1908 Indian Head Gold $10 Eagle
1908 $10 gold eagles represent the second year that the popular Indian Head design was in production. The design, which is really a bust portrait of Miss Liberty wearing an Indian-style headdress, was created by famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who is perhaps best known in the numismatic community for his Walking Liberty design on the $20 double eagle made during 1907 through 1933.
Beginning in 1908, an important change was made to the $10 eagle, on which the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” would appear. President Roosevelt did not like the idea of placing God’s name on money as he thought it was blasphemous to do so, but an act of Congress brought the Deity’s name back to the coin, and there it would remain for the rest of the coin’s production, until 1933.
Here’s a rundown of the 1908 $10 Indian Head gold coin designs:
1908, 33,500 minted; no motto – $1,074
1908-D, 210,000; no motto – $1,074
1908, 341,370; motto – $1,074
1908-D, 836,500; motto – $1,074
1908-S, 59,850; motto – $1,214
1908 proof, 116; motto – $28,000
*Values are for coins in a grade of Very Fine 20, unless otherwise noted.
The $10 Indian Head design, along with other U.S. gold coins that would live to see the 1910s and 1920s, marked a revival of sorts for American coinage. President Theodore Roosevelt wanted to see a artistry return to the nation’s coinage in a way that it hadn’t in his opinion, for decades, and in pursuing this goal, he tapped Saint-Gaudens to assist in breathing new life to the considerably stale U.S. gold coinage program. It must be noted that, at the $10 eagle’s Liberty Head design dated back to 1840 – two decades before the Civil War!