverse are 13 stars and the word LIBERTY featured at the top. At the bottom is the year produced and just above the year are the initials of Bela Lyon Pratt. A standing Eagle dominates the reverse of the coin standing on a bundle of arrows. Around the circumference is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, to the left of the Eagle is E PLURIBUS UNIM, to the right the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Physically the coin is 21.60 mm in diameter, weighs 8.359 grams and is .900 pure gold. There are key dates that stand out in this series. Obviously 1929 is one, followed by the 1909-O and 1911-D.

Because of its design it is somewhat difficult to be graded correctly, especially by those unfamiliar with its unique design, because it doesn’t have the traditional high spots where you’d normally look for wear. That’s why it’s important to look for coins that are graded by either PCGS or NGC, or that you know and trust the person from where you are purchasing the coin.

These beautiful American gold coins enjoy a very strong following and sell quickly, especially in certified mint state or about uncirculated condition. They are a great addition to anyones coin collection. The $5 Indian Head Half Eagle is far more popular today than during the time it was produced.

Article Source: http://collectibles-articles.com

An avid fan and collector of American gold and silver coinage, John Douglas writes extensively on the history and mintage of pre-1933 American Gold Coins. Find in depth information about collecting American Gold Coins, their history and design, and supplies for all coin collectors at www.americangoldcoinshop.com

HISTORIC FIRST STRIKE OF NATION’S MOST BEAUTIFUL COIN

Mint Seal

WEST POINT, N.Y. -The United States Mint at West Point invited officials from numismatic organizations and reporters to witness the historic first production strike of the highly anticipated 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin today.  The new 24-karat (.9999 pure) gold coin is a modern version of what many call the most beautiful gold piece ever created-Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ 1907 Double Eagle.  The United States Mint will begin taking orders for the new collectible gold coin early next year.

Give the Gift of Platinum and Gold from the United States Mint 2008 Gift Catalog

Mint Seal

Washington – Enrich your holiday season with collectible platinum and gold coins from the United States Mint 2008 Gift Catalog, scheduled for release on October 27, 2008.  The catalog includes a sneak preview of one of the most eagerly anticipated United States Mint products in recent years – the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin.  This next gem in the United States Mint’s treasure chest, which will be offered for sale beginning in January 2009, is a re-creation of celebrated sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ original 1907 design.