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GOLD DOLLARS - INDIAN HEAD TYPE 3 GOLD DOLLARS (1856-1889)
Indian Head Gold Dollar

INDIAN HEAD GOLD DOLLARS: The so called Indian Princess Head Gold Dollar was designed by James Longacre and minted from 1854 to 1889. The first, which is actually Type 2 because there was a prior Liberty Head Gold Dollar, was issued until 1856. The second Indian Princess Gold Dollars, Type 3, was minted from 1856 to 1889.

The Type 2 Gold Dollars showed a Caucasian head of Liberty facing left wearing a stylized feathered headdress. It is inscribed LIBERTY on the headband. She is surrounded by the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The reverse shows an open wreath of corn, cotton, maple, and tobacco tied below with a bow. The wreath encircles the denomination, 1 DOLLAR, and the date. The problem with this Gold Dollar was that it did not strike up well. In fact mint state examples looked worn and, in some cases, so circulated that the date could not be read on the coin. This problem most affected the branch mint issues, which Longacre did not get to see until afterwards. The proofs that he saw did not have this as a problem. To remedy this situation, Longacre designed the Type 3 Gold Dollars. While the design was similar to the previous issue, Longacre lowered the relief and moved the obverse head so as not to be opposite a reverse relief area. This Gold Dollar is called the Large Size or Large Head.

The Small Head Gold Dollars had a mintage that ranged from a high of 783,943 in 1854 to a low of 1,811 for 1855-D. The Large Head Gold Dollars had as its highest mintage 1,762,936 in 1856 and a low of 400 in 1875.

Rarities for the Indian Head Gold Dollar are 1855-C, 1855-D, 1856-D, 1860-D, and 1861-D.

Specifications:
Edge: Reeded
Weight: 1.672 grams (25.8 grains) (.0538 troy ounces)
Diameter: 15 millimeters
Composition: 90% gold; 10% copper
Gold Content: 1.505 grams (23.22 grains) (.0484 troy ounces)

 

