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IN WITH THE OLD (part 2) by CaptBrian1

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

15 More Little Indians...


I have just completed my third set of the $2.50 Indians of the 1908 - 1929 series. Now I have three complete sets, of the 15 coin set broken by the years the mints did not turn them out.


The rarity and desire for these coins are pushing Indian 2.5 dollar gold coin values higher. T

At the high end of the scale is the 1911-D, the rarest date, this old US gold coins value is Over $15000, when you can find one.

With one rare date, and one near rare in the series, the condition of these are key to value.


The coin is Indian 2.5 dollar gold piece, my 15 coin collection is as follows: 1908 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 11D - 12 - 13 - 14 - 14D - 15 -, then the series breaks to 1925D - 26 - 27 - 28 - and 1929.


My sets are (3), one in MS61, and two sets in MS62. I also have a MS63 1911 D but can't find it (really). Funny, it is in my registry, and I don't remember selling or trading it. So, if you find it, sent it to me right away.

The mint marks are two. the Denver mint and the Philadephia. (Of course the P mint does not mark its coins.) the Denver mint marks the D, along the edge, just to the left of the eagle. Sometimes the D is weak or worn, and a glass may be needed to see it.

The Indians are always a great coin for collectors as they are 'available' but rare. How so many were saved to collectable condition is a mystery to me.

The coins were the result of Dr. William Bigelow, a friend of President Roosevelt. Bigelow suggested making coins with devices sunk beneath the fields thereby insuring that the highest points would not be worn away so quickly with use. Originally, President Roosevelts close friend the famous sculptor Auguet St. Gaudens was the man he chose for the job. He later created what is a very highly sought after U.S. gold coin, ever produced by a U. S. Mint, the St. Gaudens $20 Double Eagle. Unfortunately, Mr. St. Gaudens died before he was able to finish the design for the smaller coins such as the $2.5 and the $5. You can find the actual designers initials BLP on the obverse sked of every $2.5 Indian, located just under the Indian Head. This design, due to the deep recesses folks thought the coins could contain bacteria, they were unhealthy. This also contributed to their rarity as many were melted for that reason in addition to the melt of 1933.

Thousands were melted and nearly all gold pieces were withheld from circulation. The $2.5 Indians mintage began in 1925 and ran through 1929. Gold coins were recalled to the treasury in 1933 where most of the $2.5 coins were destroyed in the great gold meltdown of that era.

The hard ones to find are the 1911D and the 1914.

The coins were designed by Bela Lyon Pratt who completed these incused (meaning deep cuts or impressions) coins. The mintmark on the Denver coins was designed to be the highest point above the surface of the coin.

Hong Kong counterfeited these so be sure of your certification. Many were melted as unsold in 1916 making the remaining coins even more rare, valuable and hard to find. I feel the Indians are works of art. It is poetry on coinage and I consider it to be the most beautiful and original protrayal of the American Indian ever on our coins. This series 1908-1929 was the first to use the incuse design I spoke of.

Enjoy the picture of the rarest, the 1911D. I will post pictures of the rest as time allows.


Capt. Brian



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