- United States Coins
- Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollars
- 1856 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar
1856 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar
1856 marks the first year of the Indian Princess Large Head gold dollar design. This coin, representing the third type of gold dollar coin produced, was first struck midway into the year; there are also 1856 Indian Princess Small Head gold dollar coins. The large head design, the masterwork of United States Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, was employed because the smaller head design was not striking correctly on the small gold dollar planchet, which measures just 15 millimeters in diameter.
There were three types of 1856 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar struck, accounting for variances in the shape of the “5” digit in the date and also the fact that the 1856 dollar was struck at both the Philadelphia and Dahlonega mints. Here’s a rundown of mintages and values for 1856 Type III gold dollar coins:
1856, 1,762,936 (both kinds, Philadelphia)
1856 Upright 5, mintage included above; $300
1856 Slant 5, mintage included above; $250
1856-D, 1,460; $5,750
*Values are for coins grading Extremely Fine-40.
As 1856 Indian Princess Large Head gold dollars weigh only 1.672 grams and contain just 0.04837 ounces of gold, these pieces do not necessarily make the most economically efficient purchase for gold bullion investors. This case is amplified by the fact that the numismatic premium on these coins is much higher than the intrinsic gold value of these coins alone. As numismatic gold coins, the 1856 gold dollars are often incorporated into type sets, which are built with the aim of including one representative of the various gold coin design types made.