The $5 Indian (and its $2.50 little brother) is one of the most unique coins ever produced by the U.S. Mint. Its recessed stamping, no rim, beautiful design and fascinating history, combined with documented rarity, produce a desirable collectible coin for which demand can quickly overcome supply.
Currently, this coin can be purchased for around half of what it has traded for in the past decade. This is what collectors and investors look for… a great coin at a great price.
History and Design
The $5 Indian, also known as the gold Half Eagle, is part of the famed Saint Gaudens series of gold coins, produced from 1907 until 1933. However, the $5 Indian was not minted every year. In fact, unlike its predecessor, the $5 Liberty Head, the Indian had a limited minting between 1908–1916, and again in 1929. However, most of the coins minted in 1929 were destroyed before leaving the Mint.
The history and design of the $5 Indian adds to its mystique. President Theodore Roosevelt mandated the design changes from the previous Liberty Head design to the Saint Gaudens/Indian Head series in 1907. The $5 Indian was designed by sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt (a former student of Augustus Saint Gaudens). Pratt designed the coin to be struck in bas-relief. Unlike most coins, where the details are raised above the surface of the coin, Pratt’s design has depressed detailing, meaning they are cut into the surface of the coin.
The U.S. coin collectors “Red Book” refers to this design as “sunken-relief”. This design actually caused the public to question whether the recesses would be a breeding ground for disease and banks complained it would harbor dirt and be difficult to stack. These concerns later proved untrue. Nonetheless, the mere existence of the coin’s issues resulted in a general disinclination to preserve these coins to pass down to future generations.
In addition, this coin has no rim to aid in preserving the surface of the coin. As a result, the vast majority of the coins minted would have extensive wear from simply being in contact with other coins.
These factors mean only a handful of coins survived to be graded in the high grades. There are only 1,310 $5 Indians graded MS-65, including all the coins graded by PCGS and NGC. The next lower grade, MS-64 is likewise rare. Here are the stats:
Total coins grade MS-65 – 1,310
Total coins graded MS-64 - 14,128
The retail prices of the MS-64 and MS-65 grade have been quite cyclical over the last 10 years. After falling to a low in mid-2005, prices peaked in May of 2006. This was followed by another drop to or near the 2005 low. There was another rebound and peak in late 2008. Since then, prices have come down considerably from their highs.
High of $6,250 in May 2006
Low of $3,120 in May 2011
High of $25,310 in March 2006 (twice it has peaked over the $25,000 mark)
Low of $12,620 in June 2012
ASI has been watching the $5 Indians pricing for several months now. It has taken us this long to get to a point where we could suggest you consider buying. Here is why we think you now have a significant chance of price appreciation with this coin.
With the $5 Indian, you can own one of only two coins ever minted using the incuse method, making it popular with collectors for its:
- low mintage
- low coin population survival rates
- selling for its lowest price in years
That is a recipe for success. When the numismatic market turns around, owners of these coins will be in a very good position to make a profit.
We put together enough coins (and there’re not many) to make this offer. These coins are simply hard to locate in the higher grades. If you want them, buy them now.
Currently we have (5) MS-65 and (7) MS-64 coins available to our clients at the following prices:
MS-64 $5 Indian - $3,181
MS-65 $5 Indian - $11,288
Shipping and insurance is included in the price above. At this pricing, we cannot guarantee dates or mint marks. Pricing requests for particular dates and/or mintmarks will be answered on a case-by-case basis.
Also, we can offer the $2.5 Indian (little brother) in MS-64 and MS-65 grades, but please ask our representatives for details.
This asset is a special coin and at a special price. Please call us at 877-340-2250 or email us as soon as possible to reserve your coin today.