Gold American Eagle Coins

american eagle graphic(2)

Issued in 1986, the first set of gold coins released by the U.S. Mint since 1933 were sold to the public and were available in 1/10 ounce, 1/4 ounce, 1/2 ounce, and 1 ounce gold content coins. It was all thanks to the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985, which essentially reversed or nullified the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 which made it illegal to own gold bullion. In the legislation of 1985, lawmakers delegated the denomination of the new American Eagle coins as $5 for the 1/10 ounce, $10 for the 1/4 ounce, $25 for the 1/2 ounce, and $50 for the 1 ounce; the denomination is face value and does not reflect the true worth of the coin. In the legislation the designs were also decided upon: for the Obverse “a design symbolic of Liberty” and for the Reverse, “a design representing a family of eagles, with the male carrying an olive branch and flying above a nest containing a female eagle and hatchlings”(Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985).

Truly encapsulating the idea of “Liberty:” Augustus Saint-Gaudens iconic design which was originally minted in the Double Eagle design, and was issued from 1907 to 1933. Showing Lady Liberty in full length, with flowing hair; she clutches an olive branch in her left hand, and holds a torch in her right high in the air; the Capitol Building can be seen in the distance.  For the Reverse, the U.S. Mint commissioned Miley Busiek, to bring the legislations words to life. Rendered beautifully in gold, the male eagle’s wings are stationed protectively above the mother and her hatchling; the olive branch shown securely fixed in the male’s talons.

About the Gold

Ever since the beginning of their issuance, American Gold Eagles have become an international favorite; and are considered one of the world’s leading gold bullion investment coins. Each coin contains 22-karat (.9167) Gold, which is an English standard that is often referred as crown gold. The special mix of gold and alloy allow for a durable coin that resist scratching and marring, both of which can significantly decrease the resale value. The 22 karat standard was dropped in 1834 to a standard of .900 fine for U.S. gold coins. The gold used in American Gold Eagle coins is specifically mined from U.S. soil, and territories; as stated in the legislation of 1985. While all of the coins in the American Eagle series have intrinsic value in their gold content, the worth of the coin fluctuates with the gold market, as well as with certain minting characteristics achieved by a few in the series. One such coin is the 2008-W $10 Gold Eagle, it has achieved desirability because of the low mintage figures as compared to the others in the program.

Minting and Grading

When minting began in 1886 coins were struck with roman numerals representing the date; this practice continued until 1992 when the U.S. Mint switched to the Arabic numbers for dating the Eagles. The Obverse bares the Liberty design, and the Reverse contains the patriotic eagle imagery, as well as the gold content, and denomination. Each coin is legal tender, and can be used for all debts, both public and private, at their face value; though their intrinsic value is much greater due to its gold content. American Gold Eagles are minted in the prestigious West Point Mint in New York, and the Philadelphia Mint in Pennsylvania. Coins are available in Uncirculated versions, as well as the more collectable Proof; which has the design in a frosted finish that contrasts beautifully with the mirror like quality of the background. Proof coins achieve they’re sought after appearance from burnished coin blanks being manually fed into a press fitted with special dies—the coin is struck multiple times to allow the softly frosted image to appear to float about the mirror like background.

Grading takes place through a second party company, in the U.S. the two popular grading companies are PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). The incentive for grading a coin lies with the more established conditions being guaranteed to be present in the coin; it’s a universally understood system that can be used to determine the true value of a coin: factors analyzed when grading a coin include rarity, interest factor, quality, and liquidity factor. Along with the typical grading, a special label can be added to increase the value of certain coins: the “Early Releases” label from NGC, or the “First Strike” from PCGS. Each label is a separate term used by the individual companies to mean the same thing—that the coin was struck within the first 30 days of issuance. With these coins the value increases due to the dyes being at their finest, rendering finer details and an overall better coin.


While the American Eagle gold bullion coins have intrinsic value in their precious metal makeup, they also have the added advantage of being a part of such a desirable series, and some coins have a higher premium than others depending on anomalies featured in that particular year and version of the coin. Such factors that could lead to increased desirability, and therefore value, include mint mistakes like the 1999_W $10 Eagle with Unfinished PR dies for the regular strike. This coin has a bit of speculation as to its unusual appearance: the first is that they were struck from Proof dies that had already been used to strike the Proofs for the year and the second, more likely reason, is that they were struck from dies that did not receive the chrome-plating that Proofs receive. There is no record of the exact number of coins in circulation, but The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins: 2014 has the mintage estimated as 10,000, while some conservative estimates assert the number is between 400 and 600. Other factors that could increase value are low mintages, the rarer the coin the more sought after they often are.

Fun Fact: When the famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens was commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt to create a design that would bring back artistry to American coinage, the ailing artist was five years into his cancer diagnosis. Always interested in the design, and sculpting processes associated with making currency, and gladly took on the project. He produced an ultra high-relief design that remains one of the most beautiful coins designs ever minted by the United States. While the coin was everything Roosevelt wanted, it was not practical, and so modifications were made to make the coin more stackable, and add the motto “In Gold We Trust,” which was mandated by Congress in 1908. Other changes were made, and only a few of the original ultra-high relief coins exist, and command a high premium: in fact in 2005 a 1907 Ultra High Relief Pattern sold for $2,990,000 in a Heritage auction. Saint-Gaudens design was released to its full potential with the release of the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle; which has double the thickness, and a smaller diameter than traditional Double Eagles. It’s a true representation of a great time in American coinage.

Investment potential

Known as one of the most popular gold coins in American coinage; the American Eagle Gold Coins are a great investment opportunity for those wanting to diversify their portfolio. They provide a convenient and cost effective way for people to invest in gold: the internationally recognized monetary and financial asset. Gold’s tangibility has been well documented in history, and it can provide stability in times of economic hardships; when markets fail, it has always been precious metals, like gold, that gain value. Guaranteed by the U.S. Government to contain gold mined specifically in American soil, each coin is accepted in major investment markets worldwide. Even long term savings accounts, like IRA’s can benefit from having Gold American Eagles, as the coins can be included as an asset—tax-free. Every coin is unique, and some even command a higher premium than others based on special factors revolving around their minting, so it’s important to do you research before making a significant purchase in the series; such as when it comes to mintage figures: the rare coins command a higher premium than those that were more popular when being released.

If you would like to learn more about the Gold American Eagles, and how to add these remarkable coins in your retirement accounts, or investments: Call Global Monetary Reserve today at 877-795-9585 today, and our previous metals experts will be able to assist you with securing you, and your family’s future; or if you would like to make an immediate purchase, or a take a look at our fantastic inventory: visit our E-commerce site by Clicking Here!