One of only 13 MS-70 1989 American Eagle gold $50 coins sells: Market Analysis

Demand still strong for the condition keys to popular bullion issues
By , Coin World
Published : 03/28/16
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The American Eagle bullion program started in 1986 with the production of gold and silver coins and in 1997 expanded to include platinum bullion coins. It has since proven extremely popular with collectors and investors. As the program enjoys its 30th anniversary this year, some issues have become identified as condition rarities in top Mint State 70 and Proof 70 Deep Cameo grades, although rising population reports for some of these issues have caused concern for collectors who spend massive sums for these expensive, low-population rarities. 

The Coin:

1989 American Eagle 1-ounce gold $50 coin, PCGS MS-70

The Price: 


The Story:

The 1989 American Eagle 1-ounce gold $50 coin has a massive mintage of 415,790 pieces and is common, with grades up to and including Mint State 69 trading at a modest premium over the bullion value. In MS-70 it is a rarity, with Professional Coin Grading Service counting just 13 examples on its population report.

Many condition rarities are found in the American Eagle series from the 1980s and 1990s, since these coins pre-dated the popularity of certified new issues and the PCGS First Strike and associated programs, where original buyers send large quantities of coins directly to the grading services, nearly as the coins are “fresh off the presses,” so to speak. Production quality has also improved.

At a March 6 GreatCollections auction, one of these PCGS MS-70 examples sold for a hearty $13,203.30, with three separate bidders placing bids above the $11,000 level. The winning bid was $12,003.30, and a 10 percent buyer’s fee was added to that for the final price realized.

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