Striking Gold at Alderfer Auction

Striking Gold at Alderfer Auction

Alderfer acution gold coin

On Tuesday, December 7, 2021 Alderfer Auction’s Fine Arts Gold Coin auction will take place. The Alderfer Gold Coin event will have both US and foreign gold coins from 1791 to 1964, however, four of its featured coin selections will stand out to many U.S. coin collectors.

Indian Princess Gold Dollars were struck from 1854 to 1889, the second series for the denomination. The gold dollars were designed by the United States Mint Chief, James B. Longacre. The coins were struck at five different mint facilities including Philadelphia, Dahlonega, Charlotte, New Orleans, and San Francisco, although production would take place almost exclusively at the Philadelphia Mint after the start of the American Civil War. The 1882 Indian Princess gold dollars are a popular get for coin collectors who tend to collect pre-1933 US gold coins. Only a few thousand of the 1882 gold dollars were made, in fact, it is believed that many of these coins were immediately saved early on by coin collectors, meaning that there are more uncirculated gold dollars from the 1880s than circulated coins. This also means that many of hoarded gold dollars are in well-preserved condition, allowing many almost pristine examples for collectors today.

The obverse of this coin features a bust of Lady Liberty as a Native American Princess looking to the left as she wears a traditional feathered headdress. The headdress says “LIBERTY” on it. Encircling the portrait is the “United States of America”. The reverse of the coin has the denomination and year of mintage encircled by an agricultural wreath featuring products from both the Northern and Southern United States including wheat, corn, tobacco and cotton.

1882 $1 Indian Princess Gold Coin (left), 1880 $3 Indian Princess Gold Coin (right), Alderfer Auction

The $20 Liberty Gold Coin was first minted in 1850 and was minted through 1907. There were over one million coins of this type minted in Philadelphia, designed by US Mint Chief Longacre. The coin has three designated types, I, II and III.

1895 $20 Liberty Gold Coin, Alderfer Auction

From 1850-1866, the TI, called the “Without Motto” reverse, had approximately 23,539,300 coins produced by the Philadelphia, New Orleans, and San Francisco mints. The TII design included the motto “In God We Trust” added right above the eagle, this coin is known as the “With Motto.” The TIII, in 1877, had a minor change to the overall design had the word Dollars spelled in full where it was originally just a D. These coins continued to be made through 1907.

Type III $20 Liberty Gold Coin, reverse, A Brief History of US Dollar Coins (

The obverse of the $20 Liberty coin features the bust of Lady Liberty with coronet with the word "LIBERTY" inscribed in it. The perimeter displays thirteen stars representing the original thirteen colonies with the mint date appearing below the bust. The reverse features the image of a spread-winged eagle with a shield protecting its breast. Mint marks are located on the reverse below the eagle. (“THE SEVERAN TETRADRACHMS OF LAODICEA”) The mint marks are "CC" for Carson City, "D" for Denver, "O" for New Orleans and "S" for the San Francisco Mint, no mint mark means the coin was minted in Philadelphia. (“Investing In U.S. Morgan Silver Dollars”) The Liberty Head design was used on the $20 double eagles, $10 eagles, $5 half-eagles, and $2.50 quarter-eagles.

The Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle gold coin, also known as the double eagle, is one of the most sought-after coins on the market today. These coins are called double eagles since it has twice the value, meaning twice the value double the eagles. Saint-Gaudens coins were produced by the United States Mint from 1907 to 1933. The coin is named after its designer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and was created due to President Theodore Roosevelt’s wish to advance the aesthetic of U.S. coins as a whole. President Roosevelt hired Saint-Gaudens to design the coin and it is considered one of the most beautiful U.S. coins ever minted. Unfortunately, Saint-Gaudens passed away before his design went into production.

1907 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coin,

The coin had a high relief making it a difficult coin to strike. Due to this difficulty, the U.S. Mint chief engraver Charles Barber had to make some modifications to the design. This included lowering the relief so that it could be struck with a single blow. When the coin was finally released it was missing the “In God We Trust” motto. Congress made it so the motto was required for coinage in the U.S. This coin was used for international trade purposes, primarily, until the year 1933. The 1933 double eagle is one of the most valuable United States coins. In 2002, as an example of its value, the coin sold for $7,590,020.

Whether one calls it coin collecting or coin investing, there will be a plethora of choices in the Alderfer Auction Fine Arts Gold Coin event on December 7. 


By Melissa Jay