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Thursday, 2 April 2015

179) American Eagle Gold coins. A ½ Ounce $25 American Gold Eagle Coin minted by the US Mint in 2015:



179) American Eagle Gold coins. A ½ Ounce $25 American Gold Eagle Coin minted by the US Mint in 2015:


Brief history of evolution of the American Gold Eagle Coins:

The US Mint was set up in 1792 and the first original “Eagles”, (as the American Eagle Gold Coins were called – the “American Eagle” being a symbol of the Nation’s freedom) were minted by the Mint in 1795. (1795 was the first year that the US Mint struck gold coins for circulation, both as ten dollar gold eagles and five dollar half eagles).

From 1795 to 1804, the “draped bust” Lady Liberty ten dollar Gold Eagles were struck by the US Mint.

From 1838 to 1907, the ten dollar “Liberty” Gold Eagles were struck by the US Mint and proved to be the longest running series of all US coins of any precious metal content (almost 70 years).

In contrast, the smallest denomination of US gold coin, the gold one dollar coin was struck from 1849 to 1889 (only for about 40 years).

Between 1905-1907, the $20 “double eagle” gold piece was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens for the US Mint, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful US coins ever minted. Saint-Gaudens also designed the $10 “Indian Head” Gold Eagle.

From 1907-1933, both the above-mentioned coins were minted with Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ designs. 
 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle minted by the US Mint in 1933. One of the last few minted in this Series.

Thereafter, it was only in 1984, that the US Mint struck ten dollar gold commemorative Gold Eagle coins in honour of the Olympic Games, (these were the first Gold Eagles struck in 51 years after 1933).

Today, the American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins are much sought after by Collectors.

 Gold coins are not found in general circulation and are often purchased as investment options.

American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins:

The American Gold Eagle is now an official gold bullion coin in the USA.

In 1981, the concept of having American Eagle Gold coins was mooted by Congressman Ron Paul to President Ronald Reagan’s Gold Commission.

In 1985, the minting of these coins was authorised by Congress which enacted the “Gold Bullion Act of 1985”.

In 1986, these coins were first minted for the first time under the Act.

American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins are minted according to a 22-carat or Karat (kt) standard for circulating gold coinage. The 22–Karat gold alloy is an English standard traditionally referred to as Crown Gold (0.9167 fineness or 22 Karat gold). The 22 Karat English Standard was established for gold circulating coinage over 350 years ago. Crown gold alloys had not been used in US minted coins since 1834 and the gold content of US minted coins was scaled down to 0.9000 fineness. However, for American Gold Eagle Coins, the gold fraction was again increased to the English Standard of 0.9167 since 1986. These coins contain their stated amount of pure gold (91.67%), which by law, should be taken from newly mined sources in the USA and the balance should consists of silver (3%) and copper (5.33%), added to increase the coin’s durability and to help prevent scratching and marring and to produce a more water-resistant coin. This creates harder coins which resist scratching and marring.

While the American Eagle Gold Bullion and Proof quality coins were first minted in 1986, the Uncirculated quality coins were first minted in 2006.

All qualities of the American Eagle Coins are being minted every year ever since they were first minted in 1986. American Eagle coins are also minted in Platinum (since 1997) and Silver (in both Proof and Bullion finishes since 1986) versions with both Platinum and Silver versions being available in one ounce sizes only).

Between 1986 and 1991  Gold Eagles were dated with Roman numerals.

From 1992 onwards, the US Mint is using Western Arabic numerals for dating Gold Eagles.

The weight, content and purity of the American Eagle Gold Coins are guaranteed by the US Government to contain the stated amount of actual gold weight in troy ounces. Interestingly, American eagle gold Bullion coins are the only bullion coins whose weight, content and purity are guaranteed by the US Government.

Various Qualities of American Eagle Gold Coins:

The American Eagle Gold coins are now minted in Proof, Uncirculated and Bullion quality.

