United States $5 Indian gold coin
Minted 1908 - 1929
Actual Gold Content: .2419 troy ounce
The $5 Indian gold coins, designed by Bela Lyon Pratt, were minted from 1908 until 1929. The obverse of the coin bears the image of a native American chieftain, while the reverse shows an American Eagle, perched atop a bundle of arrows and an olive branch, traditional symbols for war and peace. Interestingly, there was great aversion to the coin when it was first minted, as the timid public initially feared the novelty of the recessed images of the coin -- imagining them to provide a sort of breeding ground for bacteria. The reluctance of Americans to retain the coin for any extended period of time has had a lasting impact on the modern market for these coins, making it difficult to locate specimens in uncirculated condition. High gem grade $5 Indians are nearly impossible to find, and are valued at several thousand dollars apiece.