James B. Longacre designed the first gold dollar in 1849 shortly after it was authorized by the Act of March 3, 1849. In 1854, Longacre restyled this Liberty Head gold dollar (referred to as a Type I gold dollar) to display an Indian Princess, creating the Indian Head Type II gold dollar.
Designs of the $1 Indian Gold Coin
$1 Gold Indian Head Type II - The design of the $1 Indian gold coin coin is very similar to that of the $3 Indian Princess. When the $1 Liberty gold coin was redesigned in 1854, the depiction of Lady Liberty changed dramatically. Before, the design of the Type I was very similar to that of the $20 Liberty, featuring Lady Liberty surrounded by 13 stars. The new Type II design featured Lady Liberty wearing a Native American headdress surrounded by the words 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.' A wreath encircles the denomination and date on the $1 Indian gold coin's back. This wreath is composed of tobacco, wheat, corn and cotton, the principal cash crops of the time.
$1 Gold Indian Head Type III - Due to difficulties involved in striking Type II $1 gold coins, Longacre chose to redesign the coins. In 1857, Indian Head Type III $1 gold coins were designed and minted. The redesign was intended to give the coin a sharper appearance although the design still closely resembled the Type II. Miss Liberty is still represented as an Indian Princess, but with slight changes to her headdress. The size of her head and the details on the wreath, denomination, and the date on the reverse were all enlarged.
$1 Indian Coin Minting Information - The Type II Indian Heads were minted only for only two years from 1854-1856. Design changes creating the Type III $1 Indian Head resulted in coins that could be struck properly. They were produced for over three decades between 1856 and 1889. These gold dollars were minted in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dahlonega, New Orleans, and San Francisco.