Liberty Head Gold Eagles
Liberty Head $10 gold eagle coins were made during the years 1838 through 1907. These $10 gold coins were the second major design type for the denomination and are also the first of the 27-millimeter eagles, reduced in size from the previous 33-millimeter Liberty Cap gold eagles due to the Coinage Act of 1834. That legislation raised the value of gold bullion and concurrently changed the ratio of precious metal in U.S. gold coins, leading to a decrease in weight and diameter for all U.S. gold coinage.
The Liberty Head $10 gold eagle coin was designed by Christian Gobrecht. He served as the third chief engraver of the United States Mint from 1840 through 1844 though worked as an engraver for many years before. While his tenure as chief engraver was relatively short, he managed to leave a legacy marked by several high-profile coins.
Along with the Liberty Head $10 gold coins, he also designed Seated Liberty coins, which were made from the late 1830s through early 1890s and encompass several denominations, including the half dime, dime, quarter, half dollar, and silver dollar. The 20 cent coin, which has a Seated Liberty obverse, was designed by William Barber. Trade dollars, which were also inspired by the Gobrecht’s Seated Liberty portrait, designed by William Barber, too.
Liberty Head $10 gold coins went through a couple design modifications during the 69 years that the type was produced. This results in various possible coin collecting challenges for numismatists, even though the series is typically collected as a single type, as opposed to accordance with the minor design variations or year-by-year.
The first design, which includes an “old style” bust within a circle of stars on the obverse and no motto above the eagle on the reverse, lasted during only 1838 and part of 1839.
A second design type with a newer head was introduced in 1839. The third and final design type, which includes the motto IN GOD WE TRUST above the eagle on the reverse was the longest-lasting design type and is also the most commonly encountered design type for this coin. Over the decades during which this coin was in production, it was struck at five different mints, including Philadelphia, Carson City (CC), Denver (D), New Orleans (O), and San Francisco (S).
While the Liberty Head $10 gold coin series includes several highly scarce issues, two of the rarest include the 1870-CC and 1875 (Philadelphia) coins. Respectively, those sell for $35,000 and $110,000 in a grade of Very Fine 20. Several other dates start at around $2,000. However, the least expensive representative examples can be bought for as little as $850 in the grade of Very Fine 20. Bear in mind that, as with all pre-1933 U.S. gold coins, values for $10 Liberty Head gold coins fluctuate based largely on gold bullion prices. You should check out our gold bullion price calculator to get the latest pricing data for gold coins.