American Platinum Eagle Coins

platinum coin icon USA flag icon Platinum Eagles - America's official platinum bullion coin

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 (only between 2006 and 2008) finishes. Proof and burnished coins are mintmarked (with the W for the West Point Mint) whereas brilliant uncirculated coins are not.

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. That same proof design also appeared on the collectible burnished coins (better strike and finish than brilliant uncirculated bullion coins) that were only minted for three years from 2006 to 2008. The regular reverse design of an eagle in flight is used on brilliant uncirculated coins. Platinum Eagles can be included in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's).

obverse side of the 2014 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz American Platinum Eagle coin
reverse side of the 2014 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz American Platinum Eagle coin

Coin Specifications

Weight Face Value Purity Diameter x Thickness
1 oz US $ 100 99.95% 32.70 x 2.39 mm
1/2 oz US $ 50 99.95% 27 x 1.75 mm
1/4 oz US $ 25 99.95% 22 x 1.32 mm
1/10 oz US $ 10 99.95% 16.50 x 0.95 mm

Reverse Design of American Platinum Eagle Proof Coins

Design

The same John Mercanti who designed the reverse side of the American Silver Eagles also designed the obverse of the platinum version of the coin. Lady Liberty is shown in a close-up portrait with the word LIBERTY above her head. "E Pluribus Unum" is engraved near the coin's bottom left edge and the year of mintage as well as the phrase "In God We Trust" appears to the right of Lady Liberty's head. The obverse design is meant to represent "Liberty Looking to the Future".

Thomas D. Rogers designed the reverse side of the regular bullion version of the coins. It shows an eagle with outstretched wings soaring through the sky above a small crop of land. The low-lying sun with its gleaming rays appears in the background. "United States of America" is engraved above the flying eagle. This standard design has appeared on brilliant uncirculated coins every year since. It only appeared on proof coins in 1997 though. Information about the purity of the coins, face value and denomination also appears on the reverse. Additionally, proof and burnished coins display a mintmark.

Since 1998, all four denominations of proof American Platinum Eagles feature a different yearly design on their reverse. That makes these proof coins special because no other coins minted by the United States Mint change their reverse design every year. However, the burnished coins that were minted between 2006 and 2008 used the proof coins' reverse design of these years.

All special reverse designs of proof Platinum Eagles can be seen above this box. Whereas some annual proof editions have their own unique theme, others display a design that is a part of a multi-year program. The proof coins between 1998 and 2002 were designed under the "Vistas of Liberty" program. Each of these five coins showed the American eagle in the midst of a different natural scenery that is reminiscent of a certain region of the USA. The reverse design of the three proof coins between 2006 and 2008 represented the three branches of government under the "Foundations of Democracy" program. The six proof coins since 2009 were inspired by the Preamble to the United States Constitution and visualized concepts of American democracy. The 2015 and 2016 proof coins make up the 2-coin "Torches of Freedom" series that features Lady Liberty in modern interpretations. "Liberty Nurtures Freedom" was the theme of the 2015 coin that showed Lady Liberty hand-feeding an American bald eagle that sits on the globe. The 2016 proof Platinum Eagle shows Liberty with a torch of enlightenment in her right hand and an olive branch (that represents peace) in her left. A bald eagle flies close by under her gaze.

History

Three institutions worked together to make America's first platinum bullion coin a reality. These were the United States Mint, the American Numismatic Association and the Platinum Guild International. The legislation process that led to the creation of the American Platinum Eagle started in 1995. The American Congress gave its authorization in 1996 and 1997 already saw the release of the first Platinum American Eagles in the denominations of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. To this day, the coins are the only official platinum bullion coins that are minted in the USA.

The last year that all four denominations of the American Platinum Eagle were minted was 2008. Since then, only 1 oz coins were struck. Whereas the mintage of 1 oz proof coins was never interrupted, mintage of 1 oz brilliant uncirculated coins stopped between 2009 and 2013 and again in 2015. Burnished uncirculated Platinum Eagles were only produced between 2006 and 2008 in all four denominations.

In 2007, the US Mint inadvertently released a very small number of pre-production proof strikes. On these proof coins, the word "Freedom" on the reverse appears frosted like the rest of the raised design. A die polishing error was the cause for this mistake. On all the other proof Platinum Eagles that were released that year, the word "Freedom" appears mirrorlike like the rest of the coin field that surrounds the frosted raised design in the middle.

Mintages

Annual mintage of American Platinum Eagles was always low in comparison to the silver or gold version of the coins. The mintage record for brilliant uncirculated coins is 133,002 (1 oz coins in 1998) whereas only 6,000 such coins were minted in 2006.

Proof coin mintage varied between 3,886 coins (1 oz in 2015) and 36,993 coins (1/10 oz in 1997). Burnished uncirculated American Platinum Eagles were only minted in the years 2006 - 2008. The 2,253 half-ounce burnished coins that were minted in 2008 are the rarest of all Platinum Eagle types. The largest annual output of the burnished coin type was set in 2007 with 5,556 pieces of 1/10 oz.

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

American Gold Eagles

The US Mint produces American Gold Eagles since 1986 with an obverse design that depicts Lady Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left. This design is reminiscent of the historic Saint Gaudens Double Eagles. The 91.67% pure gold coins exist with brilliant uncirculated, proof and burnished (only between 2006 and 2008) finishes. Four denominations of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz are available. Gold Eagles count among the most popular gold coins. By law, the gold that is used to mint American Gold Eagles must have been mined in the United States.

The American Gold Eagle page gives more information about the coins and allows you to compare current prices.

obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz American Silver 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.

The American Silver Eagle page gives more information about the coins and allows you to compare current prices.

obverse side of the 2017 issue of the brilliant uncirculated 1 oz American Palladium 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.

The American Palladium Eagle page gives more information about the coins.

Special American Platinum Eagle Sets

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

Inaugural 4-Coin Uncirculated American Platinum Eagle Set 1997

Inaugural Uncirculated 4-Coin Set 1997

total platinum weight: 1.85 oz

In the first year of issue of the American Platinum Eagle, all four brilliant uncirculated coins of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz were sold in a special presentation box with a certificate of authenticity. Only 2,500 such sets exist.

2008 4-Coin American Platinum Eagle Proof Set

4-Coin Proof Sets 1997 - 2008

total platinum weight: 1.85 oz

All four denominations of the American Platinum Eagle were only issued between 1997 and 2008. A 4-coin proof set containing one proof coin of every denomination was issued in those years in a box with a certificate of authenticity.

10th Anniversary American Platinum Eagle 2-Coin Proof Set 2007

10th Anniversary 2-Coin Proof Set 2007

total platinum weight: 1 oz

For the 10th Anniversary of the US Mint's American Platinum Eagle Program in 2007, a special 2-coin proof set was issued. It includes two 1/2 oz coins, one with a proof and the other with a reverse proof finish. A total of 19,583 such sets were sold.