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Eagle – Double Eagle – Indian Head – American Eagle – American Buffalo

Gold coins also have a long tradition in the USA. They have been used as a method of payment there for centuries. The dollar currency was created in 1785, and the United States Mint was founded in 1792. They minted their own coins in dollars from then on.


Eagle and Double Eagle

The Eagle is an American gold coin with a face value of 10 US dollars. The coins were an official payment method from 1795 to 1933 and were minted in large circulation. It is still a popular investment coin even today. The motif on the head side was the Liberty Head, followed by the Indian Head. The other American gold coins were designated proportional to the 10 dollar eagle accordingly. The 20 dollar gold coin is called the Double Eagle, the 5 dollar gold coin the Half Eagle and the 2.5 dollar gold coin the Quarter Eagle.

A Double Eagle managed to attract a winning auction bid of 7.59 million dollars in 2002. It is thus the most valuable gold coin of all time, since there is only one single specimen left in free trade.

 

Ansicht Goldmünze American Eagle von 1894

Eagle 10 US dollar dated 1894

 

 Double Eagle Goldmünze USA

Double Eagle Liberty Head 20 US dollars

 

Abbildung American Eagle Saint Gaudens

  Double Eagle Saint Gaudens 20 US dollars

 

American Eagle Goldmünze Relief

Double Eagle with high relief 20 US dollars

 

Face value

Weight

Alloy

Gold

Dimensions

Double Eagle - 20 USD

33.43 g

900

30.09 g

34.2 x 2.5 mm

Eagle - 10 USD

16.71 g

900

15.04 g

27.0 x 2.0 mm

Half Eagle - 5 USD

8.35 g

900

7.52 g

21.4 x 1.5 mm

Quarter Eagle – 2.5 USD

4.17 g

900

3.76 g

17.7 x 1.0 mm

 

Indian Head

The Indian Head was minted from 1907 to 1933 and alternated the the old coin image of the American 10 dollar eagle. An Indian head with feather decoration is depicted on the face side. The number side was printed with a white-headed bald eagle looking to the left. The 5 dollar and 2.5 dollar gold coins were issued with this motif from 1908. The phrase “In God we trust” was added next to the eagle on the 10 dollar coin in the same year.

This gold coin is very popular with collectors due to the historical coin image. They, however, are not one of the rarer gold coins, because there are still many millions of them in circulation.

 

 Ansicht Indian Head Goldmünze von 1926

 Indian Head 10 US dollars dated 1926

Goldmünze Indian Head von 1907

 Indian Head 10 US dollars dated 1907

 

Face value

Weight

Alloy

Gold

Dimensions

Ind. Head - 10 USD

16.71 g

900

15.04 g

27.0 x 2.0 mm

Ind. Head - 5 USD

8.35 g

900

7.52 g

21.4 x 1.5 mm

Ind. Head – 2.5 USD

4.17 g

900

3.76 g

17.7 x 1.0 mm


American Eagle

The American Eagle has been printed by the United States Mint since 1986. It is a classic among investment coins and is issued in the denominations: 1 ounce, ½ ounce, ¼ ounce, as well as 1/10 ounce. The American Eagle is available in gold, silver and, since 1997, also in platinum.

The investor's gold coin has a fineness of 916.66. This corresponds to 22 carats. The face value of the American Eagle ranges from 5 to 50 US dollars depending on the fine weight. The American Eagle is darker in colour due to the alloying metals of copper and silver, and is more resistant to external effects.
The ½ and ¼ ounce gold coins from the mintage year of 1991 are particularly sought after among coin collectors, because only 24,000 of these were issued.

Ansicht Goldmünze American Eagle ZahlseiteThe number side of the American Eagle gold coin features the national symbol of America: the eagle. It carries an olive tree branch in its claws, which is regarded as a sign of peace. The female and her chicks can be seen in the nest. The lettering "United States Of America", "In God We Trust" as well as "E Pluribus Unum" (English: "out of many, one") can be read. The face value and the fineness of the eagle are also depicted here. The design on the rear side comes from Miley Busiek.

 

Ansicht Goldmünze American Eagle KopfseiteThe head side was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and shows "Lady Liberty", the Statue of Liberty. She holds a torch and olive branch in her hands. Rays symbolize the sunrise in the background. The American Parliament (Capitol) is in the background to the left. The lettering "Liberty", as well as the minting year, are also depicted.

 

 

Size

Face value

Weight

Dimensions

1 ounce

50 USD

33.930 g

32.70 x 2.75 mm

½ ounce

25 USD

16.965 g

27.00 x 2.24 mm

¼ ounce

10 USD

8.483 g

22.00 x 1.83 mm

1/10 ounce

 5 USD

3.393 g

16.5 x 1.19 mm


American Buffalo

The American Buffalo is the first 24-carat investment gold coin issued by the United States Mint. It has been minted since 2006 and is thus the most recent investment coin in the USA. The coin has been in existence since 2008 also as a denomination up to 1/10 ounce.

The design is based on a 5 cent nickel coin from 2013 (Indian Head nickel and Buffalo nickel). The cold coin features on one side the portrait of an Indian, the inscription “Liberty”, the minting date as well as the letter F, which stands for the coin's designer: James Earl Fraser.

The namesake of the coin, the North American buffalo, can be seen on the other side. Furthermore, the lettering "United States of America", "Liberty" and "In God We Trust" are depicted, as well as the face value and the fineness.

The American Buffalo is recognized as legal tender in the USA. The coin is well sought after and is therefore quite difficult to acquire. The "Polished Plate" version is also minted for coin collectors. This version is of a higher quality and bears the mark "W" to differentiate it, standing for the place of minting of West Point.

 

Ansicht Goldmünze American Buffallo ZahlseiteAnsicht Goldmünze American Buffallo Kopfseite

American Buffalo 50 US dollar dated 2015

 

 Size

Face value

Weight

Dimensions

Minting year

1 ounce

50 USD

31.103 g

32.70 x 2.95 mm

from 2006

½ ounce

25 USD

15.55 g

26.50 x 2.16 mm

from 2008

¼ ounce

10 USD

7.78 g

22.00 x 1.63 mm

from 2008

1/10 ounce

5 USD

3.11 g

16.50 x 1.19 mm

from 2008


Beware of fakes

The American Eagle is quite commonly affected by counterfeiting due to its special gold-copper alloy. A cheap tungsten-copper alloy is used instead of real gold, which is only thinly plated. The metal tungsten has practically the same specific weight as gold, and, because of this, coins such as the American Eagle can be counterfeited with the correct weight and in the original dimensions. These counterfeits are hardly recognizable for laymen. The counterfeit gold coin business does especially well on the internet. Caution is advised if coins are offered for particularly low prices online.


Do you wish to sell your gold coins? We're happy to consult with you at one of our branches in Vienna.


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About us

Walter Hell-HöflingerMag. Walter Hell-Höflinger is the company founder of Gold & Co. and has been active in the precious metal industry for several decades.

He can look back on more than 120 years of family tradition in the production of gold jewellery and the precious metals trade. More...