Americans once carried gold coins in their pockets. They used gold coins to make purchases for from the moment United States was founded until 1933, when president Franklin Roosevelt put an end to gold as circulating money.
The US Mint stopped production of gold coins, but that did not stop aficionados, collectors and investors from pulling the existing coins from circulation and storing them away. They instinctively new the move to end the official gold standard would make those coins more valuable, not less. The coins were also intrinsically beautiful, and seemed worth saving.
There are several iconic coin designs and denominations from prior to 1933, but the 2.5 gold coin is among the most popular gold coinage. The design is simple and impactful, featuring the profile of a Native American chieftain and feather headdress. Check out all our old gold coins for sale. This $2.50 gold coin is an great piece.
$2.50 Gold Indian Head Coin History
The $2.50 Indian head gold coin is an important piece of American history, but the way the story of their origin is somewhat amusing. In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t too pleased with the way American coins for sale looked at the time. In fact, he was so unhappy that he complained to his Secretary of the Treasury, Leslie Mortier Shaw.
It was said that the Hero of San Juan Hill thought the current coins were not grand enough and did not represent America well enough. Following his complaint, an artist by the name of Augustus Saint-Gaudens was brought in to change the designs. He altered the cent coin, and also the 4 gold coins – the $10 Eagle as well as the double Eagle, American Eagle 1 oz, half, and quarter Eagle.
The Indian Head quarter eagle was first minted by the San Francisco Mint in 1908. The production eventually moved to the Philadelphia Mint. The Philadelphia-made coins are noticeable because they were made without a mint mark.
Gold $2.50 Indian Head Design
Coin collectors refer to the design as “Indian Head” because it features an Indian chieftain wearing a traditional feather headdress. Circling the head is the text ‘Liberty’ and ‘1908,’ in addition to 13 stars representing the original colonies.
The reverse of the coin carries the familiar symbol of America, a bald eagle. The eagle sits perched on a bundle of arrows clutching an olive branch, surrounded by the words “United States of America”, “In God We Trust”, “E Pluribus Unum”, and “2 ½ Dollars”.
$2.50 Indian Head Gold Coin Value Weight
The 2.50 Indian Head gold coin has a diameter of 18mm. With a reeded edge, it weighs in at just 4.18g. Being the quarter eagle, as its name suggests, it is smaller than the other coins. For example, the half eagle has a diameter of 21.6mm. The quarter Eagle is very similar in diameter to a modern dime.
Like all United States Mint gold coins minted prior to the key date of 1933, the composition is 90% gold and 10% copper. Mint officials used this alloy to enhance the durability and wear resistance of coins which were meant for circulation. The addition of copper increased the hardness of significantly. Check out all our Indian head gold coin pieces today!
When differentiating between this coin and the others in the Indian Head series, it is the diameter (and weight of course) that changes. The gold weight in each coin doubles with each step up in denomination. For example, the $5 half Eagle contains exactly twice as much gold as the $2.50 coin.
Each coin in the series is stamped with its face value. Referencing that detail along with the coin size makes it simple to distinguish between coins in the series.
$2.50 Indian Head Gold Coin Value
The worth, or value, of the 2.5 Indian Head gold coin can vary dramatically. The date and condition are the primary drivers of any collectible value. A coin with a certain date in mint condition may be worth far more as a rarity than it is based purely upon its gold content.
Mint condition coins dated 1911 with a “D” mint mark are the most valuable.
The $2.50 Indian Head should never be worth less than its melt value, which is calculated by multiplying the .1209 troy ounces of gold content by the current market price for gold.
The $2.50 Indian Head gold coins are a great way for gold investors to start a collection. They are small in size and can be very affordable unless the buyer is after the rarest dates and conditions.
Before you buy Gold Indian Head Coins, just remeber, the design is iconic, making the coins popular and well recognized. And they add a bit of American history to any gold holding.