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Liberty and Indian Princess Head Gold Dollars 1849 to 1889

The first gold dollars made in the United States were privately minted issues produced about 1830 by a German immigrant named Alt Christoph Bechtler. The first One Dollar Gold Coin wasn't produced until 1849 by the U.S. Mint, and the California gold rush provided the spark. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 energized Congress to expand existing uses of the metal into U.S. coinage.

On March 3, 1849, Congress passed legislation authorizing not only gold dollars but also $20 gold pieces. James Barton Longacre, the U.S. Mint's chief engraver designed the new one dollar gold coin.

For the United States first Dollar coin, Longacre came up with an interesting obverse design. A left-facing portrait of Miss Liberty with a small crown, in her hair.

Miss Liberty is encircled by 13 stars, symbolic of the 13 original colonies. The dollar's reverse is a simple design because of the coin's small size. It has the denomination 1 DOLLAR and the date within a simple wreath, which is encircled by the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

1849 Type 1 Gold Dollar 1849 Type 1 Gold Dollar reverse

1849 Type 1 Gold Dollar

During their six years of production, Type 1 gold dollars were struck at five different mints, Philadelphia, PA (no mint mark), Charlotte, NC (C), Dahlonega, GA (D), New Orleans, LA (O) and San Francisco, CA (S). However, only the Philadelphia and Dahlonega mints issued them every year.

1855 Type 2 Gold Dollar 1855 Type 2 Gold Dollar reverse

1855 Type 2 (small head) Gold Dollar

By 1854 a new design by Longacre for the one dollar coin was made due to the small size of the Type 1. The 1854 (Type 2) piece was made larger in diameter and was much thinner. Its obverse features a left-facing portrait of a female figure wearing a fancy headdress. The female figure is frequently described as being an Indian princess, and the coin is commonly known as the Indian Head type. The reverse design shows the date and denomination within a wreath of corn, cotton, wheat and tobacco.

Liberty and Indian Princess Head Gold Dollars 1849 to 1889

Liberty Gold Dollars For Sale

1854 $1 Gold Liberty Type2 VF-30 Details Anacs Cert.

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1853 $1 GOLD LIBERTY HEAD-VERY ATTRACTIVE SPECIMAN-FREE SHIPPING

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1853 GOLD LIBERTY $1 COIN NGC AU DETAILS

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1849 $1 One Dollar Gold Liberty. Small Head No L. NGC MS 62

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1884 $1 One Dollar Gold Liberty Head. NGC UNC Details

$695.00
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[#415648] United States, Liberty Head - Type 1, Dollar, 1852, U.S. Mint

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1853 Liberty Head Gold One Dollar Graded MS 63 by PCGS

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1851 Liberty Head Gold Dollar. PCGS MS60. Collector Coin For Your Collection.

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1871 $1 Octagonal Liberty Gold 50 Cent. BG-912. NGC Unc Details

$295.00
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1851 G$1 NGC MS 65 One Dollar Liberty Head Gold Coin

$4,500.00
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Indian Gold Dollars For Sale

1874 Indian Gold Dollar Coin G$1 - Certified PCGS Uncirculated Details (UNC MS)!

$395.00
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1883 Indian Gold Dollar Coin G$1 - Certified NGC Uncirculated Details (UNC MS)!

$559.30
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1855-O Type 2 Indian Gold Dollar (G$1 Coin) - PCGS AU Details - Rare "O" Mint!

$1,189.10
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1856 $1 United States Indian Princess Head Quarter Gold Dollar - XF - Bent

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1885 $1 United States Indian Princess Head Quarter Gold Dollar - BU

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1862 INDIAN PRINCESS GOLD DOLLAR $1 MS62

$515.00
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1855-O Type 2 Indian Gold Dollar (G$1 Coin) - PCGS AU Details - Rare "O" Mint!

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1874 Dollar Gold Piece, $1 Indian Princess, Type 3, Beautiful

$89.99 (0 Bids)
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1857 $1 TYPE 3 INDIAN PRINCESS HEAD ONE DOLLAR GOLD COIN

$5.50 (3 Bids)
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1856 $1 TYPE 3 INDIAN PRINCESS HEAD ONE DOLLAR GOLD COIN

$4.25 (2 Bids)
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Being 15% larger in diameter, this Type 2 gold dollar was easier to keep track of—and less likely to get lost—than its predecessor had been. Because of the striking difficulties, Longacre had to go back to the drawing board yet again, and the Type 2 dollar lasted only until 1856 before giving way to a Type 3.

1859 Type 3 Gold Dollar 1859 Type 3 Gold Dollar reverse

1859 Type 3 (large Head) Gold Dollar

In 1856 the U.S. Mint produced yet another One Dollar Gold coin (Type 3). The type 2 didn't strike very well and was quickly worn down. So Longacre made the portrait larger, but also flatter. Besides enlarging the portrait’s size, Longacre also moved the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA closer to the border on the obverse. Minor changes were made in the reverse.


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