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Gold Eagles - $50 (1986-Date)

Gold bullion is one of the most popular modern United States Mint issues. The American Gold Eagle series began in 1986 and was followed with the American Buffalo bullion series in 2006, the First Spouse coins in 2007, and the Ultra High Relief one ounce in 2009. The Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985 authorized the United States Mint to issue one-tenth, one-quarter, one-half, and one ounce gold bullion coins. The law required the gold to come from American sources and specified a fineness of .9167 (22 karat), which was the former British standard and the same fineness as United States gold coins struck 1834 and earlier. The American Gold Eagle coins were first issued in 1986. The obverse of the American Gold Eagles is a modified version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ design for the $20 gold piece. The reverse features a “family of eagles” design by Miley Busiek. The Uncirculated versions, save for the “burnished” issues (2006-2008), are sold through the Mint’s Authorized Purchasers program. Proof versions are available for sale to collectors directly from the Mint. The first .9999 fine gold (pure gold) coins struck by the United States were the American Buffalo bullion coins issued beginning in 2006. The coins weighed one ounce and had a denomination of $50. The design is a modification of James Earle Fraser’s Buffalo nickel, which was issued from 1913 to 1938. Both Proof and Uncirculated versions are produced. In 2008 one-tenth, one-quarter, and one-half sized coins were also released. The Mint began issuing half ounce .9999 fine gold First Spouse coins in 2007 with a denomination of $10. The obverse depicts the first spouse while the reverse has a design symbolic of her life and work. When there was no first spouse the obverse bears an “image emblematic of Liberty as depicted on a circulating coin of that era and a reverse image emblematic of themes of that president’s life.” The coins follow the same schedule as the Presidential dollars. The U.S. Mint also issues bronze medals with designs similar to those used on the First Spouse gold coins. In 2009 the Mint issued a four millimeter thick one ounce gold coin with a design similar to that of the famous 1907 Ultra High Relief double eagle pattern. The Mint digitally modified Saint-Gaudens’ original plaster models by changing the date to MMIX and adding four stars so that all 50 states were represented.

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

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