NGC Discovers Distinct Varieties for 2015 $5 Gold Eagles

Posted on 1/21/2015

Variation in reed sizes on popular American Eagle bullion coin series.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) graders have discovered two distinct edge varieties of 2015 $5 One-Tenth Ounce Gold Eagles: “Wide Reeds” and “Narrow Reeds.” The “Wide Reeds” variant displays the standard size edge reeding seen on prior years’ One-Tenth Ounce Gold Eagles. The second style, called “Narrow Reeds” by NGC, has much smaller and finer reeds that are more tightly spaced than those seen on prior issues.

2015 $5 One-Tenth Ounce Gold Eagles
Left to Right: Wide Reeds; Narrow Reeds
Click images to enlarge.

This is the first time that a variation in reed sizes has been noted on popular American Eagle bullion coin series. It is also the first time that the closely spaced “Narrow Reeds” have been used on One-Tenth Ounce Gold Eagles. The reason for different reeding styles on 2015 $5 Gold Eagles is not yet known. The “Wide Reeds” variety does appear more abundant based on the 2015 $5 Gold Eagles seen thus far by NGC; however, the relative rarity of the varieties is also still unknown.

2015 $5 One-Tenth Ounce Gold Eagles - Reed Comparison
Click image to enlarge.

A reeded edge is imparted into a coin by the collar die when it is struck. In addition to adding this design element, the collar constrains a coins’ overall dimensions in order to give them a uniform diameter. Traditionally, reeds were used on precious metal coinage to indicate during circulation that no metal had been removed from a coin’s edges. This feature, along with raised edge lettering, has been employed on all precious metal US coins since 1836. All American Eagle coins have reeded edges.

Submitters may request that NGC attribute the “Wide Reeds” or “Narrow Reeds” varieties for 2015 $5 Gold Eagles on the NGC certification label by selecting VarietyPlus® on the NGC submission form. There is a $15 attribution fee for the VarietyPlus® service. Contact NGC for bulk submission rates and guidelines.

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