The minting of the Gold American Eagle coin was authorized under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985. The Act requires that the coins contain the stated amount of actual gold weight in troy ounces and that the gold used in the coins comes from mines within the US. The Gold Eagles are the official gold bullion coin of the US. The mintage numbers of the 1986 Gold Eagles are the highest total until 1998, even though sales of these coins did not start until October 1986. The 1/2 oz Gold Eagles had the lowest mintage numbers of the 4 weights in 1986, at 599,566. Right now, Silver.com has the 1986 1/2 oz Gold American Eagle coin available for purchase.
- Arrives in a protective plastic flip!
- From the 1st year of the Gold American Eagle coin series!
- Consists of One Half Troy ounce of actual gold content.
- The obverse features Lady Liberty.
- The reverse features a family of eagles.
- Has a face value of $25 (USD) fully backed by the government of the United States.
The obverse of the Gold American Eagle features a full-length figure of Lady Liberty walking directly towards you. Her hair is flowing in the breeze, she is carrying a torch in her outstretched right hand and an olive branch in her left hand. At the bottom of the coin, to the left of her right foot is a depiction of the Capitol building. This Lady Liberty is a version of the design created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens for the Double Eagle in the early 1900’s.
The reverse of the Gold American Eagle features a male eagle, carrying an olive branch, flying towards the family nest where a female eagle and a couple of eaglets await. This design was created by Miley Busiek and sculpted by Sherl J. Winter, and is intended to represent the importance of unity and family tradition in America. It includes several inscriptions as well.
The price of gold started 1986 at $326.30 per ounce. After rising to a high of $438.00 in early September, the price of gold finished the year at $396.13 per ounce. This was an increase of just over 19% from 1985. The September peak was just before the release of the new Gold Eagle coins in October.
In the early 1900’s, President Theodore Roosevelt was deeply dissatisfied with the status of US coins. He chose Irish-born Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign the nation’s coinage. Saint-Gaudens designed the Double Eagle coin in the mid-1900’s, which today is still considered to be one of the most beautiful American coins ever issued. It is the obverse design from this coin that is the basis for the obverse design on today’s Gold American Eagle coins.
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