The US Eagle Coins
Many investors prize the American Eagle gold bullion coin and the American Eagle silver bullion coin not only for their investment value but also for their unique and charming design. Discover more about these unique and valuable coins as we further investigate their history.
What are the US Eagle coins?
The American Gold Eagle coins and the American Silver Eagle coins are bullion coins released from the United States official mint. The most recent coins that have been struck by the US Mint are authorised under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985 and the first issue of both gold and silver coins that were released after this bill was passed was in 1986.
The new law clearly stated that only the US Mint has the right to strike and produce these coins and that only gold that was mined domestically in the US can be used in the minting of these coins.
The term ‘eagle’ was used in America up until 1933 to define all gold bullion coins with a $10 value. To avoid confusion, the modern range is referred to with the specific weight; for example, “1/2oz Eagle gold coin” or “1/4oz Eagle gold coin”.
Are American Eagle coins legal tender?
Yes, all of the modern American Eagle gold coins are considered to be legal tender, but due to the high value of the gold bullion used to strike them, reaching into hundreds or thousands of dollars, these coins are purchased primarily for their investment value.
But if you were so inclined to spend them as legal tender, it’s worth knowing that it was decided that the 1/10oz coin would be $5, the 1/4oz coin would be $10, the 1/2oz coin would be $25 and the 1oz coin would be valued at $50.
The modern US Eagle gold bullion coin design
The current design hasn’t changed much since the modern version of these coins was first struck by the US Mint in 1986.
The design for this new collection of gold bullion coins was inspired by Saint Gaudens’ older ‘Eagle’ coins which were minted in 1907. On the obverse side (the front) of the modern gold coin, an image of Lady Liberty is standing tall holding an olive branch in one hand and a torch in the other. The word ‘LIBERTY’ can be read above her head and near the bottom, on Lady Liberty’s bottom right hand side, the year that the gold bullion coin was minted.
On the reverse of the coin, representing America’s national spirit and family unity, a male bald eagle carrying an olive branch firmly in its beak descends to nest with a female bald eagle and their hatchlings.
The words ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM’ and ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ are also on this side of the coin. At the top are the words ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’ and the purity of the gold used in the coin which is inscribed at the bottom.
The modern US Eagle silver bullion coin design
The modern design of the US Eagle silver bullion coin depicts the ‘Walking Liberty’ on its obverse which has used the original 1916 design from famous US sculptor Adolph A. Weinman.
The reverse of the American Eagle silver bullion coin was designed by John Mercanti in 1986 and it features a heraldic eagle behind a shield. The eagle is holding an olive branch in its right talon and arrows in its left talon and there are 13 stars which have five points each to represent the 13 American colonies.
What size is the American Eagle gold coin?
The American eagle gold coin size varies; currently there are four different sizes of the American Eagle gold coin.
- The 1oz coin weighs 33.9313, has a fine gold content of 31.104g and measures 32.7mm in diameter
- The 1/2oz coin weighs 16.9660g, has a fine gold content of 15.552g and measures 27.0mm in diameter
- The 1/4oz coin weighs 8.4830g, has a fine gold content of 7.776g and measures 22.0mm in diameter
- The 1/10oz coin weighs 3.3930g, has a fine gold content of 3.110g and measures 16.5mm in diameter
Different versions of the US Eagle gold coin
Investors and collectors will be pleased to know that the American Double Eagle gold coin that was originally designed by Saint-Gaudens has a unique version that has the date 1907 written in Roman numerals instead of the Arabic numbers. This coin has been called the “Saint-Gaudens High relief Roman Numerals 1907” and was withdrawn from the US Mint in 1933.
The gold version of these coins minted in 1986 until 1991 is dated with Roman numerals whereas those struck after 1991 are dated in standard Arabic numerals. These little quirks all add interest to collectors seeking to complete their collections.
Is the American Eagle coin pure gold?
The majority of the precious metal make-up of the American Eagle gold bullion coin is pure gold, but 8.33 per cent is a metal alloy comprising of 5.33 per cent copper and 3 per cent silver, which is included because gold is a very soft metal.
What size is the American Eagle silver coin?
The American Eagle silver bullion coin weighs 31.1000g in pure silver. Boasting a .999 purity rating, it measures 40.6mm in diameter and these coins are only minted in this 1oz size.
Why should you buy US Eagle coins?
Finding the right coins to buy is a decision for each investor or collector to make for themselves. But many people choose US Eagles because they come with the guarantee of the United States Government for the weight, precious metal purity and gold or silver content of each individual coin. Another bonus for investors based in the UK is that any purchase is without VAT. Silver versions will, however, incur VAT.
What are US Eagle coins worth?
The American Eagle gold and silver coins are considered to be legal tender at the face value depicted on the coin itself and they are valued at $5, $10, $25 and $50. But we are of course interested in the gold value here. At the time of writing a 1oz gold coin £1,012.03 while a silver coin was just £24.02 including VAT.
Both the silver and gold versions of these coins make wonderful additions to any collection. If you’re considering making a purchase, take a look at the UK Bullion range today.
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