US Coins

Market Analysis: Saint-Gaudens' Indian Head $10 gold eagles

This MS-65 1933 Indian Head gold eagle is among the finest of perhaps 40 known and, at $408,000, was the top lot at Heritage’s June 4 to 7 Long Beach auction, held in Dallas.

All images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

A famed 1933 Indian Head gold $10 eagle topped bidding at Heritage’s June 4 to 7 Long Beach auctions, relocated to the firm’s Dallas headquarters after the Long Beach Expo was canceled due to COVID-19.

The coin is one of about 40 surviving from a mintage of 312,500; nearly all were melted. The issue’s history is entwined with the legendary 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle, of which just one can be privately owned. Both issues intersect with history and Franklin Roosevelt’s Gold Recall of 1933.

A handful of 1933 $10 eagles were issued, so the legality of surviving examples is not questioned. Heritage writes that in 1933, “The coins were all delivered in January and February, but none were sent to Federal Reserve Banks for commercial distribution as there was simply no demand for the issue at the time,” but a few $10 eagles were released by the Philadelphia Mint cashier.

The coin in the auction is graded Mint State 65 by Professional Coin Grading Service. Offered at Stack’s and Sotheby’s 2001 sale of the Dallas Bank Collection, it was graded by the auctioneer as “VERY CHOICE BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED, of virtual Gem quality,” and sold for $149,500. It sold at a February 2009 Ira and Larry Goldberg auction for $517,500, and at Heritage’s June 4 Premier Session it realized $408,000.

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