Alaska Eskimo

Types for the series are listed below.

Alaska Eskimo One
Alaska Eskimo 1/2
Alaska Eskimo 1/4

The obverse design features an eskimo facing right wearing a parka. The reverse depicts a sunrise above a lake or sea, with a wreath along the lower border and the legend ALASKA GOLD on the upper border. The denomination (ONE, 1/2, or 1/4) is found on the lower central reverse, between the sea and the wreath.

Burnie is the earliest published source for the statement that the 1911 date represents the "golden anniversary" of the discovery of gold by Alaska Eskimos in 1861. This dubious factoid is repeated in both editions of Hibler-Kappen. Cursory internet research via Wikipedia indicates no gold discovery in Alaska prior to 1883, and it is difficult to imagine Eskimo prospectors at a time when Alaska still belonged to Russia. The U.S. purchased Alaska from the Russians in 1867, for a piddly $7,200,000.

Burnie was the first author to describe varieties for the Alaska Eskimo series. On pages 73 to 74, Burnie lists nine different marriages, only one of which (E-6) matches any of the five known die pairings. For all of Burnie's non-existent varieties, either the Eskimo faces left, or is flanked by 10 stars. With the exception of AERH-2, which has 10 stars, all known varieties have 11 stars surrounding a head facing right.

Gould-Bressett incorporate some of Burnie's non-existent Head Left varieties, but benefit from photos of the three collectible die varieties. Gould and Bressett describe the Eskimo as looking to his left or right, but the Eskimo is staring straight ahead, from his or her perspective.

Hibler-Kappen also repeats Burnie's errors, but AERD-1 is often attributed as HK-850, despite its errant description of the bust facing left.

The Alaska Eskimo series was later included in the M.E. Hart's Coins of the Golden West set formed by Farran Zerbe, and sold during (or shortly after) the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

The reverse design of the Alaska Eskimo type is imitated by the rare AIRD-3 die variety.

There are 12 types in the complete "Hart Set." Among those, the Alaska Eskimo is traditionally regarded as the rarest of the dozen, and is priced accordingly. But it is the belief of the writer that the Oregon Indian series is rarest, and the Alaska Eskimo takes the bronze medal.