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.
1989 American Eagle 1-ounce gold $50 coin, PCGS MS-70
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.
Keep reading this Market Analysis:
Connect with Coin World:
Get our free report: How to Invest in Rare Coins