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Gold American Eagle Coins

When the United States Mint designed the American Gold Eagle Coins, they reached back into history and retrieved what many numismatists believe to be the best coin design ever: the obverse of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens designed $20 Gold Double Eagle minted between 1907 and 1933. The reverse features a nest of eagles designed by Miley Busiek.

This combination of classic and modern coin design has proven to be a winner. First minted in 1986, the American Gold Eagle Coin instantly became one of the most popular gold coins ever struck anywhere, anytime, a status that it retains to this day.

American Gold Eagles have been struck at the Philadelphia Mint in both Proof and Mint State finishes and at the West Point Mint in both Proof and Burnished finishes. The West Point Mint coins display a Prominent "W" mint mark.

The United States Government guarantees the gold content and purity of these coins. The actual gold weight and face value are stamped right into the surface of the coin.

American Gold Eagles are a great way to own gold. Don't miss this true American opportunity! Keep reading below to learn more about the quintessential United States Mint coin issue.

All Gold American Eagle Coins

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2019-W 1 oz Burnished Gold American Eagle $50 NGC MS70 Mercanti Signed Label
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2021 1/4 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $10 NGC MS70 Brown Label
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2021 1/4 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $10 BU
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2021 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $25 NGC MS70 FR Exclusive Eagle Red Banner Label
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2021 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $25 BU
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2021 1/10 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $5 PCGS MS70 FS Flag Label
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2021 1/10 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $5 NGC MS70 FR Exclusive Eagle Red Banner Label
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2021 1/10 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $5 NGC MS70 FR Black Core Holder Exclusive Gold Foil Label
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2021 1/10 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $5 NGC MS70 FDI White Core Holder Exclusive Eagle Red Banner Label
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2021 1/10 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $5 NGC MS70 FDI Black Core Holder Exclusive Gold Foil Label
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2021 1/10 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $5 NGC MS70 Brown Label
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2021 1 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $50 PCGS MS70 FS Flag Label
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2021 1 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $50 NGC MS70 FR Black Core Holder Exclusive Gold Foil Label
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2021 1 oz Gold American Eagle Type 2 $50 BU
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2018-W 1 oz Burnished Gold American Eagle $50 NGC MS70 Mercanti Signed Label
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2012-W 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle Proof $25 NGC PF70 UC Brown Label
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Scarce
& Unique
2021-W 1/4 oz Gold American Eagle Type 1 Proof $10 NGC PF69 UC ER Exclusive Eagle Label
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2021-W 1/10 oz Gold American Eagle Type 1 Proof $5 NGC PF69 UC ER Exclusive Eagle Label
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History of the American Gold Eagle

Prior to 1933, gold coins were a part of everyday life in the United States. Although the $10 Eagle Gold coins and $20 Double Eagle Gold coins were rarely seen, the $2.50 and $5 Gold Eagles were common coins that circulated widely. This all changed in 1933 when newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order directing all Americans to turn their gold coins into the government in exchange for paper money. In essence, and by the stroke of a pen, it became illegal for United States Citizens to own gold currency.

By the mid 1960's, interest in owning gold had grown due to the increase in the price of the metal. In response, South Africa issued the world's first gold bullion coin in 1967. The Gold Krugerrand was unique, as it contained 1 Oz. of gold and had a face value equal to the daily gold price. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf and the China Gold Panda appeared several years later. By the mid 1980's, it had become obvious that Americans wanted their own gold coins again, and Congress and President Reagan obliged by authorizing the striking of the American Gold Eagle Coin in 1986.

Four Fractional Sizes of American Gold Eagles

Are American Gold Eagles Pure Gold?

The American Gold Eagle Coins are made in four denominations that contain 1 Oz., 1/2 Oz., 1/4 Oz., and 1/10 Oz. of pure gold, respectively. The coins are struck in .9167 pure gold, with a face value reminiscent of Classic U.S. Gold Coins. The $5 coin weighs 3.93 grams, the $10 weighs 8.483 grams, the $25 weighs 16.966 grams and the $50 weighs a hefty 33.931 grams.

1 oz. U.S. Gold Eagles

The 1 oz. American Gold Eagle is annually issued by the United States Mint. First introduced in 1986 alongside the American Silver Eagle, it has gone on to be one of the most popular gold coins in the world, making it one of the most widely traded and collected. Because this denomination contains 1 troy ounce of gold, it is easy for a purchaser to determine the value based on spot gold prices.

1/2 oz. U.S. Gold Eagles

Available in both collector and bullion versions, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) standards are the most ideal rating systems when grading a coin of this size. While the largest quantity of 1/2 oz. American Gold Eagles are bullion coins produced for those who stack the coins for their gold content, the U.S. Mint has made certain that Proof versions have been minted just for collectors.

1/4 oz. U.S. Gold Eagles

With a diameter of only 22 mm and a thickness of 1.83 mm, it is amazing how detailed the design appears. Per the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985, this American Gold Eagles can only be struck out of gold that was mined inside of the U.S. This gold was refined to purity and mixed with copper to create an alloy of .9167 gold and a balance of copper. The resulting weight of this 1/4 Troy oz. gold coin is 8.48 grams.

1/10 oz. U.S. Gold Eagles

The 1/10 oz. Gold Eagle has a diameter of 16.5 mm and a thickness of 1.19 mm, and while you might expect fine details and lack of blemishes to be an issue with a coin this small, $5 1/10 oz. Gold American Eagles graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) make perfect grading conditions quite frequently.

Face Value vs. Worth

It really comes down to not judging a book by its cover. The face value of a coin is the literal value that is printed, stamped, or written on the coin whereas the worth may differ depending on a variety of different factors, such as:

  • Melt value (the base worth of the metal contained in the coin)
  • Historic value
  • Aesthetic features
  • Mint year
  • Grade or condition of the coin
  • Scarcity or rarity
  • Collectability

NGC and PCGS Certified American Gold Eagles

When the American Gold Eagle Program started in 1986, no one anticipated that stackers would take a keen interest in obtaining the coins by date, mintmark, finish, and quality. Gold Eagles in near-perfect Mint State and Proof 69 and perfect 70 condition, as graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), can be great additions to any collection.

Proof vs. Mint State

Mint State (MS) coins are struck at the same format as circulation issues, and Proof (PR) is a designation for coins that are struck from a specially prepared coin die in a format for collectors and usually have sharper details. PCGS specifically recognizes Proofs as those struck in 1817 and later.

Mint State or Proof 70 (MS/PR70)

A coin that falls within this standard is virtually perfect, free of visual marks, and with no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification that impact the eye appeal of the coin.

Mint State or Proof 69 (MS/PR69)

A coin with minuscule imperfections that are only visible upon close inspection and are nearly imperceptible, but because of them, cannot be given a perfect MS/PR 70 score.

Availability of American Gold Eagles

With the exception of collector Proof versions and a few special editions, bullion American Gold Eagles are not available directly from the U.S. Mint. The bullion coins are instead sold through a series of authorized distributors who then sell them to the public through their own dealer networks. As American Gold Eagles must be struck from newly mined U.S. gold, this caveat can lead to scarcity at times of high demand, just when buyers want them the most. Many stackers buy up American Gold Eagles on a regular basis while they're available, in order to avoid disappointment in times of shortage.

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