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The History Of The American Eagle Coin

Jun 18, 2008
The existence of the American Eagle Coin can actually be traced all the way back to the great California Gold Rush of 1848 and the discovery of gold at the still famous Sutter's Mill.

A large majority of the gold from Sutter's Mill ultimately found its way to the United States Mint in Philadelphia, where it was issued into larger denominations instead of the traditional $10 gold pieces. Congress authorized the issue of the $20 gold coins in February of 1849, which were designed by an extremely creative James Barton Longacre.

The first of two trial patterns was struck on March 12, 1850, but it still carries the date of 1849. Originally there were two patterns designed, but the second pattern has never been found. They have been given the nickname of "double eagles" due to the fact that $10 coin is called an "eagle" and were issued between the years of 1850 and 1907.

President Theodore Roosevelt together with sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens joined efforts to redesign the $10 and $20 "eagles" by bringing some ancient Greek beauty to the coins. On December 22, 1907 the work on the new $20 "double eagle" began featuring an advanced figure of "Lady Liberty" on the obverse and a flying bald eagle on the reverse. The new design required a much longer striking process so that there were few of released in December of 1907. Soon new dies were created to increase the circulation of these amazing coins from 1907 to 1933.

Following World War I through out the world there was financial instability that seemed to be encouraged by individuals hoarding gold, which basically affected the United States gold reserves. The problem became compounded in the 1930's by the general bank crisis that led to the banks closing on March 6th through March 9th. Then on March 9, 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt succeeded with the "Emergency Bank Relief Act" and then again in January of 1934 with the "Gold Reserve Act" by putting an end to these crises banks were opened, but the gold vanished.

Then in 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the "Gold Confiscation Act" that made it illegal for private citizens to own gold. It also put an end to all circulation and any private possession of any United States gold with the exemption of gold coins that had a recognized value to collectors of rare and unusual coins". In late 1934, a recall of the 1933 $20 "double eagle" coins was issued and they were to be melted down, however, some still survived and are now hunted by every avid coin collector. The 1934 "double eagle" is also the most expensive of the American Eagle Coins.

The first release by the United States Mint, which was authorized under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985, was in 1986 making the American Gold Eagle the very first modern bullion coin to actually be authorized by the United States Congress, and it is backed by the United States Mint for its weight, content, and purity. The law of December 17, 1985 created the American Gold Eagle Bullion Coin series and through this law the gold for these coins must come from newly-mined sources within the United States with an additional alloy of silver and copper to produce a more wear resistant coin of .9167 (22 karat), which helps to increase the stability and scratch-resistance of these beautiful coins. These amazing coins are recognized all over the world and thus helping them in becoming the World's Most Popular Gold Coins.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles. Follow these links to find the best marketplace for: rare coins, collections, and american eagles.
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