When the California Gold Rush hit the U.S. in 1849, miners and prospectors were overloaded with so much gold that they required a practical use for it. This prompted Congress to pass legislation authorizing the use of two new coins, the Gold Liberty dollar and the $20 Double Eagle.
The task of designing both of these coins fell to the Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, James B. Longacre. On the obverse of the first (Type 1) gold dollar, Longacre featured a left-facing portrait of Lady Liberty wearing a coronet inscribed with LIBERTY, and on the reverse a foliage wreath encircles the denomination 1 DOLLAR and the year of issue. However, from the moment of its circulation, this coin was considered impractical for use due to its small size. Type 1 had a diameter of only 13mm and a total weight of 1.672 grams and was discontinued after only six years, making way for its replacement — the Type 2 Indian Princess Head.
Rather than change the weight of the coin, it was decided by the new Director of the Mint, James Ross Snowden, that Type 2 would be broader and therefore thinner. Type 2 has a diameter of 15mm. The design on the obverse of the coin changed to what would come to be known as the "Indian Princess," and historians have come to assume that this portrait was based on a Roman figure, namely the Crouching Venus sculpture that was on display at the Philadelphia Mint. On the reverse of the coin, the simple wreath that had featured on Type 1 was changed to incorporate produce from the North and South — cotton, wheat and tobacco are a few things which make up the agricultural wreath.
Once again, Type 2 did not prove a success. Its design was proven difficult to strike because its relief was so thin and it was not durable while in circulation. Hence, like its predecessor, it was soon replaced after three years, and in 1856, Type 3 was introduced. Although the design remained the same as Type 2, his final type rectified the wear problem, reducing the relief and slightly increasing the size of the portrait. Longacre also moved the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA closer to the border on the obverse of the coin.
Type 3 dollars are for more plentiful in choice mint condition than the earlier types, as this type ran for almost three decades until the denomination was discontinued in 1889. It lived through some of the most turbulent periods of U.S. history including the American Civil War, the Reconstruction Era and the Indian Wars in the West. This is a common date coin meaning it was produced in a year with a high production rate. It comes in guaranteed About Uncirculated condition meaning it has wear ranging from extremely light to only a trace of friction.
Features of the Common Date $1 Gold Princess Type 3 AU:
Minted in the United States
Certification: About Uncirculated (wear ranging from extremely light to only a trace of friction)
Reverse: An agricultural wreath encircling the denomination and the year of issue
Obverse: Left-facing portrait of an Indian Princess
Orders placed for products that are not a specific year will be fulfilled with coins of any date, based on availability. Orders of multiple coins may be filled with the same year or a variety of years.