Les Fox welcomes you to the exciting world of U.S. Gold Coins!
Why Collect United States Gold Coins?
WE BUY AND SELL ALL U.S. GOLD COINS
Please "Contact Us" for current prices.
U.S. Gold Coins have been produced by the United States Mint since 1795. On this website you can see photos, historical information and current prices for every American Gold Coin minted from 1795 to 2011. We can help you collect all U.S. Gold Coins from 1795 to 1933 (when gold coins were discontinued, read more below), as well as from 1986 (when they resumed) to 2011. We have been professional coin dealers and numismatic authors since 1973. ("The U.S. Rare Coin Handbook" and "Silver Dollar Fortune Telling".) You will not find a more reliable, trustworthy or knowledgeable dealer. Our prices are competitive. Our quality is impeccable. Prices from $400 to $4,000,000.
Les Fox, ANA LM-1339 (American Numismatic Association Life Member)
Photos below courtesy www. HeritageAuctions.com
CLICK ON IMAGES ABOVE TO ENLARGE. See photos of all U.S. Gold Coins on other pages.
Whether you are a beginner or advanced coin collector / numismatist, you will find the study and acquisition of U.S. Gold Coins to be fascinating, exciting and an excellent potential long term investment.
United States Gold Coins contain .900 Fine (90% pure) gold. A U.S. $20 Gold Coin (1933 or earlier) contains slightly less than 1 ounce of gold (at $1,200 per oz. = approx. $1,200). A $10 Gold Coin contains almost 1/2 an ounce of gold ($600). A $5 Gold Coin contains 1/4 ounce of gold ($300). These denominations of U.S. Gold Coins are less rare than others ($1 Gold, $2.50 Gold, $3 Gold, etc.) and can therefore be purchased for a reasonable "premium" (percentage) over their gold "bullion" value.
Although we specialize in rare U.S. Gold Coins (see our "About Us" page), we have many clients who collect and invest in the more common types, such as $20 Liberty and St. Gaudens Double Eagles, $10 Liberty & Indian Eagles and $5 Liberty & Indian Half Eagles. These coins are generally available in quantities of 1 to 1,000, and in grades from Extremely Fine (lightly circulated) to Mint Condition / Brilliant Uncirculated. Please see our Grading & Pricing page for more information about buying and selling all U.S. Gold Coins.
For those who would like to collect U.S. Gold Coins for personal enjoyment (as well as investment), we can quote you a price on virtually every date and mint-marked coin that was ever minted*, in conditions ranging from Extremely Fine (or below) in the case of great rarities, to PCGS and NGC Certified Mint Condition coins grading Mint State 60 (MS-60) to Mint State 67 (MS-67). Again, please see our Grading & Pricing page for more details.
(Note: In some cases, like the 1870-S $3 Gold Coin and 1822 $5 Gold Coin, only a few examples are known and these coins may or may not be available for years or even decades. However, most U.S. Gold Coins are available within a reasonable time period, perhaps weeks or months, if not days.)
A Brief History Of U.S. Gold Coins, 1795 to 1933
1795 $10 Eagle - Obverse
1795 $10 Gold - No Denomination
1933 $10 Eagle - Denomination
When the first U.S. Gold coins were issued in 1795, they did not show the denomination ($5 or $10) on the reverse of the coin. Perhaps this was because a mere 8,707 $5 Gold Coins were struck in 1795 ($43,535 face value), and only 5,583 $10 Gold Coins were struck ($55,830 face value). In other words, only $99,365 worth of U.S. Gold Coins were issued in 1795 for the use of the entire nation! And there was no paper money. By comparison, some 537,500 One-Cent coins (often called "Pennies") were struck in 1795, which were clearly labeled "One Cent" in the center of the reverse of the coin. (See below.) The reason for such a low production figure for gold coins (although the total face value was much higher) is that most people in America could not afford to own a single gold coin. In 1795, the population of the U.S. was about 4.5 million people, and the average weekly income was around $8.00.
In fact, it was not until 1807, 1808 and 1838 that United States Gold Coins finally bore the mark of the actual value of the coins, in the form of "5 D" and "Ten D" on the 1807 Half Eagles & 1838 Eagles, and "2-1/2 D" on the 1808 Quarter Eagles. The reason the denomination did not appear on $10 Eagles until 1838 is that production of $10 coins was suspended from 1805 to 1837.
1795 Large Cent
1807 $5 Gold Half Eagle (5D)
1838 $10 Gold Eagle (10D)
Interestingly, the commercial history of U.S. Gold Coins does not really apply to the general public, at least not in the same way as smaller denomination coinage. People have actually used pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in everyday transactions for centuries, whereas Gold Coins were originally created to give credibility to the strength of the America government. If a country did not produce its own Gold Coins (and Silver Dollars) it would not be considered a serious world power. In addition, many 19th Century Americans did not trust banks, or paper money, which began during the Civil War. So if a wealthy individual, or a family, wanted to preserve its wealth in a safe and anonymous way, they would set aside a portion in the form of gold coins, often hidden in the walls or floors or buried in the back yard.
Banks also maintained a percentage of their assets in gold, and U.S. Gold Coins were a reliable standard of value. From its inception in 1792, the United States Mint took extreme measures to assure U.S. citizens, and the international community, that its "products" (especially gold coins) were sound. "As Good As Gold." Assay tests were frequently performed to prove that the content of American Gold Coins was precisely as stated. The 1795 $10 Gold Eagle, for example, weighed exactly 17.50 grams. Its composition was .9167 "fine" gold (91.67% gold + 8.33% alloy), which was later changed to .900 gold (90% gold + 10% alloy).
On September 22, 1795, President George Washington received delivery of the very first U.S. Gold Coins when 100 of a group of 1,097 brand new $10 Eagles were personally brought to him by Mint Director Henry DeSaussure, whose last name oddly enough can be rearranged to spell the words: "Assure Dues."
During the first few decades of U.S. Gold Coin production, the size and weight of coinage was based on a gold price of $19.39 per Troy Ounce, which was changed to $20.67 in 1837. As the price of gold fluctuated, American Gold Coins were frequently worth more than face value and thus exported and melted, which created many rarities among early American gold coins. In 1838, U.S. Gold Coins were reduced in size and weight to prevent profit taking.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt removed the U.S. monetary system from the gold standard and "called in" all outstanding gold coins with the exception of coins of "numismatic value." Since that term was never defined, many people continued to "collect" their gold coins, while others realized there was no practical way to confiscate private property and simply refused to turn in their "illegal" gold holdings. A combination of unexpected political and social events resulted in several great rarities among higher mintage coins, such as the 1933 $10 and $20 Gold Coins. In reality, there are no "common" gold coins, especially since an estimated 90% of all U.S. Gold Coins were melted. However, a few dates are relatively available compared to most, notably the 1901-S $5 Half Eagle and $10 Eagle, the 1926 and 1932 Indian $10 Eagles, the 1904 $20 Liberty Double Eagle, and several dates in the St. Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle series, including 1908, 1924, 1927 and 1928. These coins are often encountered in exceptional mint state condition (MS-65 to MS-67), and can be still be acquired at an affordable price. If you browse the complete list of U.S. Gold Coins on this website, you will see that numerous issues were minted in very low quantities. Hence, there are many important rarities in the $5, $10 and $20 Gold series.
Unpredictably, the recovery of sunken treasure in recent years has also stimulated interest in U.S. Gold Coin collecting. A large quantity of mint condition 1857-S $20 Gold Double Eagles literally "surfaced" during a very successful treasure hunting expedition which located the S.S. Republic in 2003. Because the marketing of these coins was handled professionally, the value of these previously "extremely rare" coins did not decrease. Just the opposite. They helped to expand the numismatic marketplace.
Click On Photo To Read More
1857-S "Shipwreck" $20 Gold
Rare Coin Trading Cards: Investor, Venture Capital & National Distributor Inquiries
Important:Eagles Of America Trading Cards have not yet been published by West Highland Fine Art & Publishing Co. LLC. They are still in the design and development stage. Sample cards have been produced for promotional purposes in the hope of launching the series in the next few years. Inquiries, please contact: email@example.com.
Suggested Retail Price: $5 - $6 Per Pack Of 10 Cards
THE HISTORY OF UNITED STATES COINS (1776-1976)
Now On Rare Coin Trading Cards!
From Independence Day To The American Bicentennial - See More Below
Every Coin On This Website Is On A Series 1 Rare Coin Trading Card
1776 Continental Dollar (Click)
1876 Trade Dollar - Photos Courtesy www.HeritageAuctions.com
1907-D U.S. $20 Liberty Gold Double Eagle
Photos Above Courtesy www. HeritageAuctions .com
Actually, the history of American coins began in the 1600's, more than a century before the British-American Colonies declared their independence and became the United States. In fact, even the 1776 Continental Dollar (above left) was minted before the first official U.S. Mint opened in Philadelphia in 1792. EAGLES OF AMERICA is proud to present this history and photo gallery of the coinage of the United States --- all of which will appear on EOA / Upper Deck Rare Coin Trading Cards starting with "Series 1" = (500 different coins + 100 Bonus Cards) in November, 2007. Thousands of different U.S. Coins will appear on EOA Rare Coin Trading Cards in Series 2, Series 3 and beyond. EAGLES OF AMERICA would also like you to know that our name is derived from the 1792 and 1873 U.S. Coinage Acts, American laws which required an eagle on every U.S. coin larger than a Dime. All regular issue U.S. Coins from 1792 to 1998, including some Dimes and Half Dimes (see below) included an eagle in their design. Today, an exception has been made for the 50 State Quarter program, but we expect that the American Eagle will someday return to the Quarter Dollar.
A Small Sample Of EOA Rare Coin Trading Cards
500 Different Coins In Series 1 - Plus 100 Bonus Cards
America's First Coins
1652 Pine Tree Shilling In 1652, the General Court of Massachusetts (then an English colony) authorized Boston mintmaster John Hull to produce metal currency to compete with European coins, wampum, corn, pelts and bullets as money. In 1661, wampum was repealed as legal tender. The first coins issued in 1652 were stamped with the letters "NE" and are known as New England Coinage. The beautiful Pine Tree coins dated 1652 were actually minted from 1667 to 1682.
1787 Brasher Dubloon New York goldsmith Ephraim Brasher (EB Hallmark on coin), a neighbor of George Washington, produced gold coins 8 years before the U.S. Mint (1795.) A Brasher Dubloon has sold at auction for $2,990,000. Only 7 known examples are currently accounted for. A unique Brasher Half Dubloon is in the Smithsonian. The face value of a Dubloon was $15.
1792 Half Disme In July, 1792, $75 to $100 Face Value of Half Dismes (pronounced deems) were privately struck before the completion of the Philadelphia Mint. Folklore says these coins were made from George and Martha Washington's silverware, and that the portrait is Mrs. Washington. Of 1,500 to 2,000 coins minted, a few hundred still exist, including a near-perfect specimen which sold for $1,322,500 at public auction.
Photo Courtesy www.HeritageAuctions.com
Photo Courtesy www.HeritageAuctions.com
Photo Courtesy www.HeritageAucrions.com
U.S. Coins: 1793-1799
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Photo of 1794 Silver Dollar Courtesy Rare Coin Wholesalers / Steven L. Contursi Other Photos Courtesy Of www. HeritageAuctions.com
COLLECT ALL COINS SHOWN ON EOA / UPPER DECK RARE COIN TRADING CARDS.
SERIES 1 - 500 DIFFERENT COINS + 100 BONUS CARDS
Early American "Bust" Coinage: 1800-1838
1836 Reeded Edge Bust Half Dollar
1796 Quarter - 1st Year Of Issue
Seated Liberty Coins: 1837 - 1891
Click On Any Of the 1853 Arrows or "Arrows And Rays" coins below to read the interesting story of these unusual coins.
1853 Arrows & Rays Quarter - 1 Year Type Coin
1853 Arrows Dime - 3 Year Type Coin
1853 Arrows & Rays Half Dollar - 1 Year Type Coin
Barber Coinage: 1892 - 1916
1892-O Barber Dime - First Year Of Issue
1892-O Barber Quarter - First Year Of Issue
1892-O Barber Half Dollar - First Year Of Issue
U.S. $1 Gold Coins (1849-1889)
Type 1 Gold Dollar (1849-1854) The tiny U.S. $1 Gold coin was first issued in 1849. That same year the U.S. $20 Gold denomination was proposed (the only known specimen of an 1849 Double Eagle is in the Smithsonian) but not issued until 1850. "Type 1" or Liberty Head Gold Dollars contain the same amount of gold as Type 2 and Type 3, which are larger in diameter but thinner. Liberty Head Gold Coinage began in 1838 ($5), 1839 ($10) and 1840 ($2-1/2).
Type 2 Gold Dollar (1854-1856) A mere 1,633,426 "Indian Head" Gold Dollars were minted in 1854, 1855 and 1856. In its final year, a total of only 24,600 coins were produced, all in San Francisco (1856-S.) Consequently, Type 2 Gold Dollars are worth significantly more than Type 1 and Type 3 coins (except for rare dates). The 3 coins shown here (as well as all of the other coins on this website) are on Series 1 Rare Coin Trading Cards. Collect them all!
Type 3 Gold Dollar (1856-1889) Also referred to as the "Indian Head Type" (Miss Liberty is wearing a headdress), Type 3 Gold Dollars are the most common variety of this fascinating series of little coins. Together, the 3 types comprise 80 different dates and varieties. All of these coins can be collected on EOA Rare Coin Trading Cards starting with 3 "type" coins in Series 1. Or, you can collect the entire series of actual coins in Mint Condition for over $1,000,000.
SEE MORE U.S. GOLD COINS BELOW
Photos Of Bust, Seated Liberty, Barber & U.S. Gold Coins Courtesy Of www. HeritageAuctions .com
100 BONUS CARDS INCLUDE AMERICAN HISTORY CARDS
AND NUMISMATIC STORY CARDS
Total: 600 Different Cards In Series 1 - Collect Them All!