Skip to Content
Back to Blog
Liberty Gold Eagle one ounce coin

Get to Know the Gold American Eagle Coin

November 17, 20174371 view(s)

Since 1986, the Gold American Eagle has captivated the world with its value, history, and beauty. It is the most popular coin produced by the United States and is highly coveted, especially when a new coin is produced at the start of each year.

The coin is minted at the West Point Mint in West Point, New York and is available in 1/10 of an ounce, 1/4 of an ounce, 1/2 of an ounce, and 1 ounce denominations. Each weight carries a face value of $5, $10, $25, and $50 respectively. The $50, 1 oz Gold American Eagle - which actually weighs 1.0909 ounces - is the most popular coin among collectors and investors.

The U.S. government guarantees that each coin includes the amount of actual gold weight, in Troy ounces, on the back of the coin. Because of this, every American Eagle coin is recognized as legal tender. It’s the coin’s intrinsic value, which will likely always be higher than its face value, that keeps people coming back year after year.

The History of the Gold American Eagle

Ronald Reagan signed the Gold Bullion Coin Act into law

The original Gold American Eagle coin dates back to 1792. Its original value was $10, but was also available as a Quarter Eagle, Half Eagle, and Double Eagle, each valued at $2.50, $5, and $20. Much like today, the original Gold American Eagles were minted in British standard crown gold, or 22-karat gold. The rest of the coin was made of copper and silver.

The Gold American Eagle was discontinued in 1933, as the result of a decree by Franklin D. Roosevelt, to prevent banks from going bankrupt during the early stages of the Great Depression. The United States has since gone off of the Gold Standard, so gold coins went out of fashion during the 20th Century.

In 1985, Ronald Reagan signed the Gold Bullion Coin Act into law, forever changing the precious metals market. Congress had been petitioning for the return of a gold American coin since 1981, so with the passing of the act, the Gold American Eagle was the favorite for mint production. The law allowed the Gold American Eagle coin to quickly soar in popularity for investors and collectors alike.

The Gold and Silver American Eagle coins were produced and available to the public in 1986. Since it was introduced, the coin has been the most widely traded coin in the United States. Another reason for its popularity is due to a provision of the law that required the coin to be mined from gold found in the United States, to make it a truly American coin.

The Coin’s Design

Gold American Eagle Coin

Since the Gold American Eagle became available to the public, people have have been captivated by its beautiful designs. The Gold American Eagle’s design is unique because it combines the old history from the early 20th century and its new beginning in the late 20th century. You can see this combination on the obverse and reverse of the coin.

The design of the obverse of the coin is a modified version of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ classic design from his $20 coin. Originally commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt, Saint-Gaudens’ design is still coveted as one of the most beautiful designs of any coin ever produced by the U.S. Mint. Saint-Gaudens’ coin was minted from 1907-1933. The design features a stunning scene of Lady Liberty holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand, walking towards the edge of the coin.

The reverse of the Gold American Eagle was designed by modern-day American sculptor Miley Tucker-Frost. The design depicts the image of a male eagle holding an olive branch flying right above a female eagle in a nest with her hatchlings.

The Gold American Eagle’s design has also changed over the years of its production. The coins minted between 1986 and 1991 are inscribed with Roman numerals and from 1992 until the present, the have Arabic numerals for dating the coins. The numerals are located on the obverse of the coin.

The Value of the Gold American Eagle

American Gold Eagle Coin Stack

The Gold American Eagle is a low-cost, high-value coin that’s perfect for any investor or collector. Whether you are looking to get into the precious metals market for the first time or you are a long-time lover of gold bullion, the Gold American Eagle has a place in your portfolio or coin collection.

The bullion coin is made from 22-karat gold, meaning that 91.67% of the coin is pure gold. The remaining percentage is made up of silver and copper. Because the coin contains a lower percentage of gold, it is much more durable and long lasting than its counterparts which bear 99.999% gold. This means that your investment will last and is less prone to wear over a long period of time.

Some of the sizes of the coin may have a value to collectors in the future based on their relative scarcity in the market. A strong after-market has already developed among investor and collectors looking to complete their sets going back to 1986. Some denominations that are particularly scarce are particularly scarce are the half and quarter-ounce Gold American Eagles from the early 1990s that had low mintage.

Because of the success of the Gold and Silver American Eagle coins, the coin is available in two more precious metals. In 1997, the American Eagle coin became available in platinum and in 2017, the coin became available in palladium.

How to Purchase the Gold American Eagle

It’s important that when you are looking for Gold American Eagle coins to add to your collection or investment profile that you find a trustworthy company. The United States Gold Bureau is committed to helping you find the right investment for your future the very first time while also giving you efficient, knowledgeable service.

To learn more about the Gold American Eagle, please visit our Gold American Eagle page or speak to one of our Precious Metals Advisors at (800) 775-3504 today!


Posting in:
United States Gold BureaubyUnited States Gold Bureau
This site uses cookies to improve your experience. By clicking, you agree to our Privacy Policy.