Eagle Gold Pieces

Coinage authority including specified weights and fineness of the eagle conforms to that of the half eagle. The small eagle reverse was used until 1797 when the large, heraldic eagle replaced it. The early date variations in the number of stars, the rarest being 1798. Many of these early pieces show file scratches from the mint’s practice of adjusting weight. No eagles were struck dated 1805 to 1837. Proofs of some dates prior to 1855 are known to exist, and all are rare.

1. CAPPED BUST TO RIGHT, SMALL EAGLE 1795-1797

Designer: Robert Scot
Weight: 17.50 grams
Composition: .9167 gold, .0833 silver and copper; approx.
Diameter: 33mm
Reeded edge

2. CAPPED BUST TO RIGHT, HERALDIC EAGLE 1797-1804

Standards same as previous issue.

3. CORONET TYPE, No motto above eagle 1838-1866

In 1838 the weight and diameter of the eagle were reduced and the obverse ad reverse were redesigned. Liberty now faces left and the word LIBERTY is placed on the coronet. A more natural appearing eagle is used on the reverse. The value, TEN D., is shown for the first time on this denomination.

Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Weight: 16.718 grams
Composition: .900 gold, .100 copper
Diameter: 27mm
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco

4. VARIETY 2 – Motto Above Eagle 1866-1907
Standards as before.
Mints: Philadelphia, Carson City, Denver, New Orleans, and San Francisco

5. INDIAN HEAD TYPE 1907-1933

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, considered by many the greatest modern sculptors, introduced a new high standard of art in United States coins evidenced by his eagle and double eagle types of 1907. The obverse eagle shows the head of Liberty crowned with an Indian war bonnet while an impressively majestic eagle dominates the reverse side. A departure from older standards is found on the edge of the piece, where 46 raised stars are arranged signifying the states of the Union, instead of lettered or reeded edge (48 stars 1812 and later).

The first $10 Indian Eagles struck had no motto IN GOD WE TRUST as did the later issues starting in 1908. President Theodore Roosevelt personally objected to the use of the Diety’s name on coins. The motto was restored to the coins by an Act of Congress in 1908.

Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Standards same as previous issue.
Edge 1907-1911: 46 raised stars; 1912-1933; 48 raised stars
Net weight: .48375 oz. pure gold
Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.