DATE
NOTES
1856 Gold Dollar The 5 in the date on the reverse is found Upright or Slanted; Upright rarer variety; both types rare above MS63; proof only Slanted 5, only 7 to 9 known.
1856-D Gold Dollar Key date, exceedingly rare in all grades, most weakly struck with the U soft or missing.
1857 Gold Dollar Rare above MS63, usually well struck; proofs exceedingly rare, only 9 to 10 known.
1857-C Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare in Mint State, always poorly struck with planchet flaws.
1857-D Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare in Mint State, usually weakly struck on reverse at borders.
1857-S Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare in Mint State, strike usually above average.
1858 Gold Dollar Rare above MS62; look for double punched lower loop of second 8; proofs rare in all grades, only 15 to 18 known.
1858-D Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare in Mint State, strike usually weak on date.
1858-S Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare in Mint State, often well struck.
1859 Gold Dollar Rare above MS62, often weakly struck in centers with clashed dies; proofs exceedingly rare, only 20 to 25 known.
1859-C Gold Dollar Last and lowest mintage Charlotte gold dollar, poorly struck with planchet defects, rare in all grades, exceedingly rare in Mint State.
1859-D Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare in Mint State, usually with weak strike, often 8 and 5 of date missing;
1859-S Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, extremely rare in Mint State, usually well struck with above average planchets.
1860 Gold Dollar Scarce in all grades, extremely rare in Mint State, most are well struck with good luster, often with clashed dies, same date punch used for three-cent silver; proofs exceedingly rare, only 25 to 35 known.
1860-D Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare in Mint State, usually with uneven strike on poor quality planchets.
1860-S Gold Dollar Scarce in all grades, extremely rare in Mint State, most are well struck sometimes with prooflike surfaces.
1861 Gold Dollar Common date, rare above MS64, most are well struck often with clashed dies; many proofs melted, only 30 to 35 known.
1861-D Gold Dollar All of these were issued by the Confederacy after they seized the Mint at Dahlonega. No record was kept of the number of coins struck, exceedingly rare in all grades.
1862 Gold Dollar 1862 PCGS MS62 CAC, 1862 NGC MS64 CAC, 1862 ANACS EF40 Details, rare above MS65; look for doubled die obverse. Proofs exceedingly rare, 18 to 25 known.
1863 Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare in all grades; proofs exceedingly rare, 22 to 28 known.
1864 Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare in all grades; proofs exceedingly rare, 17 to 22 known.
1865 Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare in all grades; proofs exceedingly rare, 14 to 18 known.
1866 Gold Dollar Although very rare, most are in Mint State, often with clashed dies and prooflike surfaces; proofs exceedingly rare, 18 to 22 known.
1867 Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare in all grades, most are well struck often with clashed dies; proofs exceedingly rare, 18 to 24 known.
1868 Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare above MS62, some with deep mirror prooflike surfaces; proofs all struck with medal turn, 15 to 18 known.
1869 Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare above MS62, some with prooflike surfaces; proofs 14 to 16 known.
1870 Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare above MS62, some with prooflike surfaces; proofs 17 to 22 known.
1870-S Gold Dollar Last branch mint of series, exceedingly rare in all grades, usually well struck.
1871 Gold Dollar Rare in all grades, exceedingly rare above MS62, some with partially prooflike surfaces; proofs 15 to 18 known.
1872 Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare in all grades, some with partially prooflike surfaces; proofs 18 to 22 known.
1873 Gold Dollar Circulation strikes come with Open and Closed 3's in the date; Closed 3 rare in all grades especially above MS62; Open 3 is the more common variety, rare above MS64; proofs are only known in the Closed 3 variety, exceedingly rare, 10 to 12 known.
1874 Gold Dollar Common date, rare above MS65, often with LIBERTY missing; proofs exceedingly rare, 10 to 12 known.
1875 Gold Dollar One of the lowest mintages in all US business strike coin series. An extremely scarce date in any grade or format; 15 to 18 proofs known.
1876 Gold Dollar Low mintage date, exceedingly rare in all grades, often with full mirrored surfaces; 15 to 18 proofs known.
1877 Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare above MS63, often well struck with prooflike surfaces; 13 to 15 proofs known.
1878 Gold Dollar Exceedingly rare above MS62, often well struck with prooflike surfaces; 13 to 15 proofs known.
1879 Gold Dollar Most specimens are seen in Mint State, rare above MS65, often prooflike, LIBERTY sometimes weak or missing; 15 to 20 proofs known.
1880 Gold Dollar 1880 Gold Dollar Gold Dollar $G1 NGC MS68. Most specimens are seen in Mint State, rare above MS67; 22 to 28 proofs known.
1881 Gold Dollar Most specimens are seen in Mint State, many with deep prooflike surfaces; 40 to 50 proofs known.
1882 Gold Dollar Most specimens are seen in Mint State; most proofs are cameo or deep cameo.
1883 Gold Dollar Most specimens are seen in Mint State, often frosted with rich toning, some with irregular rims; most proofs are cameo.
1884 Gold Dollar Most specimens are seen in Mint State, some with irregular rims; most proofs are cameo.
1885 Gold Dollar Most specimens are seen in Mint State, some with irregular rims; most proofs are cameo.
1886 Gold Dollar Most specimens are seen in Mint State, many with prooflike surfaces; most proofs are cameo.
1887 Gold Dollar 1887 NGC PF68 CAM, 1887 NGC PF68 CAM. Most specimens are seen in Mint State, most with prooflike surfaces; most proofs are cameo.
1888 Gold Dollar Common date, most specimens are seen in Mint State; most proofs are cameo.
1889 Gold Dollar Last year of the type and denomination, most specimens are seen in Mint State, look for doubled die reverse; most proofs are cameo.


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