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Certified Quarter Ounce Gold Eagles

Certified Quarter Ounce Gold Eagles

American Gold Eagles are produced annually, by the US Mint, and carry the same design year after year. In order to preserve the crispness of the strike, the US Mint throws out the dies every year, and makes brand new ones for the succeeding year. The American Gold Eagles are 22-karat pure, containing an alloy of silver and copper lending to the coin's resistance to wear. Compared to other gold bullion coins, the American Gold Eagle is a larger and stronger coin.

Since the passage of the Gold Bullion Act of 1985, the American Gold Eagle Bullion coins have been diligently produced each year. Ronald Reagan signed the bill into action, forever changing the US precious metals industry. The first American Eagle was released in 1986 and was offered in sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz.

The American Gold Eagle is the United States' official gold bullion coin and remains an homage to one of the most influential gold coins in the nation's history. The obverse follows the artistic design created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, for the $20 Gold Double Eagles, issued from 1907-1933. Saint-Gaudens was exclusively picked by president, Theodore Roosevelt, to design an image that would be a part of US history, while also reinvigorating US gold coinage.

Design of the American Gold Eagle

Theodore Roosevelt hand-picked Augustus Saint-Gaudens to design the $20 Gold Double Eagle coins, that were issued from 1907-1933. The American sculptor, Miley Busiek, reimagined Saint-Gaudens' design for the American Gold Eagle.

Repurposed in 1986 for the American Gold Eagle, the infamous design was created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1907. The American Gold Eagle coin program rivals other popular gold coin series worldwide. Each coin is guaranteed by the US Mint and Treasury for it's weight and purity. The Lady Liberty design has been used as a symbol of patriotism since the US began minting their own currency and her message of courage and power still reigns true. Dressed in a light robe, Lady Liberty is depicted as a warrior, with only a torch and an olive branch as her weapons. The word, "Liberty," is written above her head, and 50 small stars encircle the coin's rim.

The reverse displays the emblem of the nation, hand-picked by the Founding Fathers. The bald eagle is the king of the birds of prey and represents fierce beauty, strength, and independence. There are 3 bald eagles represented on the reverse design of the American Gold Eagle. The eagles have made a nest of olive branches and have started reproducing, with an infantile eagle represented under its mother. The coin's weight, purity, and monetary value are written underneath the eagle family.

History of the American Gold Eagle

The American Gold Eagles are the first gold coins to be minted since 1933, in the United States. When the Gold Bullion Act of 1985 was passed, the legislation demanded that there would be four weight sizes offered and two different types of coins minted. This resulted in the American Gold Eagle containing the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz in sizes. There were also two conditions minted, brilliant uncirculated and proof (although the proof condition was only offered in 1 oz increments at first). The legislation also specified that the precious metals used, in the making of the American Gold Eagle, would come from US mines.

Many people confuse the American Gold Eagles with the "double eagles" of the Pre-1933 gold coin program. The double eagles are the $10 gold coins that once held the title of highest monetary value gold coin. In the 1820's and 30's, Congress was asked, on multiple occasions, to authorize the minting of a new gold coin. During the famous gold rushes, there were very large transactions taking place that would leave traders and prospectors with pockets full of small denomination gold coins. This system was neither safe or ideal for anyone so a larger denomination gold coin was the only answer. The $20 Liberty was first produced in 1850, maintaining its design until 1907, when the $20 Saint-Gaudens design took over.

Certified 1/4 oz American Gold Eagles

There are many coin grading agencies out there but only two that are revered worldwide. The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) are two companies that issue coins their grades. These companies not only certify coins, but they also encase the graded coin into an official holder, preserving the coin and marking the holder with its earned grade. This alone has changed the coin collecting game, while also offering a peace of mind for collectors and investors.

When purchasing a Certified American Gold Eagle, there is information provided on the coin holder that is important to know. The first thing to notice is the coin's strike type:

  • MS: Short for "Mint-State;" refers to coins that have never been in circulation and are the same condition as when they were originally produced. Mint State coins will receive a grade ranging from 60-70 on the Sheldon Numeric Scale.
  • PF/PR: Abbreviation for "Proof;" refers to the method of coin manufacture, made for eye appeal among collectors.
  • SP: A "specimen" coin is a combination of strike type (somewhere in the middle of Mint State and Proof).

A Certified American Gold Eagle (or any certified bullion coin) will most likely come in one of two grades:

  • MS/PF70: Bullion coins that have kept their original mint luster and contain zero post production flaws.
  • MS/PF69: Bullion coins that contain 2 or less minute imperfections but still carry their original mint luster.

Other certification terms often used for bullion coins:

  • First Strike: PCGS term designates coins that have been certified within the first 30 days of production by the contributing mint.
  • Early Release: NGC term designates coins that have been certified within the first 30 days of production by the contributing mint.
  • UCAM/DCAM: Shortened for Ultra-Cameo and Deep-Cameo, these terms refer to the coin's visual brilliance that is apparent on the surface by an unyielding, frosted finish and a deeply mirrored background luster.

Important Dates

The amount of 1/4 oz American Gold Eagles produced yearly varies. Although the American Gold Eagles were first released in 1986, making it a high demand year, that was also one of the highest minted coins in the program. Since the American Gold Eagle's value is dependent on its gold purity and its numismatic value, collectors and numismatists tend to look for the lower minted dates. When it comes to the 1/4 oz American Gold Eagle, most of the dates minted carry much lower mintages than the 1 oz. The 1/4 oz American Gold Eagles contain more highly minted coins, than the 1/2 oz coins, but lower mintages are still the average for this size coin. Here are some of the higher mintages for the 1/4 oz American Gold Eagles through the years:

  • 1986: 726,031 minted
  • 1987: 269,255 minted
  • 1998: 309,829 minted
  • 1999: 564,232 minted
  • 2009: 110,000 minted

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