The four piece Indian Gold Set contains four fascinating coins created in the early part of the 20th century. The $2.50 “Incuse” Indian Head, $5 Indian Head, $10 Indian Head, and $20 Saint-Gaudens coin make up this set and each brings its own unique history and beauty to the set. The coins in this set are a testament to the desire of President Theodore Roosevelt to radically change the design of American coins. It is to Roosevelt’s credit that he was able to bring the radical new design of these coins to circulation in the face of the critics of the time.
This coin was designed by Bela Lyon Pratt, who was a student of the famed Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and is unique among U.S. coins for its “incuse” design. This means that instead of a raised image, the image on this coin is sunk below the surface. An attempt to combat counterfeiting, the $2.50 Indian Head and $5 Indian Head were the only U.S. coins produced in this manner. This coin was first struck in 1908 and continued to be minted until 1929. The coin started off as very controversial, with its design being hailed by some collectors and condemned by others. With the passage of time, the coin has come to be recognized as very important to the early 20th century Renaissance in American Coinage.
Along with the $2.50 Indian Head, the $5 Indian Head is cast with the incuse design. That, along with the beautiful design, makes these two coins among the most fascinating ever minted in the United States. Strangely enough, the incuse design which makes these coins so intriguing was initially resisted because of fears that the sunken design would be a breeding ground for disease. The $5 Indian Head coin was first struck in 1908, the same year as the $2.50 Indian Head. And, like its partner coin, it was minted until 1929. Because of their unusual history and interesting design, they are still in high demand.
Teddy Roosevelt asked sculptor August Saint-Gaudens in 1907 to create a new look for American coinage. The President wanted the coins created in the ancient Greek tradition but with new and fresh designs. This coin arose from that request. In his design for the new coin, Saint-Gaudens combined two traditions and used the “Miss Liberty” profile adorned in a feathered Indian headdress. Adding to the uniqueness of the coin is the edge. The coin initially had 46 stars on the edge representing each of the states then in the Union. Two more stars were added in 1912 when Arizona and New Mexico gained statehood. On the reverse of the $10 Indian gold coin is an eagle atop of a bundle of arrows. The design of the coin is considered by many to be one of the finest American gold coins ever. Although the coin was minted from 1907 to 1933, it was done only intermittently and millions of the coins were recalled and melted down when the Treasury confiscated gold in private hands. Additionally, the total of $10 Indian Head coins minted was less than a single year’s mintage of Morgan Silver Dollars. This makes the $10 Indian Head very rare.
This coin is another result of President Roosevelt’s desire to have American coins redesigned. He called upon the most famous American sculptor of the 19th century, Saint-Gaudens, and the result was a coin that many people consider the most beautiful ever minted by the United States. Often referred to as the Double Eagle, this coin shows Miss Liberty holding a torch on the front and an eagle on the reverse. The meticulous and highly detailed designs are works of art on their own and are highly sought after by collectors. This collection of coins joins together coins from the turn of the 20th century that set the tone for American coin design since. Their visual appeal and rarity make them highly sought after by collectors. The Indian Head coins are a genuine bargain trading near their lowest prices in 20 years, making them an ideal purchase.