The 10 Dollar Indian Head Eagle Gold Coin has the highest values of all US old coins, namely due to its gold content and rarity. The weight of the coin is 16.718 grams. The composition is 90% gold with the 10% balance made of copper. The coin was struck regularly from 1907 to 1916 and then sporadically until 1933. This coin, like many others in the early 1900’s, were part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s push to create more beautiful and artistic designs into the US Coin Program. This began with the hiring of famous American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to lead the designs of what are still considered today as America’s most alluring coins. Augustus unfortunately died from cancer prior to the release of the first Indian Head Eagles in 1907, but his legacy in the numismatic world still lives strong today.
The US Government began melting many of these coins in the 1930’s and not many of the 1933 version made it into the public’s hands. Another interesting fact is that the portrait is not of a female Indian, but a bust of Lady Liberty wearing a Native American Indian Headdress. Roosevelt insisted that this Indian feathered war bonnet be added as Liberty’s crown, which caused a bit of a grumble at the time.
The values of these coins have a very wide spectrum from $650 to $300,000 and one coin as high as $1.7 million – the Mint State 67 (Graded by the PCGS) 1920 Indian Head Eagle minted in San Francisco. There is only one of these coins graded this high (70 is the highest rating). This same coin was sold at auction in 1979 for only $85,000. At the time $85,000 was a lot for one coin but with a return of investment of $1.7 million …. now that guy is pretty gold savvy.