Classic Head $5 Gold Coins Perhaps one of the most interesting stories in all of American coinage, the Classic Head design was created out of necessity. Due to the influx of Silver coinage entering world markets, namely from Latin America, the price of Silver lowered relative to Gold, which in turn made U.S. Gold coinage worth more than its face value. People began hoarding these coins, refusing to spend them for this reason, hoping they'd continue to go up in value.
Instead, the Coinage Act of 1834 was introduced to Congress on August 1, 1834 that lowered the weight of the Gold Eagle, the Half Eagle and the Quarter Eagle. To help distinguish which coins were made with more Gold and which were not, the U.S. Mint prepared reverse dies that omitted the motto "E Pluribus Unum" and used an old John Reich design for its new obverse. This new design became known as the Classic Head design.
These Classic Head designs, however, were only used on Half and Quarter Eagles and only for six years. The Classic Head series was the first series to be struck at a branch mint and display branch mint mintmarks of Charlotte, Dahlonega and New Orleans. These particular pieces are always in demand.