US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for May 13, 2019

Designs for American Eagle gold and silver coins could change if the U.S. Mint gains the Treasury secretary's approval.

Original images courtesy of SilverTowne.

Should the United States Mint change the designs of the American Eagle gold and silver coins? Mint officials apparently have discussed the possibility of doing just that.

The American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins were introduced in 1986 as United States alternatives to the foreign bullion coins like the Canadian Maple Leaf and South African Krugerrand gold coins. 

When U.S. Mint officials unveiled the designs for the two coins in June 1986 in separate ceremonies, collectors were surprised to learn that the obverses of both reused designs from the golden age of U.S. coin design: the Striding Liberty design from Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ gold double eagle of 1907 to 1933, and Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty design from the half dollar of 1916 to 1947. The reverses of each coin bore new designs.

While some grumbles were heard from collectors about reusing old designs rather than new ones, buyers of the coins have grown used to their designs, buoyed by their status as among the most beautiful found on any U.S. coins. 

Mint officials have already changed designs in the broader American Eagle precious metals coin program. Collector versions of the American Eagle platinum coins are changed annually, though the bullion versions remain the same since their introduction in 1997.

What do you think about replacing the gold and silver designs? Would you like to see new designs for them, or would you rather they remain as they have been since 1986? 

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