American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins


The US Mint produces brilliant uncirculated and proof American Gold Eagles out of 22 karat (91.67% purity) gold. By law, the minted gold must come from sources in America. The coins are alloyed with 3% silver and 5.33% copper to make them more wear-resistant. Since 2006, a limited number of American Gold Eagles with a burnished finish is produced annually as well. These burnished coins have a matte-like appearance (which limits light glare) and bear the "W" mint mark for the West Point Mint (proof coins are mint-marked as well).

Design

The sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens created the design on the obverse side of the coin. This design featuring Lady Liberty goes back to the historic Saint Gaudens Gold Double Eagle, that was minted in the early 1900's. Lady Liberty's depiction with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left strongly resembles ancient Greek and Roman coins. Furthermore, the US Capitol building is depicted in the left background and the obverse side also shows the year the coin was minted.

The reverse side of the American Gold Eagle was designed by the sculptor Miley Busiek. Eagles are the official bird of the USA and her design features a male eagle with an olive branch in his talons above a nest with a female eagle and her hatchlings. The reverse side is also inscribed with the words “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust” as well as the weight and face value of the coin. The designs on the obverse and reverse of the American Gold Eagles are entirely different from those on the American Silver Eagles and American Platinum Eagles.

obverse side of the American Gold Eagle coins
obverse side of the American Gold Eagle. By United States Mint (United States Mint) [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Gold Purity: 91.67%

Weight Face Value Diameter x Thickness
1 oz US $ 50 32.70 x 2.87 mm
1/2 oz US $ 25 27 x 2.24 mm
1/4 oz US $ 10 22 x 1.83 mm
1/10 oz US $ 5 16.50 x 1.19 mm

reverse side of the American Gold Eagle coins
reverse side of the American Gold Eagle. By United States Mint (United States Mint) [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

History

During the 1970's and 1980's, the gold coin market was dominated by the South African Krugerrand (90% of the global gold coin market at that time) which wasn't widely available in western countries due to import restrictions that were a part of Apartheid sanctions. The American president Ronald Reagan signed the Gold Bullion Coin Act in 1985 that authorized the minting of the American Gold Eagle exclusively from gold mined in the United States. Production of the coins in the 4 different denominations started the following year and already totalled more than 3.6 million coins. Until 1991, American Gold Eagles were dated with Roman numerals. Since 1992, the coins have the year of mintage engraved in Arabic numbers on the obverse side.

Mintages

In general, more 1 oz American Gold Eagle coins are minted than smaller denomination coins. Production of the 1 oz coins varied between 140.016 coins in 2007 (143.605 coins in 2001 was the second lowest mintage) and 1.505.026 coins in 1999. However, actual mintage of 1/10 oz American Gold Eagles exceeded the mintage of the 1 oz coins in the years 1995 - 1996, 1999 - 2002, 2006 -2007 and 2014. In 1999, a staggering 2.750.338 American Gold Eagles of 1/10 oz were struck, by far the highest annual mintage of any of the four different denominations.

Click here to see a table with detailed mintage numbers. The US Mint also publishes mintage numbers online.

Special Editions and Sets

2009 ultra high-relief Double Eagle
obverse side of the 2009 ultra high relief American Double Eagle gold coin
reverse side of the 2009 ultra high relief American Double Eagle gold coin

Gold Purity: 99.99%

Weight Face Value Diameter x Thickness
1 oz US $ 20 27 x 4 mm

final mintage: 115,178 coins

designed like the Saint Gaudens Double Eagles with 2 changes:

  • 50 stars around the edge
  • date in Roman numerals

1993 Philadelphia Set
1993 5-Coin Proof Gold & Silver Philadelphia Set

total gold weight: 0.85 oz

total silver weight: 1.7734 oz

This unique set contains 5 proof coins that were issued by the Philadelphia branch of the US Mint: the American Gold Eagles in the 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/2 oz denomination, the 1 oz American Silver Eagle and the U.S. Mint Philadelphia Bicentennial Medal (see obverse and reverse design)

10th Anniversary Set 1995
1995 5-Coin Proof Gold & Silver 10th Anniversary Set

total gold weight: 1.85 oz

total silver weight: 1 oz

The 10th Anniversary Set is composed of 5 proof coins by the West Point branch of the US Mint: the American Gold Eagles in all its 4 sizes (1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz) plus the rare 1995-W 1 oz American Silver Eagle (only 30,125 coins minted with W mintmark)

1997 Impressions of Liberty Set
1997 3-Coin Proof Gold & Silver Impressions of Liberty Set

total gold weight: 1 oz

total silver weight: 1 oz

total platinum weight: 1 oz

The Impressions of Liberty Set contains the 3 proof American Eagles in gold, silver and platinum, all in the 1 oz denomination. The coins are mintmarked with the W for the West Point branch of the US Mint.

