Previous Date | Next Date | Indian Head Eagles by Date | Eagles by Type
Previous Coin on the "Cool Coins" Tour
| Next Coin on the "Cool Coins" Tour

Obverse of 1933 Eagle     Reverse of 1933 Eagle


PCGS No: 8885


Circulation strikes: 312,500 (most were destroyed)
Proofs: 0

Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Diameter: 26.8 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10% 

Weight: 258 grains (16.7 grams)

Edge: Raised stars

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia) below the eagle on the reverse

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

"In an effort to help reverse the tide of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt issued Presidential Order 6260 in March 1933 halting the release of gold coins from the Mint. Although the executive order largely failed in its original task, it did create several noteworthy rarities in the 20th century gold series. Most notable among these are the 1933 eagle and the 1933 double eagle. While the latter issue is not believed to have been released before the president's declaration and, as such, is prohibitively rare, 1933 Indian eagles are obtainable, albeit very scarce, and always realize strong prices whenever a survivor appears on the market."

"Following its sizeable mintage of 4,463,000 pieces in 1932, the Philadelphia Mint opened 1933 with a respectable delivery of 312,500 eagles in January and February. A few of these coins, perhaps 30-40 pieces, were legally released through regular channels at this time. The aforementioned presidential order of March not only halted gold coin production, but prompted the Philadelphia Mint to melt all remaining 1933 eagles. Fewer than 30 survivors came to light in an east coast hoard circa 1952. Although a few more individual coins have since turned up in French and Swiss banks, the 1933 still retains the honor of being the rarest Indian eagle in all grades."

"While all known 1933 eagles are Uncirculated, most specimens display heavily abraded surfaces."

- from the description of Lot 7627 in Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach" Sale, June 8-10, 2000

The finest examples graded by PCGS are 6 MS-65's.

Significant examples:
NGC MS-65.  Possibly Kruthoffer collection - Stack's 10/2004:2190, $718,750 - Legend Numismatics (on behalf of a client).  This was the finest example known at the time of the sale and the selling price set a new record for the denomination.

PCGS MS-65.  Ex: Breen 2 Sale (Pine Tree, 1975), Lot 328, sold for $46,000 - Stanley Kesselman - Robert E. Kruthoffer, Jr. Collection (Paramount, 9/81), Lot 65, sold for $79,000. - East Coast family - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach" Sale, June 8-10, 2000, Lot 7627, "...frosty, essentially mark-free features that are indicative of the Gem level. In this regard, the coin is the equal of the specimen that appeared as lot 873 in Eliasberg's United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers & Ruddy, 10/82). Mottled copper overtones interrupt the otherwise soft, green-gold coloration. The strike is razor sharp throughout and every last feature is readily appreciable. A small diagonal abrasion in the reverse field above the P in PLURIBUS is a useful pedigree marker", sold for $207,000

PCGS MS-65 (illustrated below).  Ex - Superior Galleries' "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 891, "PCGS Holder #4946164", plated, unsold

PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Stack's "William Thomas Michaels", January 21, 2004, Lot 3032, illustrated, no prior pedigree, sold for $150,000.00

"Very Choice Brilliant Uncirculated".  Ex - Sotheby's / Stack's "Dallas Bank Collection", October 29-30, 2001, Lot 599, sold for $149,500.00.  Small contact mark on Liberty's cheekbone, tiny cut across NU of UNUM, extending to the B of PLURIBUS, heavier cut on the eagle's "shoulder", tiny horizontal mark on the left side of the eagle's neck.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

The PCGS Population Report, January 2004" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

Obverse of 1933 Eagle     Reverse of 1933 Eagle

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries