Certified Tenth Ounce Gold Eagles

Certified Tenth Ounce Gold Eagles

The American Gold Eagle is the official coin of the US and is the investment preference of most collectors and financiers. With its first appearance over 30 years ago, the American Gold Eagle is the most recognized gold bullion coin in the country! Offered in four sizes (1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz), the American Gold Eagle series is a program for every investor and numismatist.

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.

Design of the American Gold Eagle

The obverse design, used for the American Gold Eagle, was created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1907 and repurposed in 1986 for the gold eagle. 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.

Hand-picked by the Founding Fathers, the Bald Eagle became the nation's emblem; representing strength, independence, and leadership. Miley Busiek features a Bald Eagle family, on the reverse of the American Gold Eagle; a male, female, and a hungry baby. The representation of these three eagles depicts the country's strength,in the past, present, and future. The king of the birds of prey nests within a bed made of olive branches with the coin's weight, purity, and monetary value written underneath the eagle family.

Production of the American Gold Eagle

Each American Gold Eagle is guaranteed by the US Mint and Treasury for it's weight and purity. The US Mint prides itself on the high quality and precise production value of the American Gold Eagle. To make the perfect coin, the process is extremely meticulous. The process begins with a blank put through a spinning drum. When that blank comes out, on the other end, a specialist handles the coin with white gloves to ensure maximum care. The coin is then placed, by hand, into the coin press, where a high pressure strike is released. The individualized care, per coin, results in a clean, crisply minted product. Investors and collectors are aware of the caution that is used minting the American Gold Eagle, making it the official bullion coin in the United States.

Certified 1/10 oz American Gold Eagles

The most obvious difference, between a Non-Certified and Certified coin, is how the coin is packaged. Non-Certified coins usually do not come in any packaging or they come in their originally issued packaging, such as the Proof Gold Eagles come in their presentation boxes. Certified coins are placed in airtight, official holders, marked by the grade they received and the name of the certifying grading agency. Since Certified coins' condition is more specified than a Non-Certified coin, their value can greatly increase. Collectors and numismatists appreciate Certified coins since most of the work is done for them and they can just reap the benefits of owning a Certified coin.

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.

If you are interested in investing in Certified American Gold Eagles, learning about the Sheldon Numeric Scale can be very useful. Dr. William Sheldon was an American psychologist by trade and a numismatist as a hobby. In 1948, Sheldon developed the Sheldon Numeric Scale, which became the foundation of grading and certifying coins. The Sheldon Numeric Scale dictates that a coin's condition can fall between 1 and 70. Before this groundbreaking system, coins were graded mostly by physical appearance and could receive one of three grades.

When purchasing a Certified 1/10 oz 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.

Background of the American Gold Eagle

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.

Important Dates

The amount of 1/10 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. the 1/10 oz American Gold Eagles rival the 1 oz coins' lower mintages. Here are the lowest minted 1/10 oz American Gold Eagles:

  • 1988: 159,500 minted
  • 1991: 165,200 minted
  • 2007: 190,010 minted

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