While the $20 double eagle gold coins have long gained attention from collectors and investors, the less-appreciated $10 eagle coin was for decades the standard gold coin intended for circulation. The $10 denomination was one of the original gold coinage units described in the Coinage Act of 1792, along with the half eagle ($5) and quarter eagle ($2.50).
Over the course of the 19th century the design of US gold coins remained largely static, with the Liberty Head design remaining in production throughout the latter half of the century and into the 20th century. President Theodore Roosevelt sought to make US coinage more artistic and thus urged redesigns of circulating coinage.
The $10 gold eagle that was introduced in 1907 was sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, whose better known striding Liberty design graces the $20 double eagle and the current one-ounce American Gold Eagle bullion coin. His design for the $10 gold eagle was derived from a statue he sculpted for a memorial to Gen. Sherman in New York City, a bust that was never used.
From that he developed a design for a Liberty head to grace the penny, but President Roosevelt asked that Liberty’s crown be replaced with an Indian war bonnet. That design then made its way to the $10 gold eagle instead. The reverse features a design of a standing eagle, looking somewhat militaristic and ready to spring into action.
Mintage of the Indian Head gold eagle began in 1907 and the coin remained in annual production through 1916. Further coins were minted in 1920, 1926, 1930, 1932, and 1933. While over 14 million of the Indian Head gold eagle coins were minted over its production run, many were melted down after the US government’s gold seizure in 1933.
While the Indian Head gold eagle coins are still available to investors, expect to pay higher premiums than on more common one-ounce bullion coins. Premiums on cleaned coins should run around 8-10%, with premiums growing higher as coin condition improves.
Like most older circulating gold coins, the $10 Indian Head gold eagle coins are not eligible for investment through a gold or precious metals IRA. But if you’re looking for a beautiful coin emblematic of the spirit of America and designed by one of the greatest artists of all time, you’d find it difficult to choose a better coin than the $10 Indian Head gold eagle.
- Purity: 90% gold
- Weight: 16.718 g
- Gold Content: .4838 troy oz.
- Diameter: 26.92 mm
- Thickness: 2.02 mm