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The Gold American Eagle is the nation’s official gold bullion coin. First introduced in 1986, the Gold Eagle has grown in popularity over the decades to become one of the most in-demand gold bullion coins struck on a yearly basis. Featuring .9167 gold and four different weights, the Gold American Eagle is a favorite among numismatics everywhere.
Gold American Eagle coin production was authorized by Congress in 1985 with passage of the Gold Bullion Coin Act that year. The original plan called for the production of bullion and proof coins, with four total weights available. Each coin is struck in 22-karat gold with a composition that is 91.67% gold, 3% silver, and 5.33% copper. The inclusion of silver and copper in metal alloy creates a more wear-resistant coin, enabling the surfaces of a Gold American Eagle to better withstand wear and tear when handled.
Prior to production of the Gold American Eagle coin, all US gold coins were struck in .900 gold. The introduction of these coins, in .9167 gold, marked the first increase in gold content in US coins since 1837 when the US Mint lowered the gold content standard to .900. Under US law, all of the gold used in production of these coins must come from sources within the United States.
The United States Mint strikes Gold American Eagles in 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz weights each year. The coins have varying face values based upon their weight, with each coin (except the ¼ oz) carrying a face value that is proportional to that weight. Face values are as follows:
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens to revitalize the design of American gold coins. Saint-Gaudens developed an image of Lady Liberty that was so stunning and unique for its time that the US Mint did not possess the technology to capitalize on the full beauty of his creation. His depiction of Lady Liberty would appear on the $20 Gold Double Eagle from 1907 to 1933, but Saint-Gaudens passed away in 1907 before the final design went into production on the coins.
With advanced technology available to bring Saint-Gaudens’ image back to life as its creator intended, the US Mint chose Lady Liberty for the obverse side of Certified Gold American Eagles. On the obverse, Lady Liberty is featured striding forward with a torch aloft in her right hand, and an olive branch clutched in her left. The rays of the rising sun are visible behind her figure, while the Capitol Building in Washington DC rests at her feet.
Engravings on this side of the coin include the word “Liberty,” the year of minting, and 50 stars around her image to represent each US state. The reverse side of the coin has an image of bald eagles as created by Miley Busiek in 1986. In her depiction, a male eagle returns to his nest with an olive branch, where a female maintains a vigilant watch over the hatchlings. Engravings on the reverse include “United States of America,” “E Pluribus Unum,” “In God We Trust,” and the coin’s weight, purity, metal content, and face value.
When a coin is listed as certified, it is an indication that it has been graded by one of the many grading services working within the precious metals industry. For gold and silver bullion coins, the primary coin grading services are the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). These two services are viewed as the strictest coin graders in the industry, and both follow the Sheldon scale of coin grading, using numerical values from 1 to 70 to assign coins a grade based upon luster, contact marks, hairlines, and other potential flaws.
The most common grades assigned to Certified Gold American Eagles by these services are Mint State 69 and Mint State 70. An MS70 coin is considered a perfect coin with full original luster and no contact marks or flaws. An MS69 coin still has its full original luster, but does contain one or two contact marks.
While both are viewed in high regard within the industry, the PCGS is considered by many to be more stringent in its adherence to standards when grading coins. That fact notwithstanding, a Certified Gold American Eagle that has passed the test with the NGC or PCGS has instant demand among investors and collectors.
The availability of Certified Gold American Eagles with Silver.com varies based upon demand for a particular coin. Given the increased demand for certified coins compared to those which have not been graded, supplies don’t last long. Currently, Silver.com has several 2015 and 2014 Certified Gold American Eagles available in all four weights.
When you purchase through Silver.com, you can rest assured knowing that we’ll help you protect your investment. All shipments from Silver.com are packaged in discreet boxes with no logos, making it impossible for anyone to determine the contents. Insurance and tracking are available to ensure you receive your package, and to protect against loss.
If you have any questions about Certified Gold American Eagles, the online purchasing process, or any of our gold coins, don’t hesitate to contact a Silver.com associate. Our team members are available at 888-989-7223. You can also connect with us online through our website’s live chat or via email.