American Eagle Gold Coins: History, Specifications, and Significance

American Eagle Gold Coins: History, Specifications, and Characteristics

American Eagle Gold Coins are often considered one of America’s most beautiful coins. Minted from 1907-1933, nothing represents the United States of America quite like them. With a full-length figure of Lady Liberty on the front with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left, and an American Eagle on the back, these coins offer a rich history. Keep reading to learn more about American Eagle Gold Coins, their history, characteristics, and how to put them to practical use with an IRA.

History of American Eagle Gold Coins

President Roosevelt was very interested in transforming and invigorating the design of American circulating coins in the early 1900s while he was president. As such, he personally asked renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to work on American Eagle Gold Coins.

More on the history of American Eagle Gold Coins right from the US Mint includes:

On December 27, 1904, the President wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Leslie Mortier Shaw. The President wrote: “I think our coinage is artistically of atrocious hideousness. Would it be possible, without asking the permission of the Congress, to employ a man like [Augustus] Saint-Gaudens to give us a coinage that would have some beauty?”

Saint-Gaudens was one of the first Americans to study sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, a world-renowned fine-arts school in Paris. During his career, he completed numerous commissions including The Puritan, a bronze sculpture for Merrick Park in Springfield, Massachusetts; a 12-foot bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln for Lincoln Park in Chicago; and an 18-foot statue of the Roman goddess of the hunt, Diana.

Saint-Gaudens responded to President Roosevelt’s invitation by creating designs that would appear on the “Eagle” ($10) and “Double Eagle” ($20) gold coins. More than a century later, Saint-Gaudens’ trailblazing designs continue to stand out. A version of Saint-Gaudens’ Liberty that first appeared on the 1907 $20 coin, now appears on of the obverse of the American Eagle Gold Coin.

American Eagle Gold Coins have been through a few rounds of refreshed design, however, the United States Mint used historical assets such as the original bronze cast to closer reflect Saint-Gaudens’ original vision. The refresh includes modifications to the Capitol Building, stars, torch, sun rays, and other design elements.

Specifications and Characteristics of American Eagle Gold Coins

Since 2021, the reverse of the coin shows a portrait of an eagle. To give the new coins an added level of security, they have also been updated with enhanced security features, including a reeded edge variation. From 1986 to 2021, the reverse, by sculptor Miley Busiek, depicted an eagle carrying an olive branch flying above a nest containing a second eagle and hatchlings.

Specifications and characteristics of American Eagle Gold Coins include:

Obverse Inscriptions:

  • Year

Reverse Inscriptions:



  • Composition is 91.67% gold, 3% silver, balance copper with a reeded edge. Weight and diameter differs between the one, half, quarter, and tenth ounce sizes.
  • The one ounce coin, $50 face value, is 1.287 inches (32.70 mm) in diameter, contains one gold troy ounce and weighs 1.0909 troy ounces (33.931 g).
  • The one-half ounce coin, $25 face value, is 1.063 inches (27.00 mm) in diameter, contains 0.5000 gold troy ounce and weighs 0.5455 troy ounce (16.966 g).
  • The one-quarter ounce coin, $10 face value, is 0.866 inch (22.00 mm) in diameter, contains 0.2500 gold troy ounce and weighs 0.2727 troy ounce (8.483 g).
  • The one-tenth ounce coin, $5 face value, is 0.650 inch (16.50 mm) in diameter, contains 0.1000 gold troy ounce and weighs 0.1091 troy ounce (3.393 g).

Artist Information:

  • Obverse Designer: Augustus Saint-Gaudens
  • Reverse Sculptor: Renata Gordon, Medallic Artist
  • Designer: Jennie Norris, Artistic Infusion Program

American Eagle Gold Coins can also be purchased as a “proof”. Proofs are coins that are specially minted for collectors, rather than investors. They are exactly identical to bullion coins, however, they are polished up to have a more beautiful appearance.

About Priority Gold

The great thing about American Eagle Gold Coins is that they can be included in an IRA. While they must be held at an IRS-approved depository, we can help you with the entire process of including them as part of your IRA. If you are ready to invest in gold to protect your savings and secure your future, we can help. Priority Gold is one of the most trusted precious metals dealers in the United States with BBB A+ Rating, AAA Rating with Business Consumer Alliance, and 5 Stars Rating with TrustLink.

We specialize in providing precious metals investment services with Security, Liability, and Great Convenience for customers. Our team is committed to helping to streamline their precious metals purchases at a fair price, selecting the right precious metals portfolios, and meeting their important financial objectives.

We offer free storage for qualifying Gold & Silver IRA accounts, a fast & easy gold buying process, and smooth IRA Transfer — and this can all include American Eagle Gold Coins. Priority Gold guarantees the highest standards of customer service, which comes with honesty, professional conduct, and Ethical Code of Business.

For more information, visit us at

Related Posts