American Gold Eagle Coin

The United States Mint first produced the American Gold Eagle coin in 1986, after it was authorized under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985. Although the coin is mainly composed of gold, it also contains trace amounts of silver and copper to help bolster its resistance to wear.

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About The American Gold Eagle Coin

The American Gold Eagle Coins come in different denominations and versions. The denominations include 1/10oz, 1/4oz, 1/2oz, and 1oz, each having a face value of $5, $10, $25, and $50, respectively. These denominations are named after the amount of gold content in the coins, meaning that 1/10oz contains 0.1 ounces of gold, 1/4oz contains 0.25 ounces of gold, 1/2oz contains 0.5 ounces of gold, and 1 oz contains an ounce of gold.

The two versions of the American Gold Eagle coin are proof and bullion. While the bullion version was produced for the general populace, the proof version was explicitly produced for coin collectors who keep them for personal effects and archival purposes.

Apart from their face values, the Gold Eagle Coins also possess intrinsic values in the precious metal market. These two values are different from each other, as their face values are far lesser than their intrinsic values. The 1oz denomination, which has a face value of $50, for instance, had an intrinsic value of $1835 in the precious metals market in 2012.

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American Gold Eagle Coin Design

On the head of the coin is an engraving of Lady Liberty in her full length, holding a torch in her right hand to symbolize light, and an olive branch in her left, to symbolize peace. Lady Liberty’s hair and robe flow freely as she walks forward from the capital. The coin’s obverse design was inspired by Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ 1907 $20 gold “Double Eagle” coin. “Liberty” and the year can be seen engraved into the obverse side of the coin.

The original tail of the coin was engraved, featuring a family of bald eagles. The male eagle carried an olive branch in its talons as it returned to the nest. The mother eagle hovered over the hatchlings, guarding her children. It was designed by Miley Bulsiek and was used from the beginning of the American Gold Eagle coin program in 1986 until 2021.

New American Gold Eagle Reverse Design

In 2021, to mark the coin’s 35th anniversary, the United States Mint sought out the talents of artist Jennie Norris to create a brand-new reverse side design.

The new design shows the head of a bald eagle featuring its left profile. Its eyes pierce right through to the viewer. Norris highlighted the eagle’s features in great detail, going as far as distinguishing between the different head and body feathers.

The coin is engraved with “United States of America,” “E Pluribus Unum,” and “In Gold We Trust” above the eagle. The bottom of the coin includes “50 Dollars” to show the face value of the coin and “1 oz Fine Gold.” The coins with fractional ounces feature their respective face values and weights.

Both the original and new designs were specifically chosen as they stand for all the values that are most highly upheld in the country; justice, liberty, and peace.

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  • 1 ounce
  • 1/2 ounce
  • 1/4 ounce
  • 1/10 ounce

American Gold Eagle Coin Specifications

The American Gold Eagle coin is produced in four sizes, 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz, each with its own diameter, weight, and face value specifications:

  • The 1 oz coin is 1.287 inches in diameter, weighs 1.09 troy ounces, and has a $50 face value.
  • The ½ oz coin is 1.06 inches in diameter, weighs 0.55 troy ounces, and has a $25 face value.
  • The ¼ oz coin is .866 inches in diameter, weighs 0.27 troy ounces, and has a $10 face value.
  • The 1/10 oz coin is .65 inches in diameter, weighs 0.11 troy ounces, and has a $5 face value.

Each coin, no matter the weight, has a 91.67% gold, 3% silver, and balance copper with a reeded edge composition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Need some more information about American Gold Eagle Coins before you make your first investment? Here are some of the common questions we receive from our customers.

Currently, the most popular size of American Eagle Gold coin, the 1 oz coin, at the time of writing it is valued between $1800-$2100 - however, this price is subject to change based on the price of gold. On the other hand, the resale value of the 1/10-ounce coin is approximately $150.

Simply put, American Eagle Gold coins are an excellent investment, as they are considered to be one of the most popular coins on the market. Their ability to hedge against inflation during times of economic uncertainty is another selling point for those questioning if the coins are a good investment.

Because of their popularity, American Eagle Gold coins tend to have a higher value than the spot price of gold. In 2022, when the spot price of 1 oz of gold was $1,629, the asking price of an American Gold Eagle coin was $1,808. American Eagle Gold coins can also be added to a precious metals IRA to grow long-term, making them a good investment to diversify your retirement portfolio.

In 2006, the United States Mint included a special burnished coin to mark the American Gold Coin’s 20th anniversary. It was specifically produced to catch the attention of numismatist collectors. Although similar to the proof American Gold Eagle coin, the burnished version was made with a unique minting process to enhance its value for collectors.

Banks are wary when it comes to buying and selling gold. Once the US switched to fiat currency, banks began to remove their gold buying and selling services.

Not only did fiat currency change banks’ interest in physical gold, but the rapidly changing value of gold and influx of counterfeit coins led to banks shying away from buying and selling gold coins in exchange for cash.

Many reliable and certified gold buyers will buy them based on their market value if you're looking to sell your American Gold Eagle coin. Buying them directly through Noble Gold Investments allows you to roll them directly into a government-backed IRA to grow long-term.

Bullion American Gold Eagle Coins

The American Gold Eagle coin is one of two (with the Gold Buffalo Coins) official U.S. Mint gold bullion coins. They are hardened 22-karat gold mixed with trace amounts of silver and copper to guarantee the soft gold component is balanced with rigidity. This creates a wear resistance against cuts and marks commonly seen on pure .999 fine gold coins.

These coins are guaranteed by the U.S. government and carry a legal tender face value.

Certified American Gold Eagle Bullion Information

The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and the Professional Coin Grading Service grade coins on the Sheldon Numeric Scale between 1-70. This scale was developed in 1948 by Dr. William Sheldon to identify the condition of coins meticulously.

Bullion gold coins are graded with a strike type, including:

  • MS: Mint State, which applies to grades 60-70 and identifies coins struck similarly as coins in circulation
  • PF: Proof, which are coins struck using a unique method to attract coin collectors
  • SP: A hybrid strike between Mint State and Proof

Most Certified American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins are rated at either MS 69 or MS 70:

  • MS 69 coins are considered almost perfect coins with an allowance of up to two minor imperfections and must still maintain the original mint luster
  • MS 70 coins are considered perfect with no imperfections even under magnification, and must still maintain their original mint luster

Proof American Gold Eagle Coins

Proof coins are designed to catch the attention of collectors. When they are struck, the striking process leaves behind a mirror-like, glossy finish making them more appealing and collection-worthy.

Another main difference between bullion and proof coins is the coin’s “mint mark.” A mint mark is a letter stamped into the coin to show where it was minted. The American Gold Eagle coins typically have a “W,” which stands for the West Point Mint facility.

Certified American Gold Eagle Proof Coins

When certifying proof coins, the NGS and PCGS use the same Sheldon Scale to grade both bullion and proof coins. However, proof coins have an additional grade classification. In addition to the PF 69 and PF 70 grade, which have the same grading definitions as bullion’s MS 69 and MS 70, proof coins can be graded with a UCAM/DCAM.

UCAM/DCAM, short for Ultra-Cameo and Deep-Cameo, refers to proof coins with a strong, frosted finish on the design set and a mirrored background. These contrasting finishes are meant to make the design appear as if it’s floating above the background, another eye-catching quality.