What is a Gold Eagle?

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In coin collecting, a Gold Eagle refers to a specific type of gold bullion coin that is minted by the United States government. The Gold Eagle holds both numismatic (collectibility) and precious metal value, making it highly sought after by collectors and investors alike.  

First introduced by the United States Mint in 1986 as a result of the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985, the American Gold Eagle was created to provide investors with a convenient and reliable way to own physical gold coins produced by the U.S. government, made from gold mined in the United States and imprinted with gold content and legal tender face value.

The Gold Eagle is composed of 91.67% Gold, 3% Silver and 5.33% Copper, an alloy often called Crown Gold. The inclusion of copper or silver enhances the coin's durability and gives it a distinctive reddish hue. There are bullion, proof, and uncirculated versions available.  

The obverse (front) of the Gold Eagle features a design of Saint-Gaudens Liberty holding a torch and an olive branch, created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This design originally appeared on the $20 Double Eagle gold coin from 1907 to 1933. The reverse (back) of the coin showcases a family of American bald eagles, designed by Miley Busiek.

The American Gold Eagle is legal tender in the United States with a face value denomination. However, due to the value of the gold content, the intrinsic value far exceeds its face value. The coins are minted in four denominations, each containing a specific amount of gold: 

  • 1 oz. Gold Eagle: Contains one troy ounce of gold, with a face value of $50.

  • 1/2 oz. Gold Eagle: Contains 0.5 troy ounces of gold, with a face value of $25.

  • 1/4 oz. Gold Eagle: Contains 0.25 troy ounces of gold, with a face value of $10.

  • 1/10 oz. Gold Eagle: Contains 0.1 troy ounces of gold, with a face value of $5.

The American Gold Eagle has gained popularity among precious metals investors and collectors worldwide, becoming a cornerstone of modern bullion coinage. The coins are widely recognized and traded, offering a trusted and liquid form of gold ownership. The combination of its high gold content, U.S. government backing, and iconic design has contributed to its appeal as an investment vehicle.

Some American Gold Eagles (particularly certain years or editions) may carry additional numismatic value beyond their gold content. Collectors may seek specific variations, such as proof versions or special releases, for their rarity, condition, or historical significance. These numismatic factors can further enhance the desirability and value of specific Gold Eagles.

The American Gold Eagle has become an iconic representation of American heritage and a symbol of wealth preservation. It represents a tangible link to the country's history of gold coinage, while also serving as a trusted and recognized investment option for those seeking to include physical gold in their portfolios.