United States Mint Review
The US Mint is the entity of the United States Government which is responsible for producing the country’s legal tender. The mint has been the sole company producing US coinage since the early years of the United States’ existence as a country. As a government-sanctioned entity, they produce coins that are unique only to the mint. For this reason, many of the US Mint’s bullion coins may run at a higher cost than similarly-sized rounds or bars.
US Mint History
The US Mint can trace its history back to the very first years of the United States’ existence. In April of 1792, the founding fathers of the United States quickly realized the obvious need for a national currency, and thus a place to produce it. Shortly thereafter, the Coinage Act was signed and passed and the construction of the US Mint’s first facility was underway. Barely a year later, the US Mint’s first production facility opened its doors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the young nation’s capital at the time.
Today, the US Mint’s home is in Washington DC, though it is not a production facility, rather more of a corporate office. The mint currently has operating facilities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California; and West Point, New York. The mint also owns and operates the infamous bullion depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
US Mint Gold Bullion
Apart from the quarters, nickels, and dimes that make up a majority of the coins in circulation in the US today, the US Mint also produces a number of precious metal coins. These coins are not only known for their incredible design intricacy, but also for their high purities and even higher popularity to collectors. Each and every gold coin produced by the US Mint has a face value, but 9.99 times out of ten the inherent value of the precious metals they contain is vastly superior to its legal face value.
American Gold Eagle Coin Review
The American Gold Eagle is one of the US Mint’s most notable coins, demanded by investors and collectors from all over the world. First produced in the mid-1980’s as a product of the Bullion Act of 1985, the Gold Eagle was one of the first government-sanctioned gold coins to have a purity over 90%. Though other gold coins have been made with higher purity levels, the popularity of the Gold Eagle remains as high as it has ever been.
Reputation and Authenticity
Investors are attracted to the American Gold Eagle coin series for a variety of reasons. For one, the fact that the coin was produced by a mint with a reputation as flawless as the US Mint’s means investors have little to worry about as far as counterfeits are concerned. These coins are guaranteed to be authentic and that means a lot to investors who are safeguarding their wealth via a precious metals investment. Another reason investors love American Gold Eagles is because the coins have a high level of purity, over 90%.
Purity and Packaging
The American Gold Eagle is comprised of 91.67% pure gold, 3% silver, and 5.33% copper. The copper and silver are added to the coin in order to add strength. The way your Gold Eagles are packaged is dependent on the size of your order. Regardless, all coins will be protected by a plastic case and/or sealed plastic tubes. Your coins are packaged as to avoid any damage from occurring during shipping.
The American Gold Eagle is available in four different sizes, each with their own face value. The sizes and face values are as follows: 1/10th oz = $5 USD, 1/4 oz = $10 USD, 1/2 oz = $25 USD, 1 oz = $50 USD
American Gold Eagle Design (Obverse)
The obverse side of the Gold Eagle features the image of a Walking Statue of Liberty seemingly emerging from the horizon. Arching above the incredibly intricate image of the Walking Liberty is the word “Liberty.” Adjacent to the Walking Liberty is the year in which the coin was minted.
American Gold Eagle Design (Reverse)
The coin’s reverse is dominated by the image of an eagle soaring above its nest. The eagle is clutching a branch in its talons and appears to be on its way to build the nest in which another eagle is resting in. Arched above the eagle’s image are the words “United States of America.” To either side of the central image are the words “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust.” Finally, the weight and face value indications are beneath the reverse side’s main image.
American Gold Buffalo Coin Review
The American Gold Buffalo is yet another gold coin produced by the US Mint. This coin, which has a higher purity than the Gold Eagle, was first produced in 2006 and models the Indian Head Nickel which was minted from 1913-1938. The design of this coin is undeniably American and has detail replicated by few other coins produced today. The release of the 2016 coin is currently in a pre-order state.
Gold Buffalo’s As An Investment
Investors are attracted to the Gold Buffalo for many of the same reasons they are attracted to the American Gold Eagle. What separates the Gold Buffalo from the Gold Eagle, however, is the fact that the Gold Buffalo is comprised almost entirely of pure gold. This small difference in composition makes a huge difference to investors.
