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$5 Indian Gold Half Eagle AU

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  • Title: $5 Indian Gold Half Eagle AU
  • Purity: 0.9
  • Metal: Gold
  • Weight: 0.2419 oz

Full Description

Available in AU (Almost Uncirculated) condition, the coin shows slight wear on the highest points of the coins design.

While the Mint was rallying for a way to stamp the design created by Saint-Gaudens, the smaller denominations were put on the back burner until the Eagle and Double Eagles release in 1907. This gave President Roosevelt the perfect opportunity to begin commissioning his own artist, as Saint-Gaudens had succumbed to cancer in August of that year; and he would get the opportunity for the creation of one of the most unique designs every minted in U.S. history.

For the $5 Half Eagle gold coins, the incused design is the first and only U.S. coin to have the image sunken into the coin. 

A truly unique design, it did not come without a bit of controversy. One such detail that some of the public had trouble with was the portrait of the Native American, which some thought looked a bit emaciated. Art historian Cornelius Vermeaule said in 1970, “The Indian is far from emaciated, and the coins show more imagination and daring of design than almost any other issue in American history. Pratt deserves to be admired for his medals and coins.” He later said that the design “marked a transition,” towards naturalism; which is an artistic movement that sought to represent figures truthfully, without elements of artificiality.

The Obverse 

On the Obverse, a realistic Indian brave with war bonnet is shown, with the date, thirteen stars, and “Liberty” forming a circle around the startling portrait. 

The Reverse 

Shown on the Reverse is Pratt’s rendition of the eagle used on the Indian Head Eagle designed by Saint-Gaudens, and used as the basis for the new design by Pratt. The eagle stands proudly, posing upon a bundle of arrows, and an olive branch; the intertwined symbols of preparedness and peace. 

Full Description


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