The American Gold Eagle: 1/10oz
Gold coins are a large part of U.S. monetary history. Beginning in 1795, and lasting over a century until 1933, gold was used as a currency by the U.S. government. That changed in 1933 when President Roosevelt ordered a stop to gold minting to prevent hoarding. For over 50 years, U.S. mints did not produce any gold coins until 1986, and between 1933 and 1974, it was against the law for people in the U.S. to even own gold bullion.
The American Gold Eagle coin was originally introduced in 1986, following the passing by Congress of the Bullion Coin Act in 1985. The move by Congress was a direct response to the success of gold coins in other countries, such as the South African Krugerrand and Canadian Maple Leaf. Upon the passing of this law, the U.S. Treasury began creating and issuing gold coins of various sizes. One stipulation of the law was that the gold found in the coins must be from U.S. sources.
Once the American Eagle was in production and fully supported by the U.S. government, it achieved success around the world as the most popular gold coin.
American Eagle Details
Four coins make up the American Eagle coin series: the 1/10oz (0.1oz), 1/4oz (0.25oz), 1/2oz (0.5oz), and 1oz sizes. The coins actually weigh more than these designated sizes and weights; the numbers measure the amount of gold found in each one. Copper and silver are also used in each coin’s composition to create a 22-karat gold coin. Because of these added materials, the American Eagle coin is bigger and heavier than the 24-karat Canadian Maple Leaf.
The obverse (front side) of the American Eagle’s design is based on the $20 Saint Gaudens gold coin, which was produced for 26 years between 1907 and 1933. Augustus Saint Gaudens’ famed image of Lady Liberty walking into the future is shown on the obverse, as well as the year. Roman numerals were used to depict the year between 1986 and 1991, while Arabic numerals were used in 1992, and are still used today.
The reverse (back side) of the coin was designed by a different artist, Miley Busiek. It shows a flying male American eagle holding an olive branch in its talon. The eagle is flying to its nest, where a female eagle waits with their babies. The gold content of the coin is also shown on the reverse, along with the coin’s face value.
Content vs. Value
Many countries produce gold bullion coins at mints around the world. These coins often show a dollar value on the front or back. But, this dollar value is more of a tradition than anything else; it does not represent the coin’s actual value.
For example, 1/10oz American Gold Eagle may have a face value of $5. However, it’s true value changes every day, as the value and price of gold changes with the market. The only scenario in which anyone would actually exchange the coin for its face value is if the face value was higher than the gold value, which is highly unlikely.
Order Your Own Piece of American History
It is easy to order your own American Gold Eagle coin. We offer the 1/10oz version, as well as the other three sizes. Simply choose the quantity of coins you want, check out online using our easy to use shopping cart, and we will deliver the coins to you.