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iccoins's Blog

16 Sep 2018

1915 Indian Head Quarter Eagle

Coins-United States | iccoins

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of the most well know coin designers in the world. President Roosevelt commissioned him to redesign the gold coins of the United States. Unfortunately, Saint-Gaudens passed away in 1907 and was not able to finish all the redesigns. A student of Saint-Gaudens, Bela Lyon Pratt, was commissioned to finish the projects. Pratt was the designer of the famous Indian Head quarter eagle and half eagle coins. This was a significant change from the traditional "Liberty" design of past US gold coinage. The designs were the same on both the quarter eagle, $2.50 coin, and half eagle, $5.00 coin. The Indian Head design was preceded by the Coronet Liberty Head coin designed by Christian Gobrecht. The Indian Head design is an incredibly unique coin but caused much displeasure when the coin was initially released. The coin, instead of the traditional raised design of coins, the Indian Head coins consisted of an incuse design or a design where the devices of the coin are lower than the field. The majority of Americans were not fans of the design of this coin, mostly due to its incuse design. Some even claimed it was a health hazard because bacteria could become trapped inside the deeper spots of the coin. Regardless of the problems, the coin was a very successful type.

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