Monday, February 06, 2006

Indian Head Gold Coins

Indian Head gold coins can command a very high price due to their rarity provided they are in fgood condition. They were only minted from 1907 to 1933 and the total minted was less than a single year's mintage of the Morgan Silver Dollar so there is not that many of them.

President 'Teddy' Roosevelt wanted to create a new gold coin for the US and contracted the famous sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create the Indian Head gold coin. Saint-Gaudens basically sketched the design for the coin on a napkin and passed the design to German-born Adolph A. Weinman, better known to collectors today for his 'Mercury' Dime and Walking Liberty Half Dollar.

The great sculptor used the 'Miss Libert' profile, adding a feathered Indian headdress and stars to represent the States. On the reverse of the ten dollar gold coin was an eagle perched on a collection of arrows.

This coin is now much sought after for its rarity, unusual design and history by collectors.

The coin weight is 16.718 grams with .900 fine gold. It has raised stars and the net weight of pure gold is .48375 troy ounce.

Rare dates to look for are: 1920-S, 1930-S, and 1933. Scarce dates to watch out for are: 1908-S, 1911-D, 1911-S, 1913-S

In 1908 Roosevelt commissioned a new five dollar Indian Head gold coin and this was a most unusual coin in that the designer, Bela Lyon Pratt, designed the coin with the head incuse, which is to say, the sculptured head is not raised above the surface, as with most coins, but sunken below it. Again, very few of these coins were minted from 1908 to 1915 when production ceased for ten years before resuming again. In 1929 the stock market crash, bringing the depression, halted production of the five dollars coin forever and there has been no further production since.

This makes the five dollar Indian Head gold coin one of the rarest and most sought after coins ever made.

The five dollar Indian Head gold coin contains half the gold content of a ten dollar gold piece.

As well as being an absorbing pastime if somewhat expensive, collecting Indian Head gold coins are an excellent investment and the rewards will inevitably outweigh the costs in the long term.

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