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US Gold Coins


US Mint Gold at Provident Metals

Among the more popular mints in the world of bullion is the US Mint. This mint is America’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and circulating coinage. While most know the US Mint for its popular American Eagle Gold collection, the official gold bullion coin of the United States, there is an array of popular gold bullion options from the US Mint.

American Eagle Gold Coins

The official gold bullion coin of the United States is the American Eagle Gold Coin. These coins are also the only bullion coins from the US Mint that still is available in fractional ounces. The series debuted in 1986 with 4 weights available for BU coins, along with a 1 oz proof coin.

Design

Whether you order your American Eagle Gold Coin as a proof, burnished, or BU coin, the design will remain largely consistent.

  • Obverse – Since the series’ debut in 1986, the obverse has remained, for the most part, consistent. Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Walking Liberty is on the obverse of every coin in this series. It features Liberty holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand as she confidently walks toward the viewer. In the background, we can see the Capitol building along with rays of sun. While this design has been used on these coins since 1986, the original design was created in 1907 and was commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt to be used on the $20 Saint-Gaudens Gold Coin.

From 1986-2021, 50 stars encircled Walking Liberty. With the release of type 2, the obverse featured 46 stars rather than 50, a tribute to the original design when there were just 46 states.

  • Reverse (1986-2021) – From 1986 to 2021 a design featuring a family of eagles was used. This popular design by Miley Busiek displayed a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying to a nest occupied by a female eagle and her eaglet. Notably, the initials of both Busiek (MB) and US Mint sculptor Sherl Joseph Winter (JW) are present on this design field.
  • Reverse (2021-present) – Beginning in the second half of 2021, the US Mint updated the reverse design for the first time in the overall series. This design showcases a close-up of an eagle in left-profile relief designed by Jennie Norris. Her initials as well as the initials of US Mint medallic artist, Renata Gordon, are on the reverse. The US Mint released American Eagle Gold Coins Type 1 in 2021 featuring the design of Miley Busiek on the reverse while type 2 coins showcase this updated design. From 2022 on, this design is the only one on the reverse.

American Eagle Gold History

This series debuted in 1986 under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985. The release of this coin program marked the first time in 152 years that the US Mint had issued a coin over .900 pure.

In 1986, the US Mint released four BU weights. Each weight is released annually every year.

  • 1 oz – $50
  • 1/2 oz – $25
  • 1/4 oz – $10
  • 1/10 oz – $5

The same four sizes are available in proof strikes and burnished versions as well. The 1 oz Proof American Eagle Gold Coin debuted alongside the four BU weights in 1986. In 1987 the 1/2 oz proof was released followed by the 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz in 1988. Proof releases did take a one-year break in 2009 due to economic uncertainty and the US Mint trying to keep up with BU demand.

Burnished coins in this series debuted in 2006. All four sizes released annually from 2006-2008. Due to economic uncertainty, no burnished coins in this series were released from 2009 to 2010. These coins made a comeback in 2011, just for the 1 oz coin, and have been released every year since. Fractional burnished coins were discontinued in 2008.

American Buffalo Gold Coins

While American Eagle Gold Coins are the most popular coins offered by the United States Mint, it’s not their only annual bullion release. In 2006, they debuted the American Buffalo Gold Coins. The release of these coins marked the first time the federal government released a .9999 gold coin for the public.

Design

While the coin program debuted in 2006, the designs were first created in 1913. The design of both fields is a modified version of the Buffalo Nickel, designed by James Earle Fraser. William Howard Taft and his administration commissioned James Earle Fraser to create a new design for the US nickel.

  • Obverse – The obverse field depicts a Native American in right-profile relief. The Native American shown on the obverse is a combination of three figures – Iron Tail of the Sioux, Big Tree of the Kiowa, and Two Moons of the Cheyenne.
  • Reverse – The reverse side displays an American Bison in left-profile relief. The bison is shown standing on a mound of dirt.

