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Half Ounce Proof Gold Eagles

Half Ounce Proof Gold Eagles

The Proof American Gold Eagles were minted, in just 1 oz increments, in 1986. By 1988, the Proof American Gold Eagle Coin became available in four sizes: 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz. Unlike the brilliant uncirculated coins, that are only packaged in tubes of 10, the Proof American Gold Eagle's packaging is more aesthetically pleasing. The coin itself is encased in an appropriately fitted capsule then placed into a velvet presentation box with its Certificate of Authenticity. The presentation box is then protected by an official US Mint cardboard box.

The American Gold Eagle minting process varies slightly depending on the ideal finish of the coin. There are three finishes offered for the American Gold Eagle Bullion coins: Brilliant Uncirculated, Proof, and Burnished. The Burnished finish is only offered in 1 oz increments when production was halted in 2009, prohibiting other sizes to be minted to save money. The Proof American Gold Eagle has been minted alongside its Brilliant Uncirculated counterpart since 1986.

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.

Certified Proof American Gold Eagles

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. For Proof American Gold Eagles, you will see PF/PR used for grading.

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.

Highest Mintages

Proof American Gold Eagles take longer to make so there are not produced according to the demand in the market. Compared to the Brilliant Uncirculated American Gold Eagles, the Proof versions collectively have much lower mintages each year. Here are the highest minted 1/2 oz Proof American Gold Eagles in the series.

  • 1987-143,398
  • 1988-76,528
  • 1991-53,125

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