A popular way of collecting United States Gold coinage is to target the first year of issue for each series. Luckily, most first year issues are relatively affordable. They typically have higher mintages and, due to their first year status, were saved as souvenirs. For this reason, first year issues are often quite available and affordable. This article provides a list of interesting and reasonably priced first year of issue gold coins that can be had for $1500 or less.
1849 $1 Gold Dollar: This is a particularly historic coin, as it was produced as a direct result of the California gold rush. A tremendous amount of the yellow metal was flowing into the United States Mint – and the Gold Dollar was created to help convert the gold into coinage. Circulated examples are actually quite common and can be had for under $500 per coin.
1908 $2.50 Indian Quarter Eagle: This was the first year of Bela Lyon Pratt’s unusual incused Indian design. Being such an interesting and unique format, many Americans saved a 1908 Quarter Eagle as a souvenir. Consequently, this date is one of the most common in ultra-high grades like MS65 and MS66. It’s also a common date in all circulated grades. Even MS61-63 pieces sell for just $400-$900.
1854 $3 Gold Princess: The $3 gold princess is one of the most unusual and enigmatic coinage denominations. It was intended as a convenient way of acquiring postage stamps, which were three cents each at the time (and 100 to a sheet). 1854 $3 pieces sell for $1000-$1500 in circulated grades and $2500-$3500 in MS60-62.
1908 $5 Indian Half Eagle: Like its Quarter Eagle cousin, this coin is quite common both in average and high-end grades. Moderately worn pieces sell for just $400-$600 and respectable Uncirculated pieces cost well under $1000. It’s not until the MS65 grade level that this coin becomes quite expensive – a Gem piece will cost $7500-$9000.
1907 $10 Indian: Augustus St. Gaudens is known primarily for his 1907-1933 $20 Double Eagle design, but he also created the 1907-1933 $10 Eagle. The 1907 $10 Indian was struck in relatively large quantities and is quite common today. Lightly circulated specimens can be found for less than $1000 and even MS61 pieces will cost just $1250-$1500. Quite a few Gem MS65 coins are known to exist, but they trade for $7000-$9000 each.