The American Gold Eagle is an official gold bullion coin of the United States. Authorized under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985. It was first released by the United States Mint in 1986.
The term "eagle" also is the official United States designation for pre-1933 ten dollars gold coins, the weight of the bullion coin is typically used when describing American Gold Eagles (e.g., "1/2-ounce American Gold Eagle") to avoid confusion. This is particularly true with the 1/4-oz American Gold Eagle, which has a marked face value of ten dollars.
The American Gold Eagle is the one of two official US Mint gold coins (along with the Gold Buffalo Coins). These coins, like their silver counterpart, date back to 1986.
Composed of 1 troy ounce in 22 karat gold form, Gold American Eagles include both silver and copper to provide the soft metal with some rigidity. That provides the coin with great wear-resistance against blemishes and cuts that are possible on more pure gold coins.
American Gold Eagle coins are available in several size designations (1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1 oz), each is guaranteed for content by the United States Government and carries currency designation as legal tender.
From 1986-1991 American Gold Eagle coins were minted with Roman numerals for dates. Starting in 1992, the US Mint switch to using Arabic numbers for Gold Eagle dates.
The fractional gold denominations of the American Gold Eagle coins are identical in design to the 1 troy oz coin except for the marking on the coin's reverse that indicate weight and face value.
American Gold Eagle coins are legal tender in the United States at their face values. The face values of the coins do not reflect the intrinsic value of the gold from which they are minted.
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