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Indian Head Gold Ten Dollar This is the obverse of the Indian Head Ten Dollar gold Eagle. It features Lady Liberty wearing a Native American headdress beneath 13 stars representing the original colonies. The year of mintage is on the bottom.

Indian Head Ten Dollar Gold Piece


The Indian Head Ten Dollar Gold coin is the second coin designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The coin is an American classic featuring not an Indian as the name suggests. But rather Lady Liberty wearing a Native American headdress. Above Lady Liberty are 13 stars representing the original colonies. The year of mintage appears on the bottom.

History
Famed sculpture Augustus Saint-Gaudens took on the task of redesigning both the Eagle and Double Eagle gold coins at the urging of President Theordore Roosevelt.  Roosevelt wanted to intensify the artistic quality of American coins, and he pinned his hopes on a mint outsider to get the job done.  Saint-Gaudens exceeded all expectations and created the two most beautiful coins in American history - the Saint-Gaudens Twenty Dollar gold piece (our number one pick) and the Indian Head Gold Ten Dollar piece.

Saint-Gauden had originally designed the so called Indian Head obverse as a replacement for the one cent coin. He died of cancer before the decision was made by Roosevelt to use the design for the ten dollar eagle. In hind site, using the design on the one cent would have proved either short-lived with the introduction two years later of the Lincoln cent in honor of the centennial year of his birth. Or perhaps it would have forced Lincoln's bust to appear on another denomination such as the nickel, dime, or quarter.

The Indian Head Series was minted from 1907 to until ownership of gold was made illegal in 1933. All coins minted in 1907, and some minted in 1908 lack the "IN GOD WE TRUST" motto. President Roosevelt objected to it's use, but was ultimately overridden by an Act of Congress. Consequently, some 1908 coins and all later year coins feature the motto on the reverse.

For the first five years of the series, there were 46 stars adorning the coin's rim which represented all the states in the union at that time. Then in 1912, two additional stars were added as New Mexico and Arizona achieved statehood.

Which Coins Are Most Expensive?
With coins, the rare dates tend to be more expensive than the common mintage dates. The most common mintages are the 1932 Philadelphia, 1910 Denver, and 1926 Philadelphia.  The rarest coins are the early 1907 variation with periods before and after "E PLURIBUS UNUM" (a tiny subset of these have a rounded rim making it ultra-rare). Less rare, but still less common are the 1908 Philadelphia mintage without the "IN GOD WE TRUST" motto, the 1911 Denver, the 1911 San Francisco, the 1915 San Francisco, and the the 1908 San Francisco.

How can you tell which mint your coin came from?
Indian Head Ten Dollar coins minted in Denver have a D mint mark on the reverse to the left of the words "TEN DOLLARS". coins minted in San Francisco have an S mint mark found in the same location. Coins minted in Philadelphia lack a mint mark.

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Indian Head Gold Ten Dollar This is the reverse of the Indian Head Ten Dollar. Notice the S mint mark on the lower left side of the coin next to the words TEN DOLLARS.

Indian Head Gold Ten Dollar Compare All coins minted in 1907, and some minted in 1908 lack the "IN GOD WE TRUST" motto like the coin on the left. Later coins have the motto like the coin on the right.

Indian Head Gold Ten Dollar Rim From 1907 through 1911, there were 46 stars adorning the coin's rim which represented all the states in the union at that time. Then in 1912, two additional stars were added as New Mexico and Arizona achieved statehood.

Indian Head Gold Ten Dollar Grading Gold eagles are often sold in what is referred to as "slabs", which are clear plastic holders that seal the coin with a label stating the coin's condition. A coin's graded condition is a major factor for determining its value, and to ensure consistent grading, the condition is determined by an independent grading service. The grading service then seals the coin in the holder, which is "tamper-evident" to ensure that the stated grade remains matched to the original coin, and that the condition of the coin does not change afterwards through handling. The coin holders are not tamper proof, because it is possible to remove the coin from the slab. However once you remove the coin, the slab will show evidence that it has been opened, and cannot be reused. Hence the term "tamper-evident". There are several grading services, and not all grade the same. The two most respected coin grading services are the PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and the NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). The sample in this photo is a 1932 coin graded as MS62 (Mint State 62) by the PCGS. The grading is based upon a scale from 1 to 70, where a grade of 1 is poor and a grade of 70 is flawless. Purchasing a slab coin certified from one of the top grading companies is the best way to ensure that a coin is genuine, and you are getting the grade that you are paying for.