There are few modern gold coins that stack up to the popularity of the American Gold Eagle. First issued in 1986, this 22-karat (.917 fine) gold coin is perhaps the most trusted government-issued gold bullion available on the market. Struck from 1.0909 troy oz of 22K gold, each coin has a pure gold content of 1 troy oz., and is legal tender designated with a face value of 50 Dollars. With its fine gold content and aesthetically pleasing design, the Gold Eagle is bought by collectors in the U.S. and abroad.
The obverse design recreates the revered Augustus Saint-Gaudens depiction of Lady Liberty that originally appeared on the Gold Double Eagle, a $20 coin that circulated (with the Saint-Gaudens design) from 1907-1933. Miss Liberty is shown in a forward procession, holding an olive branch in her left hand and lifting a torch in her right. The U.S. Capitol building can be seen in the distance, while thirteen rays of light emanate from the horizon on either side of Liberty. The legend "LIBERTY" runs along the top rim, while fifty stars line the outer rim. The year-date "2015" is placed to the right of Liberty's legs.
The reverse, created by artist Miley Busiek, depicts a family of bald eagles--the first time multiple eagles have ever been featured on a legal tender U.S. coin. An adult male eagle is shown landing at the nest, carrying a small branch, while the mother eagle protects her two young eaglets in the nest. The mottos "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "IN GOD WE TRUST" are inscribed to the left and right of the main image, respectively. The issuing nation, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," curls along the top of the rim. The weight and purity, along with the denomination, are found along the bottom portion of the rim, reading, "1 OZ. FINE GOLD~50 DOLLARS."
Unlike most other bullion coins on the international market, Gold Eagles use the 22-karat purity standard that was once used by the British Crown for their Gold Sovereign coin. The alloy is balanced with copper, giving the American Gold Eagle its distinctive orange-gold hue. In addition, it adapts the Saint-Gaudens design of Lady Liberty, considered by many to be the most beautiful U.S. coin design ever created.