As a denomination that we don’t see often in circulation, the ten dollar gold coin is one of the most sought-after coins in American numismatics. It has a long and fascinating history, with many different dates and features to explore.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into different ten dollar gold coin values and explore some of the rarest and valuable pieces. We will look at their value at different grades, including “Extremely Fine” and “Uncirculated” down to lower grades like “Good” and “Fine” condition. We will discuss how ten dollar gold coins can add significant value to your collection.
So, whether you are just getting started as a collector or are an experienced numismatist looking for information about ten dollar gold coins, this guide will help you find out everything you need to know!
History of the American Ten Dollar Gold Coin
The ten dollar gold coin is certainly a sight to behold – and it has a long history.
It has been minted with a few different designs over the years, but the first ten dollar gold coin was issued by the United States in 1795 and the coin continued to be produced until 1933! As mentioned, the ten dollar gold coin saw a few different designs, including the Liberty Cap coins, the Coronet Head coins, and the Indian Head coins. There was even a special commemorative issue for the opening of the Panama Canal in 1915.
Originally, ten dollar gold coins were made of .917 gold, meaning they contained 90% pure gold, and because of their golden makeup and appearance, they are often referred to as “eagles” in numismatic circles. The ten dollar “eagle’s” counterparts include the twenty dollar gold coin (the “double eagle”), the five dollar gold coin (the “half eagle”), and the $2.50 gold coin (the “quarter eagle”).
The ten dollar gold coin was last minted in 1933 due to the US Government recalling all US gold coins as part of a change in currency policy. After that, ten dollar gold coins became rare and valuable, with some pieces worth tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars!
Different Ten Dollar Gold Coins Throughout American History
There have been many different ten dollar gold coins issued by the United States at various times throughout history – not only that, but there have been many varieties of each coin as well. While we can’t look at each ten dollar gold coin that the United States has ever created (at least not in one blog post), we can look at a few of the most significant ones. Let’s look at a few of them in more detail, including their individual history, their features, and their value by condition.
Gold Coin #1: Liberty Cap (1795 – 1804)
The first ten dollar gold coins were issued by the United States in 1795 and were known as the Liberty Cap ten dollar coins. They weighed an impressive 17.5 grams and were 33 millimeters (1.299 inches) in diameter.
These coins featured a right-facing portrait of Lady Liberty on the obverse side, with a tall cap on top of her flowing hair. She is surrounded by thirteen stars to represent the original thirteen states and the year is stamped at the bottom of the coin.
On the reverse, there is an eagle with outstretched wings in the center of the coin. A shield is on top of his chest, with thirteen stars and the phrase, “United States of America” above the eagle’s head. Beneath the shield, the eagle clutches arrows and olive branches in his talons, symbolizing both peace and strength – values that the United States of America holds very dear – and draped around the eagle’s neck is a banner that reads “E Pluribus Unum,” which means “Out of Many, One.”
This ten dollar coin was minted from 1795 to 1804, and it is quite rare due to its limited mintage, usually only tens of thousands made each year. If you are fortunate enough to find one, it can be very valuable.
In “Good” condition, they can be worth around $9,250, while they can be worth about $9,800 even in “Fine” condition. Neither of these grades is very impressive as far as wear and tear go, but the Liberty Cap gold coins are still considered highly valuable. Lastly, these coins in “Extremely Fine” condition are worth around $21,400, and those in “Uncirculated” condition can go for between $58,500 and an amazing $400,000!
Gold Coin #2: Coronet Head (1838 – 1907)
The second ten dollar coin to be released by the US Mint was the Coronet Head ten dollar coin, which was issued from 1838 to 1907. There was a gap in American history between the Liberty Cap coins and the Coronet Head coins because of laws affecting the amount of gold used in coinage. While the Liberty Cap coins were actually worth more after they were melted down, the issue was corrected by the time the Coronet Head coins were minted – which resulted in more numbers of the latter coins surviving into modern time.
These coins weighed 16.72 grams, and were 27 millimeters (1.07 inches) in diameter. From 1838 to 1873, their composition was 90% gold and 10% copper and silver. For the remainder of their mintage (1873 to 1907), they were composed of 90% gold and 10% copper.
The obverse side featured a left-facing portrait of Lady Liberty wearing a coronet headdress engraved with the word “Liberty.” Encircling her are thirteen stars and the date at the bottom of the coin.
The eagle and shield on the reverse look very similar to the design on the Liberty Cap coin, except that the eagle’s arrows and olive branches are swapped to the opposite talons in this design. The phrase “United States of America” follows along the entire edge of the coin with the phrase “Ten D.” meaning “Ten Dollars” appears below the eagle.
