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1908 - 1929 Half Eagle ($5.00)
Indian Half and Quarter Eagles were struck from 1908 through 1929 at the mints in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Only 3 coins have mintages below 100,000 coins. 1908 was the first year of the celebrated Bela Lyon Pratt incuse design, where the devices are in relief, but below the surface of the coin. The only other coin with this feature was the Quarter Eagle struck over the same years as the Half Eagle. Quantities of counterfeits reached the United States from Hong Kong in 1960 so certification is mandatory. The only great rarities of this design are the matte proofs, which were issued in very limited quantities. The design remained through 1929. After which, due to an inflated currency, most gold was coined into double eagles for international payments. They were unpopular because they are darker and more dull than business strikes. Many were melted in 1916 as unsold. This design is one of the more artistically pleasing among 20th century American coinages.