The American Gold Eagle Coin is the official gold bullion coin of the United States of America. The Gold Eagle was authorized under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985, and was released by the United States Mint in 1986. Because the term or word "eagle" is also the official United States designation or part of the designation for many pre-1933 gold coins, the weight of the bullion coin is typically used in addition when describing the American Gold Eagle Coins (ie:, "1/4 oz or 1/2 oz American Gold Eagle") to avoid any possible confusion between the two types.
American Gold Eagle Coins are offered in the following denominations: 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1 oz. U.S. Mint Gold Eagles are guaranteed by the U.S. government to contain the stated amount of actual gold weight in troy ounces. (1 oz of FINE GOLD content). By law, the gold must come from sources ONLY in the United States. Gold Eagles are also alloyed with silver and copper to produce a more wear-resistant coin. (resistant to scratches and dings). Sales of the Gold/Silver Eagles and other specific coins from the U.S. Mint are mandated by Law, with the official explanation of helping to pay for the National Debt.
The 22 kt gold alloy that Gold Eagles are made of is an English standard traditionally referred to as "crown gold". Crown gold alloys had not been used in U.S. coins since 1834, with the gold content having been minimized since 1837 to a standard of 0.900 fine (90%) for U.S. gold coins. For American Gold Eagles the gold content was increased to .9167 (91.67%) or 22 Karat. It is authorized by the United States Congress and is backed by the United States Mint for weight and content. So the easy explanation is that the Gold Eagle is a 22k Coin, but weighs OVER a Troy Oz on a scale, thus having a TOTAL FINE GOLD CONTENT of 1 troy ounce.
The obverse (front) design features a rendition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' full-length figure and rendition of Lady Liberty. Depicted is her flowing hair, she is holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left. The National Capitol building is also displayed in the left background. The design is taken and inspired from the $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coin which was commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt. His visison was to create coins like the ancient Greek and Roman coins. The reverse (back side) design, by sculptor Miley Busiek, features a male eagle carrying an olive branch whom is flying above a nest containing a female eagle and her baby hatchlings.
The reverse of the bullion Gold Eagle is slated to be redesigned in 2021 and will include anti-counterfeiting measures. These new features will be introduced later on the proof and other numismatic variety Gold Eagles.
The Gold Eagles minted from 1986–1991 are dated with Roman numerals. In 1992, the U.S. Mint switched to Arabic numerals (normal numbers) for dating the Gold Eagles.
The fractional (1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 troy oz) coins are identical in design to the 1 troy oz coin except for the markings on the reverse side that indicate the weight and face value of the coin. The print on the smaller coins is smaller and less legible than on larger denominations and will state the Dollar denomination and weight.
The American Silver Eagle Coin is the official silver bullion coin of the United States.
The Silver Eagle Coin was first released by the United States Mint on November 24, 1986. The coin is struck only in the one-troy ounce size, with no fractional sizes available. The Silver Eagle has a nominal face value of one dollar ($1) and is guaranteed to be comprised of one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver. The Silver Eagle Coin was authorized by Title II of Public Law 99-61 (Liberty Coin Act, approved July 9, 1985) and codified as 31 U.S.C. § 5112(e)-(h). The content, weight, and purity are certified and guaranteed by the U.S. Mint. In addition to the bullion version (regular strike), the United States Mint has produced and sold a proof version and also an uncirculated (boxed) version for coin collectors. The Silver Eagle has been produced and distributed at three mints in the United States: the Philadelphia Mint, the San Francisco Mint, and the West Point Mint. The American Silver Eagle bullion coin is eligible to fund Individual Retirement Account investments.
The design on the coin's obverse (front) was borrowed from the "Walking Liberty" design by Adolph A. Weinman, which originally had been used on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar coin produced for circulation in the United States from 1916 to 1947. This iconic and very recognizable design has been a public favorite and one of the most loved and desired designs of any of the United States coinage in modern times. No surprise it was revived for the Silver Eagle many decades later. The obverse (front) is inscribed with the year of minting or issuance, as well as the word "LIBERTY." And unsurprisingly and commonly the phrase "IN GOD WE TRUST" is also depicted.
