- United States Coins
- Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollars
- 1870 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar
1870 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar
1870 Indian Princess Large Head gold dollars are considerably scarce coins that are popular with coin collectors, especially those who fancy pre-1933 U.S. gold coins. The gold dollar series, which was in production from 1849 through 1889, saw its widest use in the western United States as a result of abundant gold supply during the Gold Rush era, though these coins also circulated on the East Coast.
1870 marks a significant year for the Indian Princess Large Head gold dollar series, since that was the first year in many – and the last year for the coin – that a mintmarked issue was produced. The 1870-S, struck in San Francisco, became a significant semi-key coin for the series and is in high demand from coin collectors. Here’s a breakdown of the mintages and values for the various 1870 gold dollars:
1870, 6,300 minted; $450
1870-S, 3,000; $825
1870 proof, 35; $7,500
*Values are for coins grading Extremely Fine-40, unless otherwise noted.
While gold dollars saw much use in commerce, especially during the earlier years of the series, these coins also served an important secondary role as holiday gifts. That fact explains why many of these early gold coins can still be found in higher circulated, and even uncirculated, grades. Unfortunately, some of these gold coins were inserted into jewelry pieces such as bezels, necklaces, and bracelets, leaving many pieces inadvertently damaged.
1870 gold dollars are small coins that measure only 15 millimeters in diameter, weigh just 1.672 grams, and contain a mere 0.04837 ounces of gold. Their small size and substantial numismatic value mean they have a relatively high premium over spot. This makes gold dollar coins a comparatively expensive investment as compared to larger gold bullion coins, which have both lower premiums over spot value and a higher amount of gold.
1870 gold dollars were designed by James B. Longacre, who served as the United States Mint Chief Engraver from 1844 until 1869. During that time, he designed a multitude of important coins, including the Flying Eagle cent (minted from 1856-1858), Indian Head cent (1859-1909), two-cent piece (1864-1873), various silver and nickel three-cent coins (1851-1889), and the Shield nickel (1866-1883).