20th Anniversary Sets 2006
2006 2-Coin Gold & Silver 20th Anniversary Set

3 coin Gold Set:

uncirculated & proof & reverse proof Gold Eagle (all 1 oz)

2 coin Gold & Silver Set:

uncirculated Gold & Silver Eagle (both 1 oz)

3 coin Silver Set:

uncirculated & proof & reverse proof Silver Eagle (all 1 oz)

2008 Double Prosperity Set
2008 2-Coin Gold Double Prosperity Set

total gold weight: 1 oz

The Double Prosperity Set is made up of the burnished 1/2 oz American Gold Eagle and the uncirculated 1/2 oz American Gold Buffalo coin. Both coins bear the W mint mark for the West Point branch of the US Mint. The set commemorates the auspicious date of August 8th 2008 (8-8-08)

obverse side of the 2006 American Silver Eagle proof coin
reverse side of the 2006 American Silver Eagle proof coin

American Silver Eagle Coins

The United States Mint produces the American Silver Eagle coins since 1986 as well. The coins out of 99.9% fine silver are only available in the 1 oz denomination (face value US $ 1) with brilliant uncirculated, proof (no proof coins in 2009) and burnished uncirculated (2006 - 2008 and since 2011) finishes. The American Silver Eagles are larger (40.6 mm diameter) and thicker (2.98 mm thickness) than the gold coins.

Unusual for bullion coins is that the silver version of the coins has a totally different design. The obverse side depicts Lady Liberty in stride towards the rising sun. She carries branches of laurel and oak in one arm and stretches out the other. The design of the obverse side goes back to Adolph A. Weinman's design of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar coin (minted between 1916 and 1947). The year of minting and the words "Liberty" and "In God We Trust" are engraved on the obverse as well.

John Mercanti's design of the reverse side depicts an eagle with an olive branch in its right and arrows in its left talon behind a shield. The thirteen stars above the eagle represent the thirteen original colonies. The reverse also has the words "United States of America", "E Pluribus Unum", "1 oz. Fine Silver" and "One Dollar" inscribed. Proof and burnished uncirculated coins also bear a mintmark.

proof Platinum Eagle designs:

American Platinum Eagle Coins

The American Platinum Eagle coins were first produced by the US Mint in 1997. The 99.95% fine platinum coins are available in denominations of 1 oz (US $ 100), 1/2 oz (US $ 50), 1/4 oz (US $ 25) and 1/10 oz (US $ 10) with brilliant uncirculated, proof and burnished uncirculated finishes. The obverse side of the coins shows a close-up portrait of Lady Liberty. A unique feature for U.S. bullion coins is that proof American Platinum Eagles have a different design on their reverse side each year.

obverse side of the 2014 American Platinum Eagle coin
reverse side of the 2014 American Platinum Eagle coin
gold vs. silver

Where to buy?

1 oz Gold Eagle coin
reverse side of the 1 oz American Gold Eagle coin
available Dealers:

Money Metals Exchange

Buy Random Year coin
for about $ 1,324.07

BGASC

Buy Random Year coin or 2016 coin
for about $ 1,314.85
1/2 oz Gold Eagle coin
reverse side of the 1/2 oz American Gold Eagle coin
available Dealers:

Money Metals Exchange

Buy Random Year coin
for about $ 682.62

BGASC

Buy Random Year coin or 2016 coin
for about $ 680.32
1/4 oz Gold Eagle coin
reverse side of the 1/4 oz American Gold Eagle coin
available Dealers:

Money Metals Exchange

Buy Random Year coin
for about $ 347.35

BGASC

Buy Random Year coin or 2016 coin
for about $ 352.32
1/10 oz Gold Eagle coin
reverse side of the 1/10 oz American Gold Eagle coin
available Dealers:

Money Metals Exchange

Buy Random Year coin
for about $ 147.15

BGASC

Buy Random Year coin or 2016 coin
for about $ 144.56
1 oz Silver Eagle coin
obverse side of the 1 oz American Silver Eagle coin
available Dealers:

Money Metals Exchange

Buy Random Year coin
for about $ 20.99

BGASC

Buy 2016 coin
for about $ 20.47
20 oz Silver Eagle Roll
US Mint Roll containing 20 American Silver Eagle coins
available Dealers:

BGASC

Buy 2016 coins
for about $ 409.40
500 oz Silver Eagle Box
US Mint Box containing 500 American Silver Eagle coins
available Dealers:

BGASC

Buy 2016 coins
for about $ 9,829.00