American Gold Eagles
Gold collectors and investors alike appreciate the rarity and value of the American Gold Eagle. Read on for information about the coin’s versions, design, history and forms, and present outlook.
The design of the American Gold Eagle is one of the most easily identifiable in the world. The obverse of the coin features Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ image of Lady Liberty, depicted with flowing hair, a torch in her right hand, an olive branch in her left, and the USA Capitol building in the left background.
The reverse of the coin (created by Sculptor Miley Busiek), depicts a male eagle with an olive branch in his talons, flying over a female eagle and her hatchlings in their nest. The reverse also displays text indicating the weight and face value of the coin. For example, the 1 oz. American Gold Eagle displays the following text on the reverse: 1 OZ. FINE GOLD~50 DOLLARS.
Both the obverse and reverse designs for the American Gold Eagle differ from the designs for the American Silver Eagles.
History and Forms
The American Gold Eagle debuted in 1986 as a result of the Gold Coin Bullion Act of 1985. Gold Eagles are produced in 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1 oz denominations, and the face value of these coins are, in order: $5, $10, $25, and $50.
There are two forms of Gold Eagles produced by the US Mint: brilliant uncirculated and proof. Brilliant uncirculated Gold Eagles are by far the more common form of the coin, and anytime you see a coin that isn’t listed as proof, it is safe to assume that it is brilliant uncirculated.
By law, all American Gold Eagles are composed of 91.67% gold from USA origin, which is combined with a small amount of silver (3%) and copper (5.33%) to produce a more durable coin.
American Gold Eagles production has remained fairly steady over the last four years, although it has trended down slightly since 2009. Typical production numbers for American Gold Eagles are slightly over 1,000,000 coins per year.