American Gold Eagle Coins

gold coin icon USA flag icon American Eagle Coins - the US Mint's most popular gold coins

When you buy gold in the form of American Gold Eagle coins, you buy a piece of history. The coins proudly display America's icon of liberty, Lady Liberty, in a design that goes back to Augustus Saint-Gaudens original 1907 design of the Saint Gaudens Gold Double Eagles. The better durability of the coins (especially scratch resistance) is another feature that makes the American Eagle Coins very popular with precious metal investors worldwide.

The American Gold Eagle coin is minted out of 91.67% pure gold. Bullion coins of this level of purity are also referred to as 22 karat gold coins. Gold Eagles are alloyed with 3% silver and 5.33% copper which makes them more durable than the softer 24 karat gold coins. By law, the gold that is used to mint Gold American Eagles must have been mined in the United States. The American government guarantees the weight, metal content and purity of Gold American Eagle coins. American consumers that are investing in gold for their retirements can include the coins in their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's).

The US Mint produces the American Gold Eagles in four different denominations from 1 oz to 1/10 oz with both brilliant uncirculated and proof finishes. The coins have the status of legal tender in the US. The American Gold Eagle was also minted in limited numbers with a burnished finish in the same four denominations between 2006 and 2008. 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 bear the same mint mark). Burnished American Eagle gold coins are minted again since 2011 but only as 1 oz coins.

obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Gold American Eagle coins
reverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz American Gold Eagle coins

Coin Specifications

Weight Face Value Purity Diameter x Thickness
1 oz US $ 50 91.67% 32.70 x 2.87 mm
1/2 oz US $ 25 91.67% 27 x 2.24 mm
1/4 oz US $ 10 91.67% 22 x 1.83 mm
1/10 oz US $ 5 91.67% 16.50 x 1.19 mm

Gold Eagle Coin 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 coins was designed by the sculptor Miley Busiek (now named Miley Tucker-Frost after marriage). 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 design of both sides of the gold version of the American Eagle Coins is entirely different from that on the American Silver Eagles, American Platinum Eagles or American Palladium Eagles.

History of the Gold American Eagles

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 coin exclusively from gold mined in the USA. The United States Mint started production of the coins in the four different denominations the following year and already sold more than 3.6 million coins.

The first years' issues of the Gold American Eagles were dated with Roman numerals. Since 1992, the coins have the year of mintage engraved in Arabic numbers on the obverse side.

Mintage Numbers

In general, more 1 oz Gold American 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 Eagle Gold coins of the 1/10 oz denomination were struck, by far the highest annual mintage of any of the four different denominations.

obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Silver American Eagle coin
reverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz American Silver Eagle coin

American Silver Eagles

The US Mint produces the American Silver Eagles since 1986. The coins are minted out of 99.9% fine silver and are offered with brilliant uncirculated, proof (no proof coins in 2009) and burnished uncirculated (2006 - 2008 and since 2011) finishes. Whereas the gold version of the coins is minted in four different denominations, Silver Eagles exist only as 1 oz coins. Another unusual feature for bullion coins is that the silver coins bear a totally different design (on both sides!) than their gold counterparts. The obverse side of the coins uses Adolph A. Weinman's famous "Walking Liberty" design that depicts Lady Liberty in stride towards the rising sun.

You can compare prices and buy the silver version of the coins on the American Silver Eagle page.

obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Platinum American Eagle coin
reverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz American Platinum Eagle coin

American Platinum Eagles

The US Mint produces the American Platinum Eagles since 1997. The coins are minted out of 99.95% fine platinum in the sizes of 1 oz (US $ 100 face value), 1/2 oz (US $ 50), 1/4 oz (US $ 25) and 1/10 oz (US $ 10). Buyers can choose between brilliant uncirculated and proof coins with the latter bearing the mint mark W for the West Point branch of the US Mint. Lady Liberty is portrayed in close-up on the obverse side of the coins and an eagle in flight is shown on the reverse. However, proof coins display a different unique reverse design each year. Burnished uncirculated coins (also with the W mint mark) were minted between 2006 and 2008 and displayed the same reverse design as the proof coins in these years.

You can compare prices and buy the platinum version of the coins on the American Platinum Eagle page.

obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz Palladium American Eagle coin
reverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz American Palladium Eagle coin

American Palladium Eagles

The American Palladium Eagles are the US Mint's latest addition to the American Eagle bullion coin series. The first 15,000 brilliant uncirculated coins were issued on the 25th of September 2017 and proof coins are scheduled to be first released in 2018. Burnished uncirculated coins may also be released at a later time. All American Palladium Eagle coins are minted out of 99.95% fine palladium in the single size of 1 oz (US $ 25 face value). A young Lady Liberty wearing a winged Phrygian cap is depicted on the obverse side of the coins. The reverse shows an eagle perched upon a rock and holding an olive branch in its beak. The high-relief design of both sides was originally created by Adolph A. Weinman, one of the most famous American coin designers.

You can learn more about the palladium version of the coins on the American Palladium Eagle page.

American Eagle Gold Coin Sets / Special Issues

obverse side of the 2009 issue of the ultra high relief 1 oz Gold American Double Eagle coin
reverse side of the 2009 issue of the ultra high relief 1 oz American Double Eagle gold coin

2009 ultra high-relief Double Eagle

Purity: 99.99% (24 karat gold)

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

final mintage: 115,178 coins

The ultra high-relief American Double Eagle coins that were issued in 2009 are designed almost exactly like the Saint Gaudens Double Eagles. The only two differences concern the displayed date and the number of stars around the edge. All the 2009 Double Eagles have the date engraved in Roman numerals whereas only the first 12,367 Saint Gaudens Double Eagles that were minted in 1907 display the date in this way. Furthermore, the 2009 Double Eagles have 50 stars around the coin's edge whereas the Saint Gaudens Double Eagles displayed 46 stars from 1907 until 1911 and 48 stars thereafter.

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

1993 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.

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

10th Anniversary Set 1995

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 Eagle 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 3-Coin Proof Gold & Silver Impressions of Liberty American Eagle Coin Set

1997 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.

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

20th Anniversary Sets 2006

3 coin Gold Set:

1 oz uncirculated & proof & reverse proof Gold Eagle

2 coin Gold & Silver Set:

1 oz uncirculated Gold & Silver Eagle

3 coin Silver Set:

1 oz uncirculated & proof & reverse proof Silver Eagle

2008 2-Coin Gold American Eagle Double Prosperity Set

2008 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).