Purity and Packaging
The purity of the American Gold Buffalo is .9999, or 99.99% pure gold. This is a particularly high level of purity for gold coins, especially because gold is an especially soft metal. Depending on the quantity of Gold Buffaloes you order, most dealers will send them to you either in their original sheets of twenty or in individual pieces cut off of the original sheet.
With the exception of a special series produced in 2008 that boasted four different sizes of Gold Buffaloes, the coin is only available in the 1 oz size.
American Gold Buffalo Design (Obverse)
The obverse side of the Gold Buffalo features a design similar to the one James Earle Fraser intended to be used on the Indian Head Nickel. The main image on the obverse side is the profile image of a Native American chief, said to be derived from the characteristics of chiefs from three different tribes. Fixated towards the top is the word “Liberty” while the date of issue is fixated in the lower left corner.
American Gold Buffalo Design (Reverse)
The reverse side of the coin features the image of an American Bison, more commonly referred to as a Buffalo. Arching across the top of the coin are the words “United States of America.” Beneath the image of the Buffalo are the face value, weight, and purity indications.
American Silver Eagles
The American Silver Eagle was first produced by the US Mint around the same time as its gold counterpart was. It rivaled the Gold Eagle in popularity simply because silver was a much more inexpensive metal. The Silver Eagle remains the most popular silver coin produced by the US Mint and one of the most popular silver coins worldwide.
Silver Eagles As An Investment
Investors are drawn to these coins for many of the same reasons for which they are drawn to the Gold Eagle or Gold Buffalo. For one, the fact that the Silver Eagle is produced by a mint as reputable as the US Mint means a lot to investors who have to be more careful of counterfeits this day in age.
These silver coins, which are guaranteed by the US Mint to be comprised of pure silver, are also great for investors who want to purchase a silver coin but do not want to pay the premiums typically associated with other world coins. Silver Eagles carry a premium, but in comparison to silver coins from other parts of the world their premiums tend to be a bit lower.
Purity and Packaging
The purity of the American Silver Eagle is .999, meaning that these coins are comprised of 99.9% pure silver. Most dealers send these coins either in their original tubes when buying in increments of twenty or in plastic coin flips. Monster Boxes are also available which contain 500 coins or 25 tubes of twenty and are strapped and sealed from the mint.
Proof Silver Eagles
Proof Silver Eagles are specially made versions of the Silver Eagle that have a slightly different appearance than the typical uncirculated coin. The way in which the background of the coin contrasts with the raised image present on it is not only a work of modern-day mechanical genius, but also a truly beautiful thing to look at. Proof Silver Eagles are designated by special mintmarks and were minted in various cities during different time periods.
From 1986-1992 proof Silver Eagles were produced at the San Francisco US Mint production facility and boast an “S” mintmark. From 1993 up until the turn of the century the proof version of the Silver Eagle was minted at the Philadelphia production facility, these coins boast a “P” mintmark. From 2001 up until 2008 proof Silver Eagles were struck at the West Pointproduction facility. Proofs were not made in 2009 but in 2010 they were once again minted at West Point and boast a “W” mintmark.
The American Silver Eagle is only available in the 1 oz size. Along with containing 1 ounce of fine silver, the coin also has a face value of $1 USD.
American Silver Eagle Design (Obverse)
The obverse side of the coin features the same Walking Liberty design as seen on the Gold Eagle. The intricately detailed image of Lady Liberty seemingly walking across the horizon features the word “Liberty” arching overtop. Adjacent to Lady Liberty are the words “In God We Trust” while the date of issue is beneath the obverse side’s image.
American Silver Eagle Design (Obverse)
The reverse side of the American Silver Eagle is dominated by the eagle design reminiscent of the US Presidential seal. Arching across the top of the coin are the words “United Stated of America” while the 1 oz and $1 face value indications are towards the bottom.
Buying US Mint Gold and Silver Coins Online
Due to the immense popularity of all the US Mint’s gold and silver bullion coin series, they are available for sale not only directly through the US Mint website, but also through many other online silver dealers. Aside from these options, you can find US Mint coins for sale on websites such as eBay and other auction sites without much effort. However it is generally much cheaper to buy them online through certified dealers or at a local coin shop.