- United States Coins
- Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollars
- 1879 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar
1879 Large Head Indian Princess Gold Dollar
1879 Indian Princess Large Head gold dollars are popular collectibles and are often found in type sets consisting of other pre-1933 U.S. gold coins. 1879 gold dollar coins are quite scarce, as many have been melted or otherwise damaged. However, a decent number of these coins still exist, and often in relatively high grades. This is because by the late 1870s, people began saving gold dollar coins in large quantities, sparing them from circulation. In fact, by many accounts more uncirculated gold dollars from the late 1870s (and 1880s) survive than circulated pieces.
1879 gold dollar coins were struck only at the Philadelphia mint, with a small number being made as proof specimens. Here is a look at the mintages and values of these gold coins:
1879, 3,000 minted; $300
1879 proof, 30; $6,500
*Values are for coins grading Extremely Fine-40, unless otherwise noted.
1879 gold dollar coins measure only 15 millimeters in diameter, making them among the smallest coins the United States officially made. Additionally, these coins weigh 1.672 grams and contain 0.04837 ounces of gold. These tiny gold coins are affordable as compared to larger gold coins like the $20 double eagle, but they also carry high numismatic premiums. Thus, they are actually quite expensive gram for gram.
1879 gold dollars were designed by James B. Longacre, who served as the United States Mint Chief Engraver from 1844 through 1869. Longacre designed many different coins during his tenure at the U.S. Mint, including 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).