The reverse was designed by John Mercanti and portrays a majestic eagle behind a shield. The eagle is grasping an olive branch in its right talon and grasping arrows in its left talon, echoing the Great Seal of the United States. Above the eagle are thirteen five-pointed stars that represent the original Thirteen Colonies. The reverse is inscribed with the phrases UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1 OZ. FINE SILVER~ONE DOLLAR, and E PLURIBUS UNUM (located on the banner that the eagle is holding in it's beak), as well as the mintmark (If applicable such as "W")
The reverse of the bullion Silver Eagle Coin will also be redesigned in 2021 and will include anti-counterfeiting measures. These new features will be introduced at a later time on the proof Silver Eagle and other numismatic Silver Eagles.
The first American Silver Eagle coin was struck at the San Francisco Mint on October 29, 1986. Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker III presided over the striking ceremony held at the San Francisco Assay Office. According to a Chicago Sun-Times article, as "Baker reached for the electronic button on press No. 105, he turned to the audience and said, 'I don't need a pick and shovel to start the San Francisco Silver Rush of 1986.'"
The Bullion version Silver Eagle coins do not have any mintmarks. From the years 1986 to 1998, they were produced at the San Francisco Mint. From the years 1999 to 2000, they were produced at the Philadelphia Mint and West Point Mint.
In March of 2011, the San Francisco Mint conducted trial strikes of bullion Silver Eagle coins in preparation for resuming of full production later in that spring. The added production capacity provided by the San Francisco Mint supplemented the output of the West Point Mint.
From the years 1986 to 1992, proof Silver Eagle coins were minted at San Francisco and these coins have the "S" mintmark on them. From the years 1993 to 2000, they were minted at Philadelphia and these coins have the "P" mintmark on them. From the years 2001 to 2008, they were minted at West Point and these coins bear the "W" mintmark. No proof versions of the Silver Eagle were minted in 2009. Then beginning in 2010, the proof coins were minted at West Point and bear the "W" mintmark.
Uncirculated versions were made from the years 2006 to 2008 and beginning again in 2011. On these the United States Mint issued a collectible (boxed) uncirculated Silver Eagle coin produced at West Point (bearing the "W" mintmark). The coins are struck on specially burnished blanks and sometimes are referred to as "W Uncirculated Silver Eagles" or "Burnished Uncirculated Silver Eagles". Aside from the standard-issue burnished Eagles, there has been one burnished Eagle issue produced in 2011 at the San Francisco Mint bearing the "S" mintmark for release in the "American Eagle 25th Anniversary Silver Coin Set" .
On March 28, 2020, the West Point Mint, which is widely believed to be the only producer of the bullion version American Silver Eagles from 2018 up until early 2020, was shut down for cleaning after an employee tested positive for Covid-19. The facility promptly reopened on April 1, and the bullion coin production was significantly reduced to prevent employee exposure to the COVID-19 virus. The Mint was once again shut down on April 15 due to safety concerns.
To make up for the reduced and later suspended production of silver bullion coins, the Philadelphia Mint struck 240,000 American Silver Eagles from April 8 through April 20. Although these coins were physically identical to the West Point coins, coin grading companies began certifying Philadelphia Mint Silver Eagles as "Emergency Issues", triggering a demand for the coins among coin collectors and numismatic enthusiasts. Production at the West Point Mint resumed and continued on April 21, 2020.
At Texas Gold and Silver Buyers of San Antonio, we purchase Gold and Silver Eagles and pledge TOP DOLLAR PAID! In addition to Gold and Silver Eagles, we also purchase ALL other Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium Coins in San Antonio, Texas!
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Thanks for stopping by our blog. My name is Evan and I am the owner of Texas Gold and Silver Buyers in San Antonio. From time to time I will post blog entries to help educate and inform our customers and potential future customers on all aspects of Precious Metals (Gold, Silver, Platinum & Palladium!)