The term “Proof” refers to a specialised minting process that starts with manually putting burnished coin blanks into presses fitted with special dies. Each coin is struck multiple times so the softly frosted, yet detailed images seem to float above a mirror-like field. Proof quality coins are distinguished by the presence of a mint mark, indicating their production facility and by the use of burnished coin blanks, which are manually fed into specially adapted coining presses one at a time. After scrutiny by white gloved specialists, the Proof Gold Eagle Coins are placed in a plastic capsule and mounted in an elegant satin-lined velvet presentation case.

American Eagle Gold Proof Coins are collector’s versions of the official US Mint bullion coins and are minted in four sizes viz., one-ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce and one-tenth ounce, as well as a four-coin Proof set, which contains one coin of each denomination.

The term “Uncirculated refers to a specialised minting process used to create these American Eagle Gold Coins. Although they are similar in appearance to American Eagle Bullion coins, uncirculated quality coins are distinguished by the presence of a mint mark, indicating their production facility and by the use of burnished coin blanks, which are manually fed into specially adapted coining presses one at a time. Each uncirculated coin is carefully inspected before it is encapsulated in a plastic cover and placed in a protective outer box. American Eagle Gold and silver Uncirculated coins are minted and sold in one ounce sizes only.

The term “Bullion” traditionally stands for gold bars, silver bars, other precious metals bars or ingots. The word “bullion” comes from the French word “bouillon” (meaning “boiling”) and was a term used for a mint or a melting house, where metals were melted for giving them various other shapes, say, for example, coins in the case of a mint or a bar made of precious metals or bars plated with precious metals. Today Bullion refers to precious metals in bulk which are regularly traded on commodity markets.

Bullion coins are precious metal coins (mostly gold and silver) minted by authorised agencies primarily for investment purposes. Some old bullion coins which are still in popular demand are the Maria Theresa Thaler, Krugerrand and the British sovereigns.

American Eagle Gold Bullion coins are minted in four sizes viz., one-ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce and one-tenth ounce.

 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins are one of USA’s only official investment-grade gold bullion coins.

Ever since the Bullion American Eagle Gold Coins were first minted in 1986, they have become one of the most popular gold coins across the Globe.

A brief about Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens: (01.03.1848-03.08.1907) and his numismatic Designs:

He was an American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who embodied the ideals of the “American Renaissance”. He sculpted popular monuments commemorating heroes of the American Civil War, many of which still stand as a testimony to his work.

Numismatic Designs: Between1892-1903, Saint-Gaudens turned his attention to Numismatics. He is credited with having designed the $20 “double eagle” gold piece for the US Mint in 1905-1907, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful US coins ever minted. He also designed the $10 “Indian Head” Gold Eagle. Both these coins were minted with his designs from 1907-1933.

Execution of his numismatic designs:

The first “ultra-high relief” $20 gold coin design was adapted into a flattened-down version by the US Mint. These coins took upto 11 strikes to bring out the clarity in details of the design but only about two dozen of these coins were minted in 1907. Also these coins due to their “unwieldy” designs did not stack up properly. Nevertheless, these first pieces are much sought after by collectors and are very highly priced today, valued at around $3,000,000.

Later another modified version required upto three to four strikes to bring out the clarity in the design, again in 1907, Some 12300 or so coins were minted with the modified design which too are in great demand by collectors.

Still later, in the same year, the coin was modified to a normal-relief version, which was minted from 1907 to 1933.

In 1986, the Saint-Gaudens obverse design was revisited and reused in the American Eagle gold bullion coins which were first minted in 1986.

In 2009, 102 years after Saint Gaudens design was accepted by the US Mint, an “ultra High relief” $20 (24 Karat) gold coin was struck by the US Mint as a Collector’s coin.

Minting facility and Coin specifications:

  These coins are minted at the West Point Mint facility of the US Mint in New York. The Proof and Uncirculated versions carry the Mint’s “W” mint mark beneath the year of issue, which is not struck in the Bullion quality coins.

