Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollars
Indian Princess Large Head gold dollar coins were struck from 1856 through 1889 and represent the third type of gold one dollar coin that the United States Mint produced. While the silver dollar was also in production during the 1850s, the Indian Princess gold coins were first made as gold bullion became more readily available after the discovery of the precious yellow metal in California during the 1840s. Americans were hoarding silver coins in the 1830s and 1840s, thus the gold dollar filled a substantial need in U.S. commerce.
The Indian Princess gold dollar coin weighs 1.672 grams and contains 0.04837 ounces of gold. Given the relatively minor amount of gold these coins contain and their steep numismatic pricing premiums, gold one dollar coins are not the most efficient investment for those who are looking to buy gold as a bullion investment. These pieces, however, are widely pursued by coin collectors who appreciate the history behind these coins.
James B. Longacre, who served as the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1844 until his death in 1869, designed the Indian Princess gold dollar coins. He also designed the two preceding gold dollar types, which include the Liberty Head gold dollar (struck from 1849 through 1854) and Indian Princess Small Head gold dollars (produced for a short time from 1854 through 1856). As the name of the Indian Princess Large Head dollar coin suggests, this piece features a bust profile that is visibly larger than the Indian head on the preceding type coin. Indian Princess head was enlarged to improve the appearance of the strike on the gold dollar. As the Indian Princess Large Head dollar is also the third type of gold dollar made, many coin hobbyists simply refer to it in the shorthand “Type III gold dollar.”
Indian Princess Large Head gold dollar coins are not scarce as a type, meaning there are plenty of pieces available to those who are simply looking for a representative piece for their collections. However, there are several rare issues in the series, including all proof coins, and several individual dates, such as 1856-D, 1861-D, and 1875 gold dollar coins.