The Coronet Head ten dollar coins are considered to be of amazing value. While there is a wide range of values, you could easily get at least $1,100 for those in “Fine” condition, with many dates and mint marks worth thousands more than that. In “Extremely Fine” condition these ten dollar coins can be worth from around $1,200 up to $5,000 (and some for six figures!), while those in “Uncirculated” condition can go for even more – between around $4,200 and a stunning $115,000!
You can even get Proof coins for the Coronet Head coin. In mint condition, these coins can actually go for between about $10,000 and the astronomical amount of $2,500,000!
Gold Coin #3: Indian Head (1907 – 1933)
The final ten dollar gold coin that we will discuss in this article is the Indian Head ten dollar coin, which was released by the United States Mint for a fairly short amount of time compared to the other two gold coins, which was from 1907 to 1916 and then sporadically thereafter until they ceased production in 1933.
Made of .900 fine gold, weighing 16.718 grams and measuring 27 millimeters (1.06 inches) in diameter, these coins had a quite different design than their predecessors.
The obverse side of this ten dollar gold coin featured a left-facing portrait of Lady Liberty wearing a feathered headdress resembling those worn by Native American tribes in the 19th century. She has thirteen stars above her head and the date is listed at the base of the coin, underneath Lady Liberty.
On the reverse there is a resting eagle standing on top of a thick cluster of arrows wrapped with olive branches as it faces to its left. The phrase “United States of America” arches above its head, on either side of the eagle are the phrases “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum,” while the words “Ten Dollars” are listed below.
There are also a few varieties known for the Indian Head gold coin. Let’s look at them in more detail:
Indian Head Ten Dollar Coin with a “Wire Rim” (1907)
This ten-dollar coin was the first ten-dollar gold piece to be released, and only 500 of them were made. This is because when they were created, they had the original design of a “wire rim” (or “rim cud”) that sharply raises the edges of the coin for more dramatic relief. The design can easily be seen when looked at under close inspection.
However, it made the coin’s design brittle and also made coins difficult to stack, so they quickly altered the design to have a rolled rim instead. Because of its rarity, this ten-dollar coin is considered extremely valuable, going up in price from $26,035 at “Very Fine” condition, to $28,374 at “Extremely Fine” condition, to between $34,419 and $57,543 in “Uncirculated” condition.
Indian Head Ten Dollar Coin with a “Wire Rim” and No Stars on Edge (1907)
In the same year, a ten-dollar gold coin with both a wire rim and no stars was also released. This design has thirteen stars on the obverse side, but no stars around the rim. While some coins have a reeded edge, for example, the Indian Head coin has 46 stars, symbolizing the Union. However, two coins were made without these stars as trial coins.
While one was given to the president of the United States and the other was given to the coin’s designer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, only one of these extremely rare coins remains and has been sold at auction a few times for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Currently, the coin’s Proof value is $551,655!
Indian Head Ten Dollar Coin with a “Rounded Rim” with Periods (1907)
The third ten dollar gold coin released was the “Rounded Rim” variety, which was created in 1907 and featured a new design with a rounded rim to make it less brittle. While 31,500 of them were made, most were melted down and only 50 of them are known to remain. What make this ten dollar coin unique is that the design contained extra Periods between the words on the reverse side of the coin, reading “*10*DOLLARS*” and “*E*PLURIBUS*UNUM*,” which later coins did not contain.
This ten dollar coin is considered to be quite valuable, with those in “Extremely Fine” condition reaching up to an incredible $68.864, and in “Uncirculated” condition from $108,849 up to $151,341 or more.
Indian Head Ten Dollar Coin with a “Rounded Rim” with No Periods (1907)
Finally, the fourth ten dollar gold coin released was the “Rounded Rim” with No Periods variety. This ten-dollar coin also has a rounded rim, but without any periods between the words on the reverse side. This is the most prevalent of the Indian Head ten dollar coins, with 239,406 of these ten-dollar gold coins were made.
This ten dollar coin is slightly more common than the varieties listed above and still valuable to collectors. Those in “Good” condition can be worth around $1,215 each; those in “Fine” condition going for just over $1,415; while those in “Extremely Fine” condition can fetch up to $1,444 and even more if they are rare or have error coins attached. Lastly, these ten-dollar gold coins in “Uncirculated” condition can go for up between $1,712 to an incredible $4,704 – a truly astounding price!
In conclusion, ten dollar gold coins have a long history within the United States and beyond. They have been minted in several denominations, sizes, and materials over the years, and ten dollar gold coin errors have been known to occur, which can make them very rare and valuable.
It is important for buyers and sellers to understand current market values before making any decisions about ten dollar gold coins. Collectors should also familiarize themselves with grading standards in order to authenticate their ten dollar gold coins. With proper research and understanding of ten dollar gold coins, one can ensure that they receive a fair value when buying or selling ten dollar gold coins.
Have you ever seen any of these gold coins in person? Tell us about it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.