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The American Gold Eagle is an official gold bullion coin of the United States. Authorized under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985, it was first released by the United States Mint in 1986. Because the term "eagle" also is the official United States designation for pre-1933 ten dollars gold coins, the weight of the bullion coin is typically used when describing American Gold Eagles (e.g., "1/2-ounce American Gold Eagle") to avoid confusion. This is particularly true with the 1/4-oz American Gold Eagle, which has a marked face value of ten dollars.

Gold Eagle
United States
Value5–50 U.S. dollars (face value); see specifications
EdgeReeded
Composition91.67% Au, 3% Ag, 5.33% Cu
Years of minting1986–present (bullion)
1986–2008, 2010–present (proof)
2006–2008, 2011–present (uncirculated)
Obverse
Liberty $50 Obverse.png
DesignLiberty
DesignerAugustus Saint-Gaudens
Reverse
Liberty $50 Reverse.png
DesignEagle soaring above a nest
DesignerMiley Busiek
Design date1986

Contents

DetailsEdit

Offered in 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1 oz denominations, these coins are guaranteed by the U.S. government to contain the stated amount of actual gold weight in troy ounces. By law, the gold must come from sources in the United States, alloyed with silver and copper to produce a more wear-resistant coin. In addition, sales of these and other Specie coins from the US Mint are mandated, at least in part, to pay off the National Debt.[1]

The 22 kt gold alloy 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 dropped since 1837 to a standard of 0.900 fine for U.S. gold coins. For American Gold Eagles the gold fraction was increased again to .9167 or (22 karat). It is authorized by the United States Congress and is backed by the United States Mint for weight and content.

The obverse design features a rendition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' full length figure of Lady Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left, with the Capitol building in the left background. The design is taken from the $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coin which was commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt to create coins like the ancient Greek and Roman coins. The reverse design, by sculptor Miley Busiek, features a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying above a nest containing a female eagle and her hatchlings.

SpecificationsEdit

Gold Eagles minted 1986–1991 are dated with Roman numerals. In 1992, the U.S. Mint switched to Arabic numerals for dating Gold Eagles.

The 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 (for example, 1 OZ. fine gold~50 dollars). The print on the smaller coins is therefore finer and less legible than on larger denominations.

Each of the four sizes contains 91.67% gold (22 karat), 3% silver, and 5.33% copper.
Denomination 1/10 troy oz 1/4 troy oz 1/2 troy oz 1 troy oz
Diameter 16.5 mm 22mm 27 mm 32.7 mm
Thickness 1.19 mm 1.83 mm 2.24 mm 2.87 mm
Gross Weight 0.1091 troy oz (3.393 g) 0.2727 troy oz (8.483 g) 0.5454 troy oz (16.965 g) 1.0909 troy oz (33.930 g)
Face Value $5 $10 $25 $50

The alloyed makeup of Eagles stands in contrast to the Gold Buffalo Coin, which is minted entirely from 24k gold, and therefore weighs less (1 troy oz gross).

ValueEdit

The market value of the coins is generally about equal to the market value of their gold content, not their face value. Like all commodities, this value fluctuates with market forces. The face values are proportional to the weights except for the 1/4 oz coin.

While their actual selling price (purchasing power) varies based on the current spot price of gold, these coins carry face values of $5, $10, $25, and $50. These are their legal values, reflecting their issue and monetized value as "Gold Dollars", as opposed to standard bullion. They are legal tender[2] for all debts public and private at their face values. These face values do not reflect their intrinsic value which is much greater and is mainly dictated by their weight and the current precious metal price. In 2012 the U.S. Mint sold the 2012 one-ounce coin ($50 face value) at $1,835.00.[3] This becomes relevant when determining the tax liability on the sale or exchange of these and other legal tender coins. For example, if you "buy" a Gold Eagle and sell it at a profit, you may incur a tax burden on the difference. However, if you are "paid" with a Gold Eagle and then use it to "buy" something else, you cannot be taxed on the transaction, even if the coin appreciates in metallurgical value in the interim.[4][5]

In addition to standard bullion coins (sometimes referred to as "scruffies"), the United States Mint also produces Proof and Uncirculated versions for coin collectors. These coins carry the Mint's mark ("W") beneath the date, and are produced exclusively at the West Point Mint in West Point, New York (formerly the West Point Bullion Depository). The following chart shows how the Mint's prices these coins as of May 2019;[6]

