The US Mint produced $2.5 Indian Gold Quarter Eagles with a period of interruption from 1908 to 1929. The coins were struck at the US Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver. Their composition is 90% gold and 10% copper with each coin containing 0.12094 oz of gold. More than 7 million Indian Gold Quarter Eagles were minted. However, only a small amount were minted in proof condition at the Philadelphia facility.
The design by Bela Lyon Pratt depicts an incredibly detailed image of a Native American Indian Chief wearing a traditional headdress on the obverse side. The designer's initials “B.L.P.” and the year of mintage is inscribed underneath the portrait. Along the outer periphery appears the word “LIBERTY” as well as 13 stars that are meant to represent the original states of the United States.
The reverse side of the $2.5 Indian Gold Quarter Eagles depicts an eagle standing on a bundle of arrows and an olive branch. “IN GOD WE TRUST” is inscribed to the right of the eagle and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” appears to the left of the eagle's breast. The coin's denomination (“2 ½ DOLLARS”) and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” is inscribed along the lower and upper edge of the coin. Indian Gold Quarter Eagles that were minted in Denver (mint mark: D) contain a mint mark next to the bundle of arrows. However, coins that were minted in Philadelphia don't have any mint mark.
An unusual characteristic of $2.5 Indian Gold Quarter Eagles is the fact that both sides have their designs pressed into the coin's surface. Furthermore, the coins don't have a raised rim like most other coins issued by the US Mint. This kind of recessed design can only be found with one other coin minted by the US Mint, the $5 Indian Gold Half Eagles that are identical in their design to the Indian Gold Quarter Eagles.
|Gold Weight||Face Value||Diameter|
|0.12094 oz||2.5 Dollars||18 mm|
|Philadelphia||1908 - 1915, 1926 - 1929|
|Denver||1911, 1914, 1925|
The $2.5 Indian Gold Quarter Eagles were commissioned by the American President Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900's. The design was created by the artist Bela Lyon Pratt (a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens) and production started in 1908. Regular continuous production of $2.5 Indian Gold Quarter Eagles ceased in 1915. Production resumed in 1925 and continued until 1929. The $2.5 Indian Gold Quarter Eagles were popular as Christmas gifts during the 1910's and 1920's. The coins were rarely used in commerce. With the economy starting to collapse at the onset of the Great Depression, the US Mint made the decision to stop production of these small coins. Circulation coins of the $2.5 denomination were never struck again henceforth by the US Mint.
Annual mintage of $2.5 Indian Gold Quarter Eagles at the various US Mint branches varied between 55,680 coins (Denver 1911) and 722,000 coins (Philadelphia 1913). Proof coins were exclusively minted at the Philadelphia branch of the US Mint and proof mintage varied between 100 coins (1915) and 682 coins (1910).
Click here to see a table with detailed mintage numbers.
The coins minted in Denver in 1911 (55.680 coins) as well as in Philadelphia in 1914 (240.000 coins) are nowadays especially hard to find.
Proof coins are even harder to find if at all possible. Proof coins were exclusively minted in Philadelphia from 1908 to 1915 and annual proof mintages varied between 100 and 682 coins.