Platinum Eagles (1997-)
The American Eagle coin program came about after private Gold ownership was reinstituted in the United States. Starting in 1986 with the Gold and Silver Eagle, these coins have been a staple of U.S. Mint offerings ever since and a favorite among both coin collectors and investments.
Platinum Eagle Design
The American Eagle coin program came about after private Gold ownership was reinstituted in the United States. Prior to this point, from the time of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6192 in 1933, private Gold ownership had been banned. There were some few exceptions — Gold coins with numismatic value were exempt, and industrial gold and jewelry was allowed. Up to five ounces of Gold bullion coins were allowed for each person. But such restrictions were severe and had the effect of drastically curtailing U.S. private gold holdings.
President Gerald Ford lifted these restrictions on December 31, 1974, and soon after that point the U.S. Mint began exploring programs to offer Treasury-owned Precious Metals to the public. The first of these was the failed American Arts Gold medallion program, which ran from 1980 to 1984. In 1985 Congress passed a law allowing for the striking of Gold coins, followed rapidly by another act authorizing Silver. 1986 saw the first new Eagle bullion coins minted, with Gold and Silver to start. Platinum was first struck in 1997 and Palladium in 2017.
The Platinum Eagle was first struck in 1997, but it took a couple of years of work to get it to that point. Platinum Eagles have been made in 1/10, 1/4, ½ and 1 0z weights, with $10, $25, $50 and $100 denominations. From 1997 to 2008 all of the fractional coins were available but since 2009 only the ounce coins have been available. This coin’s composition is 99.95% pure Platinum.
In some years (notably 2009 through 2013 and 2015) only proof strikes were available for the ounce coin. Platinum coins are not as popular as Gold or Silver, though they are still collected by investors. The Platinum Eagle has the unique selling point among bullion coins of regularly rotating designs, with series including “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, “Vistas of Liberty”, “Foundations of Democracy” and more. These are also sold in multiple-coin sets.
The American Eagle was a watershed point for bullion coins, and since the Gold and Silver Eagles were created there have been quite a few more issues of bullion — not just in the United States, but around the world. Platinum Eagles were not the first bullion coin of that metal, but they sold well and have a good reputation.
Eagle coins were created for their bullion value, not the numismatic value, but there are some coins that have numismatic value. The 2007 prototype proof coin is very rare and expensive, too rare to be valued. The 2006, 2007 and 2008 burnished coins have significant premiums as well. Later coins also have a higher premium, especially post-2014.
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