American Eagle gold coin: Bullion Bio

The U.S. Mint's gold bullion program has been an option for precious metals buyers since 1986.

Images courtesy of APMEX

The coin: American Eagle gold bullion coin

Struck by: U.S. Mint

Available sizes: 1-ounce; half-ounce; quarter-ounce; tenth-ounce

Denomination: $50; $25; $10; $5

First issue: 1986

Design: Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes described the obverse and reverse designs as mandated by the Bullion Coin Act of 1985 in the Sept. 17, 2007, issue of Coin World

"The act mandates a reverse design of a family of eagles, according to an article in the October 2006 issue of Coin World’s Coin Values magazine. The reverse design is of two adult and two younger eagles, and is intended to reflect American family values. The reverse design is credited to artist Miley Busiek, now known as Miley Tucker-Frost. The obverse design of Striding Liberty is a modified version of the original Augustus Saint-Gaudens classic portrait, which first appeared on the gold $20 double eagle from 1907 to 1933."  

How to buy them: More from Gilkes:

"The Mint does not sell the regular Uncirculated bullion coins directly to the public. Instead it sells the bullion coins to a network of authorized purchasers, who acquire the coins from the Mint for the spot price of the precious metal on a given day on the metals market plus a small premium. The authorized purchasers may then sell the bullion American Eagles to dealers and the public."

The U.S. Mint provides a web page collectors and investors can use to find dealers who sell the bullion coins.

Fun fact: The American Eagle tenth-ounce gold bullion is the smallest U.S. coin currently minted in diameter, Gilkes writes, smaller even than the dime. The coin's diameter is 16.5 millimeters, which is slightly smaller than the dime's. The gold coin weighs 3.393 grams (0.11 ounce), which is heavier than both the cent and dime. 

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