2 Gold Dollars: James B. Longacre designed
the Indian Head, Small Head or Type 2 gold dollar. It had
the same weight and fineness as the Type 1 or Liberty Head
dollar, but the diameter was increased from 13 millimeters
to 15 millimeters. It was minted from 1854 to 1856, when
the Type 3 design supplanted it. The Type 2 coins had striking
problems because they were often softly struck in the centers,
so much so that the date on uncirculated coins was at times
unreadable. The branch mint issues of 1855 are especially
weakly struck with Full Details coins being almost unavailable.
Longacre used the Indian Princess motif
for this issue. It shows a left facing Liberty in profile
wearing a stylized feathered headdress. LIBERTY is on the
headband, and her curls flow down to the truncation. UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA is at the periphery surrounding Liberty.
The reverse has an elaborate, closed wreath of corn, cotton,
maple, and tobacco tied with a bow and knot at the bottom.
Within the wreath is the denomination written as 1 DOLLAR
on two lines with the date below it. The mintmark is below
the bow knot.
To remedy the problem of the poorly struck
Indian Princess dollars, Longacre designed the Type 3 piece,
which is similar to the Type 2 but has lower relief; the
obverse head was moved so as not to be opposite a reverse
relief area. The Type 3 coin is also called the Large Head.