This Type has the legend, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, around the edge, not stars as on the previous Type. Liberty is still facing left with a coronet incused with LIBERTY. An Indian headdress was added to Liberty as a “national statement”. On the reverse is a more ornate wreath of corn, cotton, wheat and tobacco surrounding the denomination and the date. On branch Mint issues the mintmark is placed below the wreath.
The Mint knew the Type 1 Gold Dollar was just too small, and hence too easily lost or misplaced. Their answer was a coin 15% larger in diameter, but thinner so as to maintain the same gold content. The design is basically a modified version of the 1854 $3 gold piece.
The image of Liberty is taken from a Greco-Roman statue Venus Accroupie that was much admired by the designer James B. Longacre. The headdress, which gives the coin its moniker “Indian Princess Head”, has a long history in the medallic arts. This particular headdress had been used since the 1560s as a universally accepted symbol of American Indians. This coin is commonly referred to as the “Type 2 Gold Dollar”.
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