The coin: American Eagle platinum bullion coin
Struck by: U.S. Mint
Available sizes: 1-ounce; half-ounce; quarter-ounce; tenth-ounce (fractional versions last struck in 2008)
Denominations: $100; $50; $25; $10
First issue: 1997
Hiatus: From 2009 to 2013, no American Eagle platinum bullion coins were sold by the U.S. Mint. Sales resumed in 2014, and were expected to continue in 2015, though sales had not resumed as of March 18.
Design: The obverse design features a recognizable shoulders-up portrait of the Statue of Liberty. The reverse portrays a soaring eagle.
Erik Martin notes the designs in a profile of the platinum American Eagle program in the Oct. 4, 2010, issue of Coin World:
"The Statue of Liberty design of the obverse was sculptured by Mint Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti. The reverse, featuring an eagle in flight above a rising sun, was the work of Mint Sculptor-Engraver Thomas D. Rogers Sr."
How to buy them: Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes wrote about the buying method in the Sept. 17, 2007, issue of Coin World:
"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: In the past the U.S. Mint has offered tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce, half-ounce and 1-ounce platinum bullion coins. Since the series' reintroduction in 2014, no fractional pieces have been sold.