The first gold coin struck in the US was the 1787 Brasher Doubloon. It represents one of the most significant pieces in the history of the economy in the United States involving gold and silver coins.
The Coinage Act, which was passed into law by Congress in 1794 was the first legislation that authorized the US Mint to issue gold coins intended for circulation.
The Act established a single face value for each coin type, American Eagles were issued with a face value of $10, Half Eagles of $5, and Quarter Eagles of $2.50. During those times, the intrinsic value of the gold content was about in line with the coin's face value.
In 1933, President Roosevelt, with a stroke of a pen, signed Executive Order that made it illegal for everyday Americans to own gold and forced all citizens to exchange their gold for Federal Reserve Notes.
Millions of ounces of circulated gold coins were removed from the economy and melted down into gold bars to be stored at Fort Knox and other bullion depositories.
Many patriotic citizens refused to comply the decree, and today, these Pre-1933 Gold Coins can serve both as investments in physical coins and as collectibles that are available in raw and graded forms in many weight, design, and grade options.
Pre-1933 gold coins are one of the most sought after gold bullion types available to precious metals investors and stackers.
There are various Pre-1933 US Gold coins available in the precious metals market that have survived the test of time. The sizes and designs are very distinct from modern coins. However, they still have certain similarities, such as the face value of primary denominations of $20 (commonly referred to as the Double Eagle or the Gold Double Eagle), $10 gold eagle, $5 half eagle, and $2.50 quarter eagle. The actual gold content (agw) in these gold coins ranges from .1209 to .9675 oz. of gold, alloyed with copper to improve its strength and durability. The three most popular designs of Pre-1933 gold coins are the Indian Head, Saint Gaudens, and Liberty Head designs.
Other, less common coins were minted and circulated that included $3 and $1 face values.
The Indian Head Gold Coin incorporates an image of a Native American chief on the obverse side that celebrates the indigenous cultural history of the United States. The unique design characteristic of the Indian Head Gold Coins is that the design is incuse, which means that this design is sunken into the coin instead of being raised.
The Indian Head series of coins was minted from 1907 until 1916, and then irregularly until 1933.
The Saint Gaudens Gold Coin depicts on its obverse side the image of the walking Lady Liberty with an olive branch in one hand and a torch in the other one, with the Capitol Building being visible behind her. The same design served as an inspiration for the American Gold Eagle coin.
The Saint-Gaudens double eagle is a twenty-dollar gold coin, minted by the United States Mint from 1907 to 1933.
The Liberty Head Gold Eagle Coin features on its obverse side the depiction of Lady Liberty facing leftward and adorned with a coronet atop of her head. This coin is mainly available in two size options, like the $2.5 Liberty Quarter Gold Eagle and the $5 Liberty Half Gold Eagle, and, according to its size, can have the inscription 'Liberty' on the coronet.
The Liberty Head or Coronet eagle is an American ten-dollar gold piece struck for commerce from 1850 to 1907.
These coins have not been produced for over 90 years. Availability can be limited during times of high demand.
With the stroke of his pen, Roosevelt made it illegal for citizens to own gold. It's hard to imagine that gold had been the basis of the American economy since colonial times. By referencing an old World War I statute called the "Trading With The Enemy Act" of 1917, Roosevelt essential declared war on ordinary American citizens.
Thirty years after the establishing the Federal Reserve, Roosevelt signed over control of the economy to a cartel of bankers that profit from the debt that gets created by the government. Along the way, political insiders siphon off their cut with little to no oversight.
His executive order immediately caused the US Mint to destroy all 1933 gold coins. Except for twenty coins were documented to be stolen, with one of the coins becoming legalized and held in a private collection.
Millions of ordinary citizens were forced to hand over their gold to Federal Reserve or face prosecution from the federal government. Citizens were allowed to keep a nominal amount of gold, up to $100 worth of gold. In those days, that was the equivalent to just five $20 St-Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Coins. Today, those five coins are worth more than $10,000.
There were exceptions for gold coins considered to be collector coins, those having numismatic value or being rare of unusual. A 1934 issue of The Coin Collector's Journal featured an advertisement from a local coin shop in New York City selling uncirculated quarter eagle gold coins from the 1920s for $4.50. With other denominations showing similar premiums due to devaluing the dollar by increasing the price of gold from $20 to $35 per ounce of gold.
Many investors looking for the stability of gold became collectors practically overnight. In addition to maintaining their intrinsic value today, these gold coins carry cultural heritage and historical significance. American's during that time understood the true value of gold.
In today's market it is common to find Pre-1933 gold coins that may have an added jewelry clasp, which became a common way for citizens to continue to hoard gold. These bullion coins often have lower premiums and can be a cheaper option when compared with graded collectibles.
Coin collecting has evolved beyond merely acquiring coins for their monetary value. Many collectors now focus on various aspects, including historical significance, artistic appeal, rarity, and cultural context, with some collectors specializing in specific periods, rulers, or coin types.
With advancements in communication and technology, coin collecting has become more accessible to a global audience. The internet allows collectors to connect, research, sell and buy gold coins from around the world. Online auction platforms and forums have expanded the reach of numismatics.
With their unique designs, historical significance, and rarity, Pre-1933 US Gold Coins offer collectors and investors a glimpse into the past and a tangible connection to the stories of our ancestors.
These gleaming pieces of history are valuable precious metal assets and windows into a fascinating era.
The Sheldon grading Scale is widely used by various entities within the numismatic community. Third-party grading services are arguably the most notable users of the Sheldon grading Scale. These independent organizations, including the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), provide expert coin grading services to collectors and dealers worldwide.
Sheldon introduced his scale in the 1940s for the grading of early American cents, but the system's usefulness quickly led to its adoption for all types of coins. The Sheldon Grading Scale effectively revolutionized the field of numismatics by providing a common language to describe a coin's condition.
The notion of sales tax on precious metals investing is a contentious issue to some and represents a line in the sand between some legislators and investors. Despite the long history of gold and silver being recognized as money, many states continue to tax their citizens for the privilege of owning these metals.
On April 5, 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 which outlawed the private ownership of gold by citizens.
For a duration lasting 41 years in the mid-20th century, the government made it a crime for the people to own, hold or transact in sound money.
Following the resignation of Nixon, one of the first laws signed by President Ford included a bill which reversed Roosevelt's Executive Orders.
It has been legal for anyone to own, hoard, buy and sell gold in the United States since December 1, 1974.