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The American Gold Eagle – A US Icon

Last Updated June 2023

Category: Invest 


With a design featuring Lady Liberty holding a torch and an olive branch, the American Gold Eagle has become an American icon and one of the most recognisable coins in the world. However, the coin’s popularity is not just due to its aesthetics; it is also a symbol of American economic strength and stability.

  • The History of the American Gold Eagle
  • How Much is an American Gold Eagle Worth?
  • Where to buy the American Gold Eagle
  • Gold Bullion from The Royal Mint


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The History of the American Gold Eagle

In 1985, the Gold Bullion Act authorised the US Mint to create a series of gold bullion coins that would be legal tender in the United States, and the American Gold Eagle, first minted in 1986, was the result of this legislation.

Based on the iconic $20 Double Eagle gold coin minted between 1907 and 1933, the obverse of the American Gold Eagle coin features Lady Liberty holding a torch and an olive branch. The reverse depicts a family of eagles – a male eagle carrying an olive branch to his nest, where a female eagle and her hatchlings await.

The American Gold Eagle bullion coin is available in a range of sizes, from a one ounce edition to fractional denominations starting with a tenth-ounce edition, in a similar fashion to other internationally recognised coins, including the Canadian Maple Leaf and The Royal Mint’s flagship Britannia bullion coin.


How Much is an American Gold Eagle Worth?

The value of an American Gold Eagle coin depends on a number of factors, including its weight and the current market price of gold, which can fluctuate based on supply and demand. The American Gold Eagle is classed as legal tender, though when purchased outside of the US it is not exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and VAT.

In comparison, The Royal Mint’s Britannia gold bullion coin is classed as legal tender in the UK, and is both VAT and CGT free. Both the Gold Eagle and Britannia carry a premium above the spot price of gold, due to their popularity and collectability. Britannia tends to carry a higher premium as it is 24 carat gold and therefore has a higher gold purity than the Gold Eagle.


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Where to buy the American Gold Eagle

If you are interested in collecting US coins, you may want to visit a coin dealer or attend a coin show. Coin dealers specialise in buying and selling coins, and can offer guidance on their value and authenticity. Coin shows are events where coin dealers gather to buy and sell coins, and these can be a great place to find rare or collectable editions.

If you want to buy American Gold Eagle coins for their bullion value, you can purchase them from a number of different sources, such as an online bullion dealer. Gold Eagle coins are available to buy from our World Coins collection, where you can explore the coins that helped shaped the world – including many struck by The Royal Mint.


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Gold Bullion from The Royal Mint

Just as the American Gold Eagle is an icon, the range of gold bullion coins struck at The Royal Mint is highly sought after by investors and collectors. Our bullion coins include Britannia, The Queen’s Beasts Collection and The Sovereign. Our Britannia bullion coin features Philip Nathan’s iconic design depicting Britannia as a symbol of a nation’s strength and resilience, whilst The Queen’s Beasts Collection is a ten-coin series that draws inspiration from the ancestral beasts of heraldry, myth and legend. With a history dating back more than 500 years, and to 1817 in its modern guise, The Sovereign is one of the oldest and most recognisable gold coins in the world, and is now available in a gold bullion coin.

Like the American Gold Eagle, the value of gold bullion coins from The Royal Mint is based on their weight in gold and the current market price of gold. Bullion coins struck at both the US Mint and The Royal Mint offer flexible and accessible options for both investors and collectors alike.


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