For the first time since 1916, the United States Mint would strike half eagles again. The 13-year hiatus would mark one of the longer periods of time that a U.S. coin series would lay dormant, though by no means is it the longest time that a coin design sat idle – that honor goes to the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which saw no issues struck from 1982 through 1998.
The 1929 Indian Head half eagle is a rare breed by any measure, as the United States was taken off the gold standard just four years after these coins were struck. By far the vast majority of the 662,000 that were struck at the Philadelphia mint – the only facility to make half eagles that year – were melted. This leaves very few 1929 Indian Head half eagles to go around. In a grade of Extremely Fine-40, they are worth nearly $20,000!
The few that survive were quite lucky to do so, as it wasn’t legal to own all gold coins from 1933 through 1975 in the United States. Those that did escape melting are in extremely high demand. Beware of counterfeit pieces, and only buy 1929 Indian Head half eagles as certified specimens from reputable coin dealers.