American Gold Eagle Coins

The American Gold Eagle is a gold bullion coin produced by the US Mint. Along with the silver eagle, the gold eagle has been in production since 1986, after its authorization by Congress. (The Gold and Silver Eagle were authorized by the Bullion Coin Act of 1985.

The image of Liberty on the obverse is a design by the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens and it was originally used on the Double-Eagle $20 US gold coins from 1907 to 1933. It is considered by many to be one of the world's most beautiful coin designs, but I personally prefer the image of Liberty that is featured on the Walking Liberty half dollar and the American Silver Eagle.

My one and only gold coin - a 1/4 oz. gold eagle!
My one and only gold coin - a 1/4 oz. gold eagle!

American Gold Eagle Coins

The gold eagle coin is a 22k gold coin, basically pure gold plus a small amount of alloy added during manufacture in order to provide hardness and help prevent scratches (gold is quite soft). The 50 dollar coin is a 1 oz bullion coin containing a full 1 oz of fine gold.

In addition to the 1 oz coin, fractional sizes have been minted as well -- though the fractional coins ended production in 2008, it is possible for them to be resumed at some point in the future.

Fractional sizes that exist are 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz. The 1/10 oz is quite teensy, but I like the quarter oz gold eagles. They are a nice compromise when you can't afford to buy a full ounce of gold at a time. Just keep in mind that fractional gold coins carry higher premiums than the 1 oz coins.

What are Gold Eagle Coins Worth?

As a bullion coin, the Gold Eagle's value is tied to the spot price of gold. As a minted coin, it also carries some premium, usually about $40 or so over the spot price for a 1 oz coin. Fractional size coins may carry nearly as large a premium as 1 oz gold, so if you can afford to purchase at least an ounce at a time, it will save you money in the long run.

Currently gold prices are well over $950 per ounce, but precious metal prices can fluctuate wildly... just like the stock market.Like other commodities however, gold often moves in the opposite direction of the Dow so for investors who are looking to spread their investment risk into different types of investment vehicles, gold bullion can be a great choice. Bullion coins are very liquid. I could walk into a coin store tomorrow and sell all of my bullion coins in about five minutes (though that would be dumb as I would certainly get more money on Ebay by selling them individually).

US gold eagle coins can even be purchased for IRA accounts. However, that means the storage of the coins is out of your hands and I think that defeats one of the main benefits of purchasing physical gold bullion. There are also storage fees involved. And paperwork. Plus, you can't play with it.

If you're going to let someone else mind your gold, you might as well just buy into a Gold etf.

American Eagle Gold Coin
American Eagle Gold Coin

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