Guide to Bullion Coin Values
In 1986 the Silver and Gold Eagles were authorized and struck, the first coins to be struck purely for their bullion content in U.S. history. Read More
The America the Beautiful bullion coins are the largest Silver bullion coins in U.S. history. They were made for collectors to showcase the quarter designs.
Platinum Eagles were struck starting in 1997 to meet increased demand for Platinum bullion among investors. Read More
Gold Buffalos have an increased purity over the regular Gold American Eagle coin, and appeal to investors who want a higher Gold content. Read More
Originally the Saint-Gaudens double eagle design was meant to be struck in a high relief, but processes at the time were not up to it. The 2009 reissue used modern technology to create the coin in its original form. Read More
Eagles have been created in Gold and Silver since the mid-1980s, but other metals were added later. The Palladium version of the Eagle is one of these. Read More
Bullion coins, unlike regular coins minted for circulation, are minted as a store of Precious Metal value. They are not designed for circulation or collection, but investment. Many of these coins have a face value but will never be spent for it — a one ounce Silver Eagle is worth many times the $1 face value struck on the coin.
American bullion coins were authorized in 1985 when President Ronald Reagan signed the Liberty Coin Act. This began the minting of Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins, not to be confused with the older Eagle coins minted prior to 1933. Eagles contain an ounce of precious metal and have a face value.
These were so successful so quickly that the Mint followed up with many more bullion issues. They produce regular bullion coins as well as proof, burnished and uncirculated editions.
Bullion Coin Types
The Silver Eagle is the best-known, best-selling and most common bullion coin struck by the U.S. Mint. It is struck with one ounce of Silver and has a purity of 99.9%, and it reuses the famous Walking Liberty design by Adolph A. Weinman. These coins were first minted in 1986 and were originally produced at the Philadelphia Mint, but have been struck at West Point since 2000 for regular issues. In 2001 proofs were moved to West Point as well. In 2012 San Francisco also began minting Silver Eagles.
America the Beautiful quarters are circulating in cupro-nickel, but there are five ounce Silver variants that are available as collectible bullion coins. These coins are three inches wide and made of 99.9% Fine Silver.
Gold Eagles were created in 1986 and based on the classic Saint-Gaudens Eagle design of the early 20th century. These coins are sold in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2 and one ounce denominations, with face values of $5, $10, $25 and $50. The Gold must come from United States sources and be mixed with Silver and Copper in an 22K alloy often called “Crown Gold”.
Platinum Eagles were first struck in 1997. The design on the proof version of the coin changes yearly, with a series element introduced in 1998. These coins are available in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2 and one ounce weights and have face values of $10, $25, $5 and $100 respectively. 99.5% Platinum makes up the bulk of the coin.
Palladium Eagles began in 2017. These coins reuse the design from the Mercury dime for the obverse, and they have a $25 face value. This coin is made of 99.95% Palladium.
Gold Buffalos are a 99.99% or 24K Fine Gold coin struck at West Point since 2006. Though Eagles are more popular, Buffalos have a purer Gold content. This coin has a $50 denomination and is based on the Indian Head or Buffalo nickel. In 2008 there were fractional 1/10, 1/4 and 1/2 ounce issues struck as well as the one ounce coin. These were low mintages and carry a decent premium.
First Spouse Gold coins have been minted from 2007 to 2016, and again in 2020. These coins have 1/2 ounce of 99.99% Fine Gold with a $10 face value and have a rotating design honoring the spouses of American presidents.
There was an ultra high relief version of the original Saint-Gaudens Eagle design struck from 99.99% Fine Gold in 2009. This coin was never made for circulation in its original form due to difficulties with production, and the 2009 issue was the first time it had been struck in a large quantity.
One of the major current coin programs run by the U.S. Mint is the American Liberty High Relief Gold coin, which uses symbols of American diversity on a 99.99% Fine one ounce Gold coin with a $100 face value. These were created in 2015 and continue biennially with rotating designs. Between years, Silver collectible medals with the same design are struck.
Collecting Bullion Coins
Bullion coins are semi-numismatic, with some issues having a significant premium. Silver Eagles have a few key dates in low mintages, including the 1995-W proof, 2008-W burnished with 2007 reverse, and 2020’s emergency issue after COVID-19 drove demand higher than the West Point Mint could deal with on its own.
The 2012 America the Beautiful has a lower mintage for some of its issues and has a higher premium. There are several key dates for Gold Eagles, as well, including several 2007 and 2008 issues and the 1999-W bullion strike error. 2008 Gold Buffalos also have some numismatic value due to their low mintages. Low mintages of First Spouses also command a premium.
The Price Guide
The PCGS Price Guide prices apply only to PCGS-graded coins. The PCGS Price Guide is a guide to assist the coin buying public in determining values for all important United States rare coins. The prices listed in the PCGS Price Guide are average dealer asking prices for PCGS-graded coins. The prices are compiled from various sources including dealer ads in trade papers, dealer fixed price lists and website offerings, significant auctions, and activity at major coin shows.Learn More