• March 22, 2023

$10 Indian Head Eagle Gold Coins – 1907 to 1933

The $10 Indian Head Eagle Gold Coin, also known as the $10 Eagle, minted between 1907 and 1933, is considered one of the most beautiful American gold coins produced by the US Mint. It came about at the insistence of President Theodore Roosevelt. He did not like the current design of his Inaugural Medal which was designed by Charles E. Barber and George T. Morgan, nor other coins produced by the Mint at the time.

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

President Roosevelt charged sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens with the task of coming up with a new design. Saint-Gaudens accepted this commission, but he was so busy that he only had time to sketch out some rough ideas on a paper napkin while traveling by train from Washington. He had told President Roosevelt that he would need his partner, Adolf A. Weinman, to do most of the actual work on the design. Today’s collectors will probably know Weinman from his work on the Mercury dime and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar.

Various modifications of the initial design were made due to minting problems and the $10 Indian Head Gold coin was eventually released to the public. There were 239,406 of these put into circulation in the fall of 1907. They continued to use this latter design until early of 1908.

The Indian Head eagles are 26.80mm in diameter, weigh 16.718 grams and are composed of .900 fine gold. The reverse shows an eagle standing, with wings slightly spread, majestic in appearance. The obverse shows Lady Liberty wearing a Native American war cap. The edge of the coin is uniquely decorated with 46 raised stars for the current 46 states of the union at the time, rather than the typical tabbed edges that had become so common.

President Roosevelt felt strongly that using the words In God We Trust was blasphemy, so they did not appear on these new coins at first. So 33,500 of these coins were made in Philadelphia and another 210,000 in Denver that did not have those words 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 reverse of the $10 Indian Head Gold coin. The Denver (D) and San Francisco (S) mintmarks appear to the left of the bundle of arrows on which the eagle sits. There is no mintmark for the $10 Indian Head Eagles produced in Philadelphia.

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

As far as collecting goes, there have been a few 1930-S and 1933 $10 Indian head gold coins that have been displayed periodically. If you’re looking for rare and rare coins to add to your collection, you’ll want to look for ones with 1909-D, 1911-D 1913-S, 1915-S, and 1920-S. All of these coins are rare, especially in mint condition. So you are a lucky collector if you find any of them. Common Date Indian Bald Eagles are widely available in state-certified mint condition at reasonable prices. The $10 Indian Head Eagle was well received when it was introduced to the public in 1907 and remains popular with collectors today.

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