When an eagle coin is mentioned today, it might immediately bring to mind the American Gold Eagle, the bullion coin that has been struck in the United States since 1986. However, until 1933 a very different kind of coin would be known as a Gold Eagle - or, it should be said, an eagle. This warrants emphasis because, for most of U.S. history between 1795 and 1933, the eagle was a denomination base-unit issued strictly for the United States Mint's gold coinage. The eagle was equivalent to $10, therefore this was the face value of the eagle coin.
Not to be confused with the eagle, the quarter-eagle, half-eagle, and double-eagle coins were based on the eagle's base-unit of denomination; they were respectively face-valued at $2.50, $5, and $10. Indeed, despite the use of the term "eagle" to describe a denomination unit, an eagle coin would not display its face value as an eagle. Instead, it cited this value in dollars. This helps explain why the Liberty gold eagle displays "TEN D." below the flying bird that the reverse side portrays.
That bird is, unsurprisingly, an eagle - a common visual motif in U.S. culture. This eagle seemingly wears a shield showing facets of the national flag's design. The words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" circle the design where the denomination does not take up space. One especially remarkable aspect of this design is the scroll appearing above the bird's head. Readable on this scroll is "IN GOD WE TRUST," a motto added to the coin in the wake of the American Civil War's conclusion. That conclusion was in 1865, which stated Liberty Gold Eagle discs displaying 1866 or a more recent year include the motto.
The Liberty Gold Eagle was first made in 1838, when its obverse side depicted the goddess Liberty. However, then Liberty's neck was shown in a pointed truncation, her ear was partly covered and coronet's tip was very close to one of the surrounding 13 stars. That design has been called the Type of 1838; it was, two years later, replaced by a modified design known as the Type of 1840. In this design, used until the series went out of production in 1907, Liberty's coronet tip was located closer to directly in-between two stars.
The metal in the Liberty Gold Eagle is alloyed gold and copper, where the former comprises 90 percent of that metal. Pairing gold strictly with copper for coinage matched the long-established English practice with crown gold - which, in 1526, Henry VIII introduced to England. Due to the decision to make the eagle's metal 90 percent gold, the metal was present in 0.48375 Troy ounces in each eagle coin. This stayed the case for the remainder of the Liberty Gold Eagle's mintage run, which ended in 1907, the year of the Indian Head eagle's introduction.
Whether you invest with historical coins, collect them for numismatic display or like such coins for any other reason, a Liberty Gold Eagle of common date and MS62 condition can hold a lot of appeal.
Features of the Common Date $10 Liberty Gold Eagle MS62 Condition rated Mint State 62 Shows year from which there is still good supply Design from Christian Gobrecht