These Commemorative coins are offered in the denominations of one ounce, ½ ounce, ¼ ounce and 1/10 ounce.

The gold weight and specifications vary with each coin denomination as shown below:

One Ounce Gold Proof Coin: Denomination: $50; Diameter: 1.287 inches (32.70 mm); Metal composition/content: 1 gold troy ounce, (31.104 gms); Weight: 1.0909 ounces (33.931 gms). Thickness: 0.113” (2.87 mm).

(On the reverse of the coin, on the lower periphery, is mentioned the weight and face value of the coin – “1 OZ. FINE GOLD ~ 50 DOLLARS”).

One-half Ounce Gold Proof Coin: Denomination: $25; Diameter: 1.063 inches (27.00 mm); Metal composition/content: 0.5000 gold troy ounce (15.552 gms); Weight: 0.5455 troy ounce (16.966 gms). Thickness: 0.085” (2.15 mm).

(On the reverse of the coin, on the lower periphery, is mentioned the weight and face value of the coin – “1/2 OZ. FINE GOLD ~ 25 DOLLARS”).

One-quarter ounce Gold Proof Coin: Denomination: $10; Diameter: 0.866 inch (22.00 mm); Metal composition/content: 0.2500 gold troy ounce (7.776 gms); Weight: 0.2727 troy ounce (8.483 gms).Thickness: 0.070” (1.78 mm).

(On the reverse of the coin, on the lower periphery, is mentioned the weight and face value of the coin – “1/4 OZ. FINE GOLD ~ 10 DOLLARS”).

One-tenth ounce Gold Proof Coin:Denomination: $5; Diameter: 0.650 inch (16.50 mm); Metal composition/content: 0.1000 gold troy ounce (3.110 gms); Weight: 0.1091 troy ounce (3.393 gms). Thickness:  0.049’ (1.26 mm).

(On the reverse of the coin, on the lower periphery, is mentioned the weight and face value of the coin – “1/10 OZ. FINE GOLD ~ 5 DOLLARS”).

The Obverse of all the American Eagle Gold Coin design features world-renowned American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ design for the prized 1907 $20 gold coin, (commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt in the 20th century, who wanted Saint-Gaudens to create coins like the ancient Greek and Roman coins.). The design shows the full-length figure/image of Lady Liberty (or Marianne in France) with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left, with the Capitol building in the left hand side background.

The Reverse of all the American Eagle Gold Coin was designed by sculptor Miley Busiek. The design features a family of Eagles and shows a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying above an aerie/ nest in which are sitting a female eagle and her two hatchlings. This design symbolises/ signifies the strength and security of families in America as well as family traditions and values.

Description of a $25 Half-Ounce American Eagle gold coin:



The Obverse of the above ½ Ounce American Eagle Gold coin design features sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ full length image of Lady Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left. The Capitol building is shown in the left hand side background. On the top periphery is mentioned “LIBERTY” while in the right of centre is mentioned the Year of issue “2015”. On the outer periphery can be seen 50 stars symbolising the states which form the Federation of the USA.



The Reverse of the above ½ Ounce American Eagle Gold coin design by sculptor Miley Busiek, which shows a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying above an aerie/ nest in which are sitting a female eagle and her two hatchlings. This design signifies the strength, unity and security of families residing in the United States of  America. The initials of Miley Busiek “MB” appear towards the left bottom periphery below the aerie (Eagle’s nest). On the upper periphery is mentioned the name of the issuing country “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”. On the lower periphery is mentioned “1/2 OZ. FINE GOLD ~ 25 DOLLARS”. On the centre left is mentioned “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (meaning “Out of Many One” in Latin). On the centre right is mentioned the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. Notice that although this coin has been minted at the West Point mint, New York, it does not display the “W” mint mark, indicating that this is a bullion coin, as the West Point mint mark is placed in the Proof and Uncirculated American Eagle Gold Coins only struck in this Series.



The coin bag in which the above coin has been sold at “DUBAI DUTY FREE” shop.





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