Numismatic Pricing Guide for Gold Eagle Coins
Gold Spot Price Uncirculated Coins Proof Coins
$500 - $550 $840.00 $877.50
$550 - $600 $890.00 $927.50
$600 - $650 $940.00 $977.50
$650 - $700 $990.00 $1,027.50
$700 - $750 $1,040.00 $1,077.50
$750 - $800 $1,090.00 $1,127.50
$800 - $850 $1,140.00 $1,177.50
$850 - $900 $1,190.00 $1,227.50
$900 - $950 $1,240.00 $1,277.50
$950 - $1000 $1,290.00 $1,327.50
$1000 - $1050 $1,340.00 $1,377.50
$1050 - $1100 $1,390.00 $1,427.50
$1100 - $1150 $1,440.00 $1,477.50
$1150 - $1200 $1,490.00 $1,527.50
$1200 - $1250 $1,540.00 $1,577.50
$1250 - $1300 $1,590.00 $1,627.50
$1300 - $1350 $1,640.00 $1,677.50
$1350 - $1400 $1,690.00 $1,727.50
$1400 - $1450 $1,740.00 $1,777.50
$1450 - $1500 $1,790.00 $1,827.50
$1500 - $1550 $1,840.00 $1,877.50
$1550 - $1600 $1,890.00 $1,927.50
$1600 - $1650 $1,940.00 $1,977.50
$1650 - $1700 $1,990.00 $2,027.50
$1700 - $1750 $2,040.00 $2,077.50
$1750 - $1800 $2,090.00 $2,127.50
$1800 - $1850 $2,140.00 $2,177.50
$1850 - $1900 $2,190.00 $2,227.50
$1900 - $1950 $2,240.00 $2,277.50
$1950 - $2000 $2,290.00 $2,327.50
$2000 - $2050 $2,340.00 $2,377.50
$2050 - $2100 $2,390.00 $2,427.50
$2100 - $2150 $2,440.00 $2,477.50
$2150 - $2200 $2,490.00 $2,527.50
$2200 - $2250 $2,540.00 $2,577.50
$2250 - $2300 $2,590.00 $2,627.50
$2300 - $2350 $2,640.00 $2,677.50
$2350 - $2400 $2,690.00 $2,727.50
$2400 - $2450 $2,740.00 $2,777.50
$2450 - $2500 $2,790.00 $2,827.50
$2500 - $2550 $2,840.00 $2,877.50
$2550 - $2600 $2,890.00 $2,927.50
$2600 - $2650 $2,940.00 $2,977.50
$2650 - $2700 $2,990.00 $3,027.50
$2700 - $2750 $3,040.00 $3,077.50
$2750 - $2800 $3,090.00 $3,127.50
$2800 - $2850 $3,140.00 $3,177.50
$2850 - $2900 $3,190.00 $3,227.50
$2900 - $2950 $3,240.00 $3,277.50
$2950 - $3000 $3,290.00 $3,327.50

Mintage figuresEdit

The figures listed below are the final audited mintages from the U.S. Mint and include coins sold both individually and as part of multi-coin sets.[7]

Historical Bullion VolumesEdit

Year $5 – ​110 oz. $10 – ​14 oz. $25 – ​12 oz. $50 – 1 oz.
1986 912,609 726,031 599,566 1,362,650
1987 580,266 269,255 131,255 1,045,500
1988 159,500 49,000 45,000 465,500
1989 264,790 81,789 44,829 415,790
1990 210,210 41,000 31,000 373,210
1991 165,200 36,100 24,100 243,100
1992 209,300 59,546 54,404 275,000
1993 210,709 71,864 73,324 480,192
1994 206,380 72,650 62,400 221,663
1995 223,025 83,752 53,474 200,636
1996 401,964 60,318 39,287 189,148
1997 528,515 108,805 79,605 664,508
1998 1,344,520 309,829 169,029 1,468,530
1999 2,750,338 564,232 263,013 1,505,026
2000 569,153 128,964 79,287 433,319
2001 269,147 71,280 48,047 143,605
2002 230,027 62,027 70,027 222,029
2003 245,029 74,029 79,029 416,032
2004 250,016 72,014 98,040 417,019
2005 300,043 72,015 80,023 356,555
2006 285,006 60,004 66,005 237,510
2007 190,010 34,004 47,002 140,016
2008 305,000 70,000 61,000 710,000
2009 270,000 110,000 110,000 1,493,000
2010 435,000 86,000 81,000 1,125,000
2011 350,000 80,000 70,000 857,000
2012 290,000 90,000 43,000 675,000
2013 555,000 114,500 57,000 758,500
2014 545,000 90,000 35,000 425,000
2015 980,000 158,000 75,000 626,500
2016 925,000 152,000 74,000 817,500
2017 395,000 64,000 37,000 228,000
2018 230,000 62,000 32,000 191,000
2019* 140,000 26,000 19,000 73,000

