With so many different countries now offering their own gold bullion coins in an effort to claim their market share of the South African Krugerrand market, the US decided to enter the market in 1986. The United States Mint created the Gold Eagle as the first gold bullion coin ever created by the US and while sales of this incredibly beautiful coin did not start until October of this inaugural year they sold in record numbers, in fact it was not until 1998 that this sales record was finally broken.The Gold Eagle was offered in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 ounce weights, which seems to be the same as most of the other countries issue. The only exceptions were Australia with eight different sizes of their Gold Nugget and China with its Gold Panda, China now offers only the five basic weights although they have changed the face values on their Pandas. Over the years it has been the largest and the smallest denominations that have been the biggest sellers.
Mankind has been producing coins as a form of currency for centuries and despite the fact that there have been millions of them produced, there are some that for one reason or another have become worth far more than their face value. One such coin is the 1933 Saint-Guadens Double Eagle. This gold coin was minted with a face value of $20, but as there is only one known example it sold at auction for $7,590,020 in 2002. This coin was a result of Teddy Roosevelt wanting to make changes to the American coinage as he saw them as being rather bland and boring. His personal love of the beauty of Greek coins led him to believe that the greatness of a nation was reflected in the coinage it produced.
With this in mind he sought out his friend and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1905 and asked him to design a new line of gold coins for the US. The first coin designed by Saint-Gaudens was the 1907 Gold Double Eagle. These coins remained in production until 1933 when in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt took the country off the gold standard as a way to try and stabilize the shattered economy of the nation. At this point the circulation of gold coins ceased and everyone was ordered to turn in their gold coins.