Friday, April 17, 2009

My Top Ten List of Collectible Gold Coins

Gold coins have always been a favorite among not only collectors but the masses as well. The reasons for this are easy to see; gold with its rare nature, its beauty and its durability is something people have been fascinated with since the beginning of time. Turn this precious metal into a coin and you have something truly magnificent and very valuable. For you numismatic enjoyment I am providing a list of what I believe, and I’m sure many would agree, are the top 10 collectible gold coins.

1908 $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

1. The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle (1907-1932). Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and first struck in 1907, the Saint-Gaudens double eagle $20 gold coin is considered by many to be the greatest coin ever issued by the U.S. Mint. Minting for circulatin ended in 1932 however there were 445,500 of these coins minted in 1933 but they were never released and it became illegal to possess one. Some did make it in to private hands and in 2002 one of these coins sold for $6.6 million.
2. Indian Head Eagle (1907-1933). Also designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, this $10 gold piece is smaller than its predecessor but equally as detailed and beautiful.
3. Any Gold Coin Proofs. Gold coin proofs are minted in numbers less than a few hundred per year making them extremely rare and very valuable, perfect for any collector.
4. $4 Gold Piece “Stella” (1879-1880). Designed by both Charles E. Barber and George T. Morgan, the $4 gold piece also known as the “Stella”, Stella is Latin for star which was the design on the reverse of the coin, was first minted in 1879. There were two different designs minted in both 1879 and 1880, the first was designed by Barber and featured a flowing hair Miss Liberty while the second was designed by Morgan and featured a coil hair Miss Liberty.
5. Capped Bust Eagle (1797-1804). First minted in 1797 and the first gold coin to be minted for the fairly young nation was struck as a $10 gold piece and was short live, last struck in 1804, due to its unpopularity. There were only approximately 65,000 of these coins minted making it extremely rare.
6. Augustus Humbert Eagle (1851-1852). Designed by Augustus Humbert shortly after the start of the California gold rush this beautiful $10 gold coin is highly valued mainly because of its history as well as its rarity. One of Humbert’s $50 gold “slugs” recently sold for $460,000 at a Beverly Hills auction.

1904 Liberty Head "Coronet" Eagle

7. Liberty Head Eagle (1866-1907). This $10 gold piece was first issued in 1866 and continued being minted until 1907. The Liberty Head eagle or “Coronet” eagle as it was also known was highly admired and well known to Americans for close to three quarters of a century.
8. Indian Head Half Eagle (1908-1929). A very unique coin, the Indian Head half eagle’s design is incuse or recessed below the surface of the coin. The half eagle was minted as a $5 gold piece while there was also a smaller version, the quarter eagle valued at $2.50, with the same design.
9. Liberty Head Double eagle (1877-1909). First struck in 1877, the Liberty Head double eagle was designed by James B. Longacre however due to his death in 1869 the design was slightly changed by his successors, William Barber and his son, before finally being minted.
10. $3 Indian Head Gold Piece (1854-1889). Designed by James B. Longacre, this coin was first minted in 1854 and by some miracle continued to be minted until 1889. I say miracle because this coin never gained popularity. The main reason for this coin being minted had to do with the first ever U.S. postage stamps being issued at a price of 3 cents, the congress and the director of the mint, Robert M. Patterson believed the $3 gold piece would encourage people to buy sheets of a hundred stamps.

I hope you found the list interesting and maybe found some new ideas on coins to collect whether for fun or investment. I would love to hear from any of you who personally have any of these coins in your collection.

Have a great weekend, and remember Keep collecting!

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