*Updated 5/23/2019[8]

Historical Proof VolumesEdit

During the series' initial year, the Mint only issued 1 troy oz proofs. It added ​12 troy oz proofs in 1987 and since 1988 released proof variants of all four denominations. In 2009, due to increased worldwide demand for precious metals that precipitated sourcing problems and the Mint's legal obligations to produce bullion versions, proof and uncirculated versions of the Gold Eagle were not issued.[9]

Year $5 – ​110 oz. $10 – ​14 oz. $25 – ​12 oz. $50 – 1 oz.
1986 - - - 446,290
1987 - - 143,398 147,498
1988 143,881 98,028 76,528 87,133
1989 84,647 54,170 44,798 54,570
1990 99,349 62,674 51,636 62,401
1991 70,334 50,839 53,125 50,411
1992 64,874 46,269 40,976 44,826
1993 58,649 46,464 43,819 34,369
1994 62,849 48,172 44,584 46,674
1995 62,667 47,526 45,388 46,368
1996 57,047 38,219 35,058 36,153
1997 34,977 29,805 26,344 32,999
1998 39,395 29,503 25,374 25,886
1999 48,428 34,417 30,427 31,427
2000 49,971 36,036 32,028 33,007
2001 37,530 25,613 23,240 24,555
2002 40,864 29,242 26,646 27,499
2003 40,027 30,292 28,270 28,344
2004 35,131 28,839 27,330 28,215
2005 49,265 37,207 34,311 35,246
2006 47,277 36,127 34,322 47,092
2007 58,553 46,189 44,025 51,810
2008 28,116 18,877 22,602 30,237
2009 - - - -
2010 54,285 44,507 44,527 59,480
2011 42,697 28,782 26,781 48,306
2012 20,740 13,775 12,809 23,630
2013 21,742 12,789 12,718 24,710
2014 22,725 14,790 14,693 28,703
2015 26,769 15,775 15,820 32,652

Historical Uncirculated VolumesEdit

In 2009, the allocation of blanks towards the legally required production of bullion Gold Eagles affected uncirculated coin availability in addition to proof availability. However, this suspension continued into 2010 for the uncirculated version. When production resumed in 2011, without the fractional denominations which were discontinued in 2008, it was met with a weak collector response.[10]

Year $5 – ​110 oz. $10 – ​14 oz. $25 – ​12 oz. $50 – 1 oz.
2006-W 20,643 15,188 15,164 45,053
2007-W 22,501 12,766 11,455 18,066
2008-W 12,657 8,883 16,682 11,908
2009-W - - - -
2010-W - - - -
2011-W - - - 8,729
2012-W - - - 5,829
2013-W - - - 7,293
2014-W - - - 7,902
2015-W - - - 6,533
2016-W - - - 6,888

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 31 U.S.C.A. § 5116(2)
  2. ^ http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/mint_programs/am_eagles/AmerEagleGold.pdf
  3. ^ "2012 American Eagle One Ounce Gold Proof Coin (PJ1)". United States Mint. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  4. ^ Thorne and Wilson v. Utah State Tax Commission, 681 P.2d 1237, 1239 (Utah 1984).
  5. ^ U.S. ex rel. Holbrook v. Brink's Co., 2015 WL 196424 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 15, 2015)
  6. ^ "How do you price your products? - Official US Mint Store". catalog.usmint.gov. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  7. ^ "Gold Eagle Mintages | American Gold Eagles". goldeagleguide.com. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  8. ^ "US Mint | United States Mint Gold and Silver Coins Mintage". sdbullion.com. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  9. ^ "2009 American Gold Eagle". goldeagleguide.com. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  10. ^ "2011 Uncirculated Gold Eagle". www.coinnews.net. Retrieved 2018-09-09.

External linksEdit