The history of the American Eagle Coin has started way back in 1848, during the time of the California Gold Rush. This first existence of this coin can also be traceable back when gold was first discovered in the renowned Sutter’s Mill.
The gold discovered from Sutter’s Mill eventually got transported to Philadelphia, where the United States Mint was located. This gold was used to make bigger currency denominations, rather than the more conventional $10 gold pieces. James Barton Longacre was tasked to design the $20 American Eagle Gold Coins, the issue of which was ratified by Congress in February 1849.
There have been two original patterns, and the first one was made on March 12, 1850 event though printed on it was the date of 1849. While it was known that there were two patterns, the second pattern was never discovered. These coins were dubbed as “double eagles”, since a $10 coin was referred to as an “eagle”. These American Eagle Gold Coins were also produced between 1850 and 1907.
Eventually, the coins were given new designs, specifically the “eagles” on the $10 and $20 coins. Ultimately, included in the $20 coin was a depiction of the statue of Lady Liberty on the obverse side. On the reverse was an illustration of a flying bald eagle. These new designs for the American Eagle Gold Coins were initiated on December 22, 1907. Check out american gold eagle for more info.
After the incident of the First World War, the entire world was affected by financial difficulties and economic unrest. Since many people were stockpiling gold, this resulted in an adversely affected gold reserve in the United States. A severe bank crisis followed afterwards. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dealt with all these by ratifying the “Emergency Bank Relief Act” in March 9, 1933. By January 1934, the “Gold Reserve Act” was approved, and many banks were opened, however much of the American Eagle Gold Coins have already disappeared.
The “Gold Confiscation Act” was enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt again in 1933, in order that private citizens may be prevented from hoarding gold. It placed a halt on some individuals’ inclination to possess and circulate gold from the United States. The only exemption was gold coins which were esteemed by collectors as being rare. By 1934, all the $20 coins issued during 1933 were recalled and were ordered to be melted down. Nonetheless, some coins were salvaged and are now considered rare collectors’ items. The “double eagle” coin of 1934 is viewed to be the most expensive American Eagle gold coin.
Under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985, the American Eagle Gold Coin was made as the first contemporary bullion coin, and was also first released by the United States Mint in 1986. In December 17, 1985 a law was passed which led to the creation of the American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins series. The law requires that the gold used for the coins must be sourced from the United States, specifically from newly-mined gold deposits. It also has the requirement that an alloy of silver and copper be added so as to add to the durability of the coin and enhance its beauty. The American Eagle Coin has 22 karat of gold, silver, and copper, making it among the most valued gold coins all over the world.