U.S. Coin Price Guide

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Indian Ten Dollar Eagles Mixed
By Mark Ferguson

Indian Head gold $10 eagles have followed a price trend that's similar to how the Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle series has changed. The circulated coins have risen in value, and some of the high-grade coins, from about Mint State 63 through MS-66, have softened in value slightly.

However, several higher grade coins have also advanced in value. Those higher-grade Indian Head eagles that have grown in value have risen by about 10 percent to a third higher.

Circulated examples of the Indian Head eagles have risen only by $25 in each grade. In comparison, circulated Saint-Gaudens double eagles have risen by about $100 to $150 each. The lower level of increases indicates the common, circulated Indian Head eagles were carrying higher premiums than perhaps they should have.

When Indian Head eagles are traded in bulk lots, such as groups of 10 or 100, most of the dates will either be 1926 or 1932. These two dates are, by far, the most common. To illustrate, Professional Coin Grading Service has graded more than 21,000 1926 eagles and 32,000 1932 eagles. This compares to a little more than 6,000 pieces graded for the next most common issue, the 1910-D eagle, and many fewer than 5,000 examples graded, each, for the scarcer issues.

In past years, counterfeit examples of the most common dates were occasionally found. It's easiest to avoid this problem by purchasing certified coins. The counterfeits can be well done and very deceptive to the untrained eye.

The rarest and most expensive Indian Head eagles are the 1920-S, 1930-S and 1933 coins; PCGS has graded fewer than 100 examples of each. Each coin bears a five-figure value in each grade, unless a damaged piece is found (which would be heavily discounted).

Other blemishes that will knock values down a little for these coins are spots and contact marks that slightly mar the overall looks of these coins. Such flaws affect pricing more for the scarcer issues. Most of the time, though, problems are not bothersome enough to discount a price.

Popularity of Indian Head eagles is not as widespread as for both the Coronet and Saint-Gaudens double eagles. The Indian Head eagle is considered more a collector series than a bullion series.


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