1907 Indian Head Eagle, Wire Rim, Periods

Technically a pattern, the 1907 Indian Head Gold Eagle (Buy on eBay) with a wire rim and periods features the original design concept created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Following the sculptor’s death, a quantity of 542 coins were struck on a medal press. These pieces were distributed to notable people, held in the Mint’s cabinet, or sold to prominent coin dealers and collectors. After 1915, 70 unsold coins were melted, resulting in a net mintage of 472 pieces.

The coins were struck in high relief and had concave fields which rose to a sharp edge with a wire rim around the circumference. Since the wire rim did not allow the coins to stack properly, it was not used on the subsequent coins produced for the series. On the reverse of the coin, periods appear before and after the words of the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM and the denomination TEN DOLLARS.

Due to the special nature of the issue and the method of distribution, the small net mintage has a very high survival rate. The majority of pieces are found in uncirculated condition, including some extremely high-grade specimens. The grading firm NGC has graded two examples as MS-68 and one as MS-69. The auction record is held by one of the pieces graded MS-68, which sold for $432,000 in 2019.