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Pre-1933 U.S. Gold Coins

For nearly 140 years, Gold coins were produced by the U.S. Mint for use in commerce alongside Silver and Copper coins. Many Gold bullion investors opt for Gold coins minted before 1933 because of their historical appeal, U.S. government guaranteed Gold content, low premiums, and clearly denominated face value. These coins are available in $20, $10, and $5 denominations; containing approximately 1 oz, ½ oz, and ¼ oz actual Gold content per coin respectively. Coins with denominations of $1, $2.50, and $3 are also available.

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Pre-1933 Gold Coins

History & Collectibility

The Gold content of each coin is based on the value of Gold, which was set by law at $20.67 per troy ounce by the Coinage Act of 1849. The Gold Reserve Act of 1934 increased the price of Gold to $35 per troy ounce. At the time these coins were minted and circulated, the face value was equal to the value of Gold in each coin.

Gold Coins

Low-grade, common date $20 coins can be purchased for prices on par with some of the most affordable 1 oz modern bullion offerings such as bars and generic rounds.

$20 Low Grade Coins

Uncirculated issues are available for premiums similar to popular 2019 bullion coins, such as Eagles, Buffalos and Krugerrands.

$20 Low Grade Coins

For investors wanting to maximize the numismatic appeal of their coins and add the assurance of a third-party guarantee of quality and authenticity, certified uncirculated $20 coins are an ideal addition to their assets.

Investors wishing to add fractional Gold to their holdings will find that $10 Gold coins are a great alternative to 1/2 oz Gold products and $5 coins are comparable to 1/4 oz products.

Learn About the History of Pre-1933 Gold Premiums

As these coins are no longer being produced, there is a limited supply, leading to a much more dynamic balance of supply and demand than on a currently produced bullion product. Learn about how this balance has impacted past premiums

Roosevelt's Design

The U.S. Mint began minting Gold coins in 1795, with the $5 half-eagle and $10 eagle being produced with the Capped Bust design, which was used through 1804. Many of these early issues are extremely scarce and highly prized by collectors. The more common Liberty Head design was introduced in the late 1830s and was the first design used on the $20 double eagle when it was introduced to commerce in 1850.

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The Great Melt

In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102, severely limiting the amount of Gold that could be owned by the public, and requiring the vast majority of Gold coins in the U.S. to be delivered to the government in return for Federal Reserve notes, effectively removing Gold coins from circulation. Private ownership of more than a nominal amount of Gold bullion was not legalized again until 1975. Most Gold coins that were turned in were melted down and stored as Gold bars. This confiscation destroyed millions of coins, the exact numbers of which are not known.

The Survivors

Some issues saw almost their entire mintages wiped out. Of the 180,000 1927 Denver Saint Gaudens $20s, less than two dozen are thought to survive; the 1933 Double Eagle, one of the most famous rarities in U.S. numismatics, originally had a mintage of over 445,000 coins. Of over 70 million Saint-Gaudens $20s originally minted, it is estimated that only 6.3 million survived in all grades. Most of these coins were stored in vaults throughout Europe by banks and private investors, and thus were able to avoid the confiscation. Other coins survived by illegal hoarding by citizens who refused to turn over their Gold, or the small quantities individuals could legally retain.

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U.S. Coin Specifications

As these coins were originally produced for use in commerce, they were minted in 90% Gold. 24K Gold is far too soft to survive the rigors of circulation use. The addition of a small amount of Copper to the alloy creates a coin that is far more capable of withstanding wear and handling without sustaining damage

Liberty Head
$20 Double Eagle

Designs Available: Liberty Head or Saint Gaudens
Weight: 33.44g
Diameter (mm): 34 mm
Gold Content: 0.9678 ozt

$10 Eagle
$10 Eagle

Designs Available: Liberty Head or Indian
Weight: 16.72g
Diameter (mm): 27 mm
Gold Content: 0.4839 ozt

$5 Eagle
$5 Half Eagle

Designs Available: Liberty Head or Incuse Indian
Weight: 8.36g
Diameter (mm): 21.6 mm
Gold Content: 0.2419 ozt

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