Every year the US Mint releases their annual issues of the highly anticipated American Gold Eagles and the 2021 mintage marks the 35th anniversary of the program.
First struck in 1986, the American Gold Eagles are minted in four different sizes and denominations. The ½ ounce version carries a face value of $25, precisely half of the 1 oz bullion coin.
In 2020, the US Mint announced new designs for the reverse of the Eagle program, starting mid-year 2021. Until then, the classic design remains for the coins issued during the first half of the year.
Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1907, the obverse of the American Gold Eagles is one of the all time favorites in US coinage history. The design was used for the Double Eagles until they were discontinued in 1933 when the US Mint stopped the production of circulating coins made of gold.
This Saint-Gaudens design showcases Lady Liberty in all Her glory, striding forwards with the Capitol Building and the rising sun in the horizon. She carries a lit torch on her lifted right arm, symbolizing enlightenment as She shines the way to America’s freedom. A desire for peace is indicated by the olive branch She holds on Her left hand. The whole scene is encircled by six-pointed stars.
As mentioned before, a new design has been announced for the reverse of the US Eagles. However, the classic eagle family design, created by Miley Busiek, has one last chance to shine as it is used during the first half of 2021, while the new design gets ready for production.
Busiek’s creation depicts a bald eagle grasping a branch on its talon, close to lending on a nest, as it is adding one more piece to its home where its mate and nestling await. The inscriptions “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and “IN GOD WE TRUST” appear on the left and right hand of the design, respectively. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” is written on top and, on the bottom, it is inscribed “1/2 OZ. FINE GOLD ~ 25 DOLLARS”.
The new reverse design, announced in October of 2020, was created by Jennie Norris. The artist stated that she wanted to encapsulate all “pride and wisdom passed down through generations” of bald eagles, as she represented America’s national bird symbol gazing ahead. The mottos “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and “IN GOD WE TRUST” have been relocated to the top of the design, above the eagle’s head. The top still reads “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, but the order of the words on the bottom have been inverted, now saying “25 DOLLARS ½ OZ FINE GOLD”. Also, the words on the outer rim are now separated by 5-pointed stars.
The American Gold Eagles are struck with 22-karat gold (.9167 fineness). Also known as Crown Gold, or the English standard, the alloy is incremented with silver and copper to create a more wear-resistant coin. Still, the silver and copper content are added in addition to the ½ troy ounce of pure gold content, meaning these coins actually weigh a little over that margin, 0.5454 troy ounce (16.965 g) to be precise, with a diameter of 27 mm (or 1.063 inches) and reeded edges.
The American Eagles have been minted at the US Mint since 1986. The program started with gold and silver coins, with gold being struck in the 1 oz, ½ ounce, ¼ ounce and 1/10 ounce sizes.
The program quickly became a favorite among investors and collectors and the rapid success of the gold and silver coins enabled the production of the Platinum Eagle Coins, starting in 1997, and the Palladium Eagle Coins, in 2017.
A must-have in any numismatic collection, American Gold Eagles can make for a sensible option if you are planning to invest in gold or diversify your portfolio. Collectors and buyers are constantly rushing to them, making them easy to liquidate. Note that they require no federal forms to be transacted with.
The ½ troy ounce Gold Eagles are easy to store and transport and, yet, make for a sizable investment, even if you are not willing to go for the 1 ounce Gold Eagles right now. These gold coins are also IRA eligible if you are planning on funding your self-directed retirement account.
This content was originally published here.
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