An Overview of U.S Gold Coinage
Every U.S. gold coin provides an important glimpse into history on the obverse and reverse of the coin, telling the story of America over the last 223 years. From the first U.S gold coins minted in 1795, through the growth of early America to the California Gold Rush, gold has played a major part in forming our country. In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an Executive Order prohibiting American citizens from holding monetary Gold, including Gold coins. He ordered a recall that all Gold U.S. coins be returned to the U.S. Treasury, with the exception of collector coins. Millions of American Gold coins were melted down and made into Gold bars, but rare coins with collector value were spared. Also saved from the melting pots were a vast gold supply of U.S. gold coins that were shipped over to Europe to pay American debt.
Today Pre-1933 U.S. Gold coins are highly desired as beautiful collectible coins and as well as for their gold content. To increase the strength and durability of U.S. gold coins, a mixture of 10% silver and copper composite is added to the 90% gold alloy. Pre-33 Gold is fixed at an extremely limited supply since we don’t make them anymore, plus over the years there has been an increasing demand as existing supplies are purchased as both physical gold for its precious metal content as well as coin collecting for appreciation. Semi-Numismatic Pre-1933 gold carry higher price premiums over spot gold price, and similarly sized modern gold bullion.
Timeline of pre-1933 Coinage
There are a variety of pre-1933 U.S. Gold coin designs that vary drastically from coin to coin, as seen in the Liberty Head, Indian Head, and Saint Gaudens designs.
• The Liberty Head gold coin depicts Lady Liberty on the coin’s obverse and range in denominations from the small $1 dollar gold piece, $2.50, $3, $5, $10, to the large and heavy $20 Double Eagle born out of the California Gold Rush.
• Indian Head gold coins began a renaissance in American coinage transforming U.S. gold coins into works of art. These beautiful gold coins range in denominations from the dollar, to $2.50 Quarter Eagle, $5 Half Eagle, and $10 gold Eagle. This series depicts a Native American Indian in celebration of the rich cultural history of the United States.
• The final and one of the most prominent Pre-1933 U.S. coin designs is the St. Gaudens $20 Double Eagle, known as the “Most Beautiful Coin in the World.” The design features Lady Liberty striding forward with sun rays behind her, holding a torch in one hand leading the way to freedom, and an olive branch in the other, representing peace. This iconic design was used as the inspiration for the modern American Gold Eagle coins, beginning in 1986.
The Introduction of the Gold Eagle
In 1985, the precious metals market changed forever when President Ronald Reagan signed the Gold Bullion Coin Act, opening the door for a new design of American gold coinage. The release of the first Gold American Eagle in 1986, has captivated the world, in terms of beauty, value, and popularity. Collectors eagerly await the highly coveted annual new releases to add to their American Gold Eagle collections. The U.S. Mint has a variety of Gold Coins, ranging from one-tenth to one ounce, struck in 22 or 24 karat gold, and produced in Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof finishes. U.S. Commemorative Coins are another popular way to own gold, while celebrating American people, places, events, and institutions. There are many U.S. Gold coins to choose from, each with a story to tell.
• Gold American Eagle Coins (one of the most desired gold coin in the world)
• Gold Buffalo Coins (America's first .9999 fine gold coin)
• Modern Commemorative Gold (honoring aspects of American history)
• Centennial Gold Coins (100th Anniversary of three classic American coins)
• First Spouse Gold Coins (featuring the First Ladies of U.S. Presidents)
• High Relief Gold Coins (designs come to life with 3D imagery)
• Pre-1933 Gold Coins (rich and fascinating history of America's past)