American Buffalo Gold History

These coins are authorized under the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 which required a presidential dollar coin series to begin in 2007 as well as the production of a 1 oz 24-karat gold bullion coin with a face value of $50 and a mintage of at least 300,000. Thus, the American Buffalo Gold Coin was born.

Every coin in this series is struck at the West Point location of the US Mint. The 1 oz version debuted in 2006 and has been released annually ever since. In 2008, the coin program released a 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, and a 1/2 oz coin with face values of $5, $10, and $25 respectively.

Mintage figures for the series fluctuate between 61,500 (2019) – 410,000 (2022). Only twice in the history of the series (2017, 2019) was the mintage under 100,000.

Proof strikes have also been released annually since 2006. After 246,267 were produced in 2006, mintage figures have been consistently under 60,000. Like the BU version, just a 1 oz coin is released every year. In 2008, three fractional ounces were released but just for that year.

In 2013, a special reverse-proof coin was released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original Buffalo Nickel design. There was a mintage of 47,836 for this special release.

Pre-33 Gold

The US Mint was established in 1792 with the first coins being struck a year later. It’s believed that the first coins struck were half dimes made from silverware provided by George and Martha Washington. However, there were an array of other unique coins struck such as Pre-33 US Gold. These circulation gold coins feature designs that remain popular with investors and collectors today.

From 1795 to 1833, all US gold coins had 91.67% of gold content. The remaining 8.33% was made up of a combination of silver and copper. From 1834-1836, the gold content in coins was lowered to 89.92% due to merchants exporting US gold coins and melting them down outside of the United States. In 1837, the standard was set. From 1837-1933 all US gold coins had 90% gold.

The most popular Pre-33 US gold coins are the US Eagle denominations.

  • US Quarter Eagle -$2.50 (USD) face value (1795-1933)
  • US Half Eagle – $5 (USD) face value (1795-1929)
  • US Eagle – $10 (USD) face value (1795-1933)
  • US Double Eagle – $20 (USD) face value (1849-1933)

Due to the California Gold Rush, the US Mint received a heavy surplus of gold. As such, they introduced a US Gold Dollar Coin in 1849. These coins had .04837 Troy oz of the 90% gold and 10% copper mixture.

In the early 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt advocated for new designs for United States coins. As such, he turned to his friend, Augustus Saint Gaudens. Before his death in 1907, he completed designs for the eagle ($10) and the double eagle ($20). Boston sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt created the designs for the half eagle ($5) and the quarter eagle ($2.50) the following year. The eagle, half eagle, and quarter eagle featured the left-profile portrait of a Native American man (known as Indian Eagles) while the double eagle featured a unique image of Liberty marching toward the viewer (known as Saint Gaudens Double Eagle).

US Commemorative Gold

Over the years, the US Mint has released special coinage, otherwise known as commemorative gold. These started in 1892 when the US Mint would release coinage to mark special occasions. Gold production in the United States ceased from 1933-1986, However, commemorative gold coins made a comeback a few years prior. The US Mint has released at least one commemorative coin every year since 1982, except for 1985 and 2023. Some popular options offered at Provident Metals are:

  • First Spouse Coins – This unique series was authorized with the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005. Every first spouse from Martha Washington to Barbara Bush has been honored on a 1/2 oz gold coin with a purity of .9999. The obverse of these gold coins features a portrait of the First Lady while the reverse presents a narrative from the first spouse’s life or something the First Lady was known for.
  • 2016 Commemorative Gold Coins – This release of three coins revived important designs from 1916 for a 100th anniversary. These coins were initially released with limited mintage figures, commemorative boxes, and a Certificate of Authenticity. These 3 coins were the 2016 American Walking Liberty Half Dollar 1/2 oz Gold Coin, the 2016 American Standing Liberty Quarter 1/4 oz Gold Coin, and the 2016 American Mercury Dime 1/10 oz Gold Coin.

Purchasing US Mint Gold at Provident Metals

You will always find US Mint Gold Coins at Provident Metals. For any inquiries, please don’t hesitate to ask. Our customer service team is available at 1-800-313-3315. Additionally, we can also be reached through email or our online chat feature.