The Indian Head Half Eagle is one of the most famous and certainly one of the most talked about coins in American history. Designed by Bela Lyon Pratt, this solid gold $5 coin was introduced in 1908.Pratt's innovative approach was unique in the annals of U.S. Mint history for two reasons: first was the authentic and very realistic portrait of a Native American Chief on the obverse; second - and more importantly - the coins were the only ones in American history to have an "incused design. This means the coin's designs were recessed into the surface rather than raised above it. Panned by critics, but loved by collectors, Pratt's Indian Head design was used until 1929, when Congress officially ended production of $2.50 and $5 gold coins. In 1933, private ownership of all gold was banned inthe U.S. and most gold coins were confiscated and melted into gold bars. Unfortunately for coin collectors, very few of these historic half eagle gold coins survived this fate.
Today, most of these highly coveted coins are in museums or private collections and are nearly impossible to find. American Mint has been able to acquire a limited supply of these historic coins in "Extremely Fine condition.
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