Initially released in 1986, the Gold American Eagle the United States' official gold bullion coin. The Gold American Eagle comes in four different sizes and this is the smallest version of this coin. Weighing about a tenth of a troy ounce, it is more modestly-sized than a dime and has a face value of $5.
The Gold American Eagle was first produced as a result of 1985's Gold Bullion Coin Act, which the United States Congress passed to allow the government to mint gold bullion coins similar to the Krugerrand, a South African gold bullion coin which had risen to global popularity.
The coin uses a 22 karat gold alloy which, prior to 1986, had not been featured in United States coins since 1984. This alloy has often been referred to as "crown gold." This type of gold can be traced back to England during the reign of King Henry VIII, when it was used to provide more wear-resistant gold sovereign coins than the 23 karat gold coins that had previously been circulating in the country.
While this Gold American Eagle bullion coin is, through an inscription on the coin itself, declared to contain 1/10 on an ounce of fine gold, it actually includes - to be more precise - 0.1091 troy ounces of 91.7 percent pure gold. This level of purity, affected by the inclusion of alloyed copper and silver, is meant to give the coin better scuff-resistance.
This Gold American Eagle is, like every other version of this bullion coin, also noteworthy for its design. That design incorporates, on the obverse, the figure of Lady Liberty stepping forward while holding a torch in one hand and an olive branch in the other. This symbol has, for centuries, been used to symbolize peace in various Western countries.
When the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens originally produced this design, the U.S. government's intention was for national coins to bear a strong similarity to ancient Roman and Greek coins. This design of a walking Liberty debuted on what has become known as the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle coin, which was minted from 1907 until 1933.
The Gold American Eagle coin's reverse depicts another long-enduring symbol of the United States: a bald eagle. The most visually prominent eagle in the reverse design crafted by Miley Busiek is a male eagle in flight as it carries an olive branch before a female eagle who is in a nest with two eaglets.
Gold American Eagle Coin Highlights
- Gross weight of 0.1091 troy oz.
- Inscribed year will be random and based on availability
- Obverse: Lady Liberty holding a torch and olive branch, the word "LIBERTY" and the year are inscribed
- Reverse: A male Eagle returning to the nest with a female eagle and eaglet, the weight of the coin, and the face value are inscribed
- U.S. Mint
- Face Value: $5
Why Invest in the Gold American Eagle Coin?
A $5 Gold American Eagle bullion coin, which measures 16.5 millimeters in diameter and 1.26 millimeters in thickness, can be a great buy for diversifying an investment portfolio. Its resilience against the possibility of scuffing also means that once it has entered your possession, the coin could long stay in as good a condition as it was on the day that you first picked it up. This could be good news should you later decide to sell it. After all, the ease of selling a Gold American Eagle bullion coin is one reason investors are so interested in it. There is now a solid aftermarket for gold eagles. It could become even stronger years from now.