American gold eagle

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For the pre-1933 U.S. gold coin, see Eagle (United States coin).
Gold Eagle (United States)
Edge Reeded
Composition 91.67% Au 3% Ag 5.33% Cu
Years of minting 1986–present bullion

1986–present proof

2006–present uncirculated

Obverse
Liberty $50 Obverse.png
Design: Liberty
Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Reverse
Liberty $50 Reverse.png
Design Eagle soaring above a nest
Designer Miley Busiek
Design date 1986

The American gold eagle is an official gold bullion coin of the United States. Authorized under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985, it was first released by the United States Mint in 1986. Because the term "eagle" also is the official United States designation for pre-1933 ten dollars gold coins, the weight of the bullion coin is typically used when describing American gold eagles (e.g., "1/2-ounce American gold eagle") to avoid confusion. This is particularly true with the 1/4-oz American gold eagle, which has a marked face value of ten dollars.

Details[edit]

Offered in 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1 oz denominations, these coins are guaranteed by the U.S. government to contain the stated amount of actual gold weight in troy ounces. By law, the gold must come from sources in America, alloyed with silver and copper to produce a more wear-resistant coin.

The 22 kt gold alloy is an English standard traditionally referred to as "crown gold". Crown gold alloys had not been used in U.S. coins since 1834, with the gold content having dropped since 1837 to a standard of 0.900 fine for U.S. gold coins. For American gold eagles the gold fraction was increased again to .9167 or (22 karat). It is authorized by the United States Congress and is backed by the United States Mint for weight and content.

The obverse design features a rendition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' full length figure of Lady Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left, with the Capitol building in the left background. The design is taken from the $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coin which was commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt to create coins like the ancient Greek and Roman coins.[1] The reverse design, by sculptor Miley Busiek, features a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying above a nest containing a female eagle and her hatchlings.

Value[edit]

The market value of the coins is generally about equal to the market value of their gold content, not their face value. Like all commodities, this value fluctuates with market forces. The face values are proportional to the weights except for the 1/4 oz coin. Their actual selling prices vary based on the current spot price of gold. The United States Mint also produces proof and uncirculated versions for coin collectors. These coins are produced at the West Point Mint in West Point, New York. The proof and uncirculated versions carry the mint's mark ("W") beneath the date.

Specifications[edit]

Each of the four sizes contains 91.67% gold (22 karat), 3% silver, and 5.33% copper.

1/10 troy oz coin
Diameter: 16.50 mm
Thickness: 1.19 mm
Gross weight: 0.1091 troy oz (3.393 g)
Face value: $5
1/4 troy oz coin
Diameter: 22 mm
Thickness: 1.83 mm
Gross weight: 0.2727 troy oz (8.483 g)
Face value: $10
1/2 troy oz coin
Diameter: 27 mm
Thickness: 2.24 mm
Gross weight: 0.5454 troy oz (16.965 g)
Face value: $25
1 troy oz coin
Diameter: 32.70 mm
Thickness: 2.87 mm
Gross weight: 1.0909 troy oz (33.930 g)
Face value: $50

Gold eagles minted 1986–1991 are dated with Roman numerals. In 1992, the U.S. Mint switched to Arabic numbers for dating gold eagles.

The 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 troy oz coins are identical in design to the 1 troy oz coin except for the markings on the reverse side that indicate the weight and face value of the coin (for example, 1 OZ. fine gold~50 dollars).

These bullion coins carry face values of $5, $10, $25, and $50. These are their legal values reflecting their issue and monetized value as coins. They are legal tender[2] for all debts public and private at their face values. These face values do not reflect their intrinsic value which is much greater and is mainly dictated by their troy weight and the current precious metal price. In 2012 the U.S. Mint sold the 2012 one ounce coin ($50 face value) at $1,835.00.[3]

Mintage[edit]

Mintage for bullion coins 1986-2014.[4]

Year 1 oz. 1/2 oz. 1/4 oz. 1/10 oz.
1986 1,362,650 599,566 726,031 912,609
1987 1,045,500 131,255 269,255 580,266
1988 465,500 45,000 49,000 159,500
1989 415,790 44,829 81,789 264,790
1990 373,210 31,000 41,000 210,210
1991 243,100 24,100 36,100 165,200
1992 275,000 54,404 59,546 209,300
1993 480,192 73,324 71,864 210,709
1994 221,663 62,400 72,650 206,380
1995 200,636 53,474 83,752 223,025
1996 189,148 39,287 60,318 401,964
1997 664,508 79,605 108,805 528,515
1998 1,468,530 169,029 309,829 1,344,520
1999 1,505,026 263,013 564,232 2,750,338
2000 433,319 79,287 128,964 569,153
2001 143,605 48,047 71,280 269,147
2002 222,029 70,027 62,027 230,027
2003 416,032 79,029 74,029 245,029
2004 417,019 98,040 72,014 250,016
2005 356,555 80,023 72,015 300,043
2006 237,510 66,005 60,004 285,006
2007 140,016 47,002 34,004 190,010
2008 710,000 61,000 70,000 305,000
2009 1,493,000 110,000 110,000 270,000
2010 1,125,000 81,000 86,000 435,000
2011 857,000 70,000 80,000 350,000
2012 675,000 43,000 90,000 290,000
2013 758,500 57,000 114,500 555,000
2014 425,000 35,000 90,000 545,000

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]