1907 Indian Head Eagle, Wire Rim, Periods

Technically a pattern, the 1907 Indian Head Gold Eagle with a wire rim and periods represents the Augustus Saint Gaudens’s original concept for the new $10 gold coin. Only circulation strikes were produced, with a reported mintage of 542 pieces, of which at least 70 were melted. The remaining pieces were given to notable persons across the nation.

The coins were struck in higher relief and featured a wire rim which rises to a sharp edge in order to protect the coins from wear. The concept was not used on the subsequent coins produced for the series since the feature did not allow the coins to stack more than two or three high before falling over. Periods appeared on the reverse of the coin before and after the words of the motto “E Pluribus Unum” and the denomination “Ten Dollars”.

Many examples of the coin were ultimately saved, providing a ready supply for collectors willing to pay the price. The majority of the wire rim 1907 Indian Gold Eagles survive in uncirculated grades. The highest grade awarded by PCGS is MS67, although NGC has graded two coins MS 68 and one MS 69.

One of the examples graded NGC MS 67 sold for $149,500 at auction in May 2008.