- United States Coins
- Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollars
- 1878 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar
1878 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar
1878 Indian Princess Large Head gold dollars are collected by numismatists who pursue pre-1933 U.S. gold coins as well as investors. 1878 gold dollar coins are scarce across the board and most have been melted. However, many of the survivors are in uncirculated condition. This can largely be attributed to the rise of collectors and hoarders who saved gold dollars beginning in the late 1870s. While earlier gold dollar coins saw widespread use in commerce during the Gold Rush era of the 1840s, 1850s, and early 1860s, these latter-date gold dollar coins largely languished in private collections for decades.
1878 gold dollar coins were struck only at the Philadelphia mint. While most of the coins were business strikes, a small handful of were made in proof format. Here is a breakdown of the mintages and values of these gold coins:
1878, 3,000 minted; $350
1878 proof, 20; $7,500
*Values are for coins grading Extremely Fine-40, unless otherwise noted.
1878 gold dollar coins measure just 15 millimeters in diameter, weigh 1.672 grams, and contain 0.04837 ounces of gold, which means they are among the smallest gold coins that the United States officially produced. These tiny gold coins are affordable as compared to larger gold coins like the $20 double eagle. However, because gold dollar coins have high numismatic premiums, they are much more expensive than their intrinsic gold value, and therefore aren’t the best investments for bullion buyers who want the most amount of gold for the least amount of money.
James B. Longacre, who served as United States Mint Chief Engraver from 1844 through 1869, designed 1878 Indian Princess gold dollar coins. Among the many coins Longacre designed during his tenure at the U.S. Mint include the Flying Eagle cent (produced 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).