Produced during the period known as the early 20th-century American coinage renaissance, these coins were in minimal circulation nearly a century ago, making them a favorite among coin collectors and investors. Add this $5 Indian Gold Half Eagle to your collection.
The Legacy of Another Great Designed: Bela Lyon Pratt
When most collectors think of numismatic artistry at the highest levels with regard to American coinage, the name Augustus Saint-Gaudens often comes to mind. Yet there’s another designer whose contribution to coinage should not be overlooked. Sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt famously designed the iconic Gold Half Eagle series featuring Native American themes that symbolically invoked a call for unity, national identity, and a tribute to the nation’s origins. This made Pratt arguably more groundbreaking than Saint-Gaudens, the designer who often overshadowed him. Pratt’s realistic representation of America and the significance of Native American culture makes for a bold minting of the American experience in a coin.
Gold Coins During WWI
Production of the Gold Half Eagle, minted between 1908-1916, ground to a halt in 1929, the year of the infamous Wall Street crash that marked a prelude to the Great Depression. Yet, gold coins had already taken a back seat to banknotes (dollars) as early as 1913, when the Federal Reserve came into existence. Furthermore, the economic instability that World War I ushered onto the world stage also accelerated the disappearance of Gold coins. By that time, the value of the coins’ gold content began exceeding their “face value” as a monetary unit.