One reason the $2.50 Indian is such an attractive gold investment and collector’s item is that this Quarter Eagle gold coin was minted for only 13 years, making it one of the shortest-lived series in U.S. numismatics. Quarter Eagles of this type were produced in 1908 through 1915 and again from 1925 through 1929, after which time the denomination was suspended.
- President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign all American coinage, but Saint-Gaudens died of cancer after completing design work for the $10 Eagle and $20 Double Eagle gold pieces. Fortunately, in late 1907 Roosevelt was able to contact one of Saint-Gaudens’ students, Bela Lyon Pratt, and commission him to redesign the $2.50 and $5.00 denominations. A year later, the numismatic community was surprised by Pratt’s innovative Indian Head gold coin design, which featured the legends and motifs incused rather than raised on the coin. In other words, as a departure from earlier United States coinage, the devices were recessed into the surface of the coin. These are the only U.S. coins minted in this manner.