The story of the 1930-S Indian Head $10 eagle closely parallels that of the 1920-S eagle.
In 1905, sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens was commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt to revamp the imagery of United States coinage. Saint-Gaudens nearly completed work on designs for the $10 eagle and $20 double eagle, but passed away in August 1907. His able assistant, Henry Hering, was instrumental in getting the new coins into production.(1)
The obverse of Saint-Gaudens’ $10 eagle shows Miss Liberty wearing a Native American bonnet while the reverse is ruled by a powerful, graceful eagle.
The new ten dollar coin, known as the Indian Head $10 eagle, elevated United States coinage to an artistic level heretofore unseen.(2) Numismatists for generations have marveled at its beauty.
From a mintage of 96,000, only an estimated 237 pieces are extant today.(3) As was true with the 1920-S eagle, nearly all of the 1930-S production never left the Treasury’s vaults and fell victim to President Franklin Roosevelt’s Gold Recall order of 1933, disappearing forever into the melting pot.(4)
Even fewer 1930-S eagles might have survived had it not been for a government surplus sale. In the summer of 1932, the Treasury Department offered to the public 16 Uncirculated gold coin dates from storage, the 1930-S being one of them. The price? Ten dollars, plus shipping. In all, a “few hundred” 1930-S examples were distributed.(5)
It didn’t take long for collectors to realize virtually all of the original supply of 1930-s eagles was gone. In 1944, a nice Uncirculated specimen from the J.F. Bell Collection sold for $200. That’s 20 times more than what it was selling for just a few years previously. Not a bad return!
Judging by the trendlines for the 1930-S charts, Indian Head eagle collectors, of which there are many, still clamor for this celebrated 20th century gold coin rarity.
|Estimated survivors in all grades: 237
? The survivor estimate from PCGS represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in all grades. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Learn more at PCGS.
|PCGS Rarity Scale: 6.7
? The 'PCGS CoinFacts Rarity Scale' assesses the relative rarity of all U.S. coins, based on estimated surviving examples. The scale runs from 1.0 to 10.0. The higher the number, the rarer the coin.
Learn more at PCGS.
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|Trendline Avg = 14.18||GOOD|
Historic Value Trend Charts:
|Last updated 9-12-23||Return to Key Date Coin List|
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