The $10 Indian Head eagle was struck by the United States Mint continuously from 1907 until 1916, and then irregularly until 1933. The obverse and reverse were designed by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, originally commissioned for use on other denominations.
In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt proposed new, more artistic designs on US coins, prompting the Mint to hire Saint-Gaudens to create them.
The coin as sculpted by Saint-Gaudens was too high in relief for the Mint to strike readily, and it took months to modify the design so that the coin could be struck by one blow of the Mint's presses.
The omission of the motto "In God We Trust" on the new coins caused public outrage, and prompted Congress to pass a bill mandating its inclusion. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber added the words and made minor modifications to the design. The Indian Head eagle was struck regularly until 1916, and then intermittently until President Franklin Roosevelt directed the Mint to stop producing gold coins in 1933. Its termination ended the series of eagles struck for circulation begun in 1795. Many Indian Head eagles were melted by the government in the late 1930s; the 1933 issue is a particular rarity, as few were distributed.
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