1912 $5 Gold MS 61 Indian Head Half Eagle

Thank you for viewing my auction for a 1912 MS 61 Indian head five dollar gold coin. Description: In 1907 a collaboration between the dynamic president Theodore Roosevelt and renown American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens resulted in the replacement of the previous Liberty Head design on the ten dollar gold coin. The new design featured a native American on the obverse, and a standing eagle on the reverse. The Indian was modeled after the figure of Nike (representing Victory) that was part of the Saint-Gauden’s equestrian Sherman Monument located at the entrance to New York’s Central Park, and the reverse was a representation of America’s symbol, the bald eagle. While the sculptural effects of the original designs are admired (most noticeable on the Wire Rim and Rounded Rim pieces initially produced), the representation of Liberty adorned by a ceremonial headdress not worn by female native American was incongruous; and the eagle, though dramatically posed, has longer legs and other differences from an actual bald eagle. Artistic license aside, a more serious issue for the Mint was the reality that the raised edge of the first Indian Head coins (Wire Rim - Mintage 500) would not stack, a problem for commerce, and the modified rounded rim (Rolled Rim - Mintage 42) pieces apparently would not strike with satisfactory quality. It was ... read more