US Gold Coins History

US gold coins were originally meant for circulation. They were used to make as an easier way to carry more money. As the value of gold increased, so did the value of the gold coins. Eventually the value of gold increased too much to use them for circulation purposes. Shortly after they became used for collection purposes. There were many different types of U.S. gold coinage. Continue reading to learn more about US Gold Coins.

us gold coins

AUCTION RECORD: $22,800 • MS67

Image source: PCGS

There are multiple types of U.S. gold coinage. Liberty Head Coinage was a major part of that, which included a  $2.5, $5, $10, and $20 piece. They all shared a similar obverse with a left-facing Liberty head. The only major differences between these coins were their face value, size, and gold content. Another popular type of U.S. gold coinage are the Indian Heads. These coins include the $2.5, $5, and $10. Their designs differed more than their predecessors. Perhaps the most popular gold coin is the the Saint Gaudens Double Eagle. The design of this was reused for the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle. Some odd ball denominations also existed like the $3 Gold Coin and the $1 Gold Coin.

Much later on came what are known as "Modern Gold Coins." One major type of modern gold coins are the the First Spouse Gold Coins. These began the same time as the presidential coins.  The 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle was one of the only gold coins to have words engraved on the side of the coin. 

Many U.S. gold coins are much more valuable today then they were so many years ago. This is because of the increasing price of gold. The amount of gold a particular coin has, mintage, mintmark and condition are factors that determine the rarity of these coins.

Buy US Gold Coins online at Bullion Shark:

$1 Gold Coins
$2.5 Gold Coins
$3 Gold Coins
$5 Gold Coins
$10 Gold Coins
$20 Gold Coins
Territorial Gold
California Fractional Gold

$1 Gold Coin (1849-1889)

Introduced following the California Gold Rush, the $1 gold coin was America's smallest denomination gold coin. Its issuance marked a significant period of economic expansion and development. The coin underwent several design changes, including the Liberty Head, Indian Princess, and finally, the Type 3 design, which featured a more refined portrait of the Indian Princess.

$2.5 Liberty Gold Coin (1840-1907)

The $2.5 Liberty Gold Coin, often referred to as the Quarter Eagle, features a classic Liberty Head design. This coin was a staple of American commerce throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, symbolizing the country's growing economic stature.

$2.5 Gold Indian (1908-1929)

Marking a departure from traditional designs, the $2.5 Gold Indian features an incuse design with the image of an American Indian on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. Its unique design and historical significance make it a favorite among collectors.

$5 Liberty Gold Coin (1839-1908)

The $5 Liberty Gold Coin, or Half Eagle, was a key component of U.S. coinage for commerce and trade. The Liberty Head design, with the coronet and the word "Liberty" inscribed, was emblematic of American values and pride.

$5 Indian Head Gold Coin (1908-1929)

The $5 Indian Head Gold Coin continued the use of the incuse design introduced with the $2.5 Gold Indian, featuring a Native American in headdress on the obverse and a standing eagle on the reverse. Its innovative design and cultural imagery have made it highly sought after by collectors.

$10 Liberty Gold Coin (1838-1907)

The $10 Liberty Gold Coin, or Eagle, served as a significant indicator of U.S. prosperity. Featuring the iconic Liberty Head, this coin played a pivotal role in domestic and international transactions.

$10 Indian Head Gold Coin (1907-1933)

The $10 Indian Head Gold Coin introduced a new level of artistic excellence with its striking portrayal of Liberty wearing a Native American headdress. Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, it is celebrated for its beauty and craftsmanship.

$20 Liberty Gold Coin (1850-1907)

The $20 Liberty Gold Coin, or Double Eagle, was a cornerstone of international trade and investment. Its substantial value and gold content symbolized the wealth of a nation on the rise.

Saint Gaudens Double Eagle (1907-1933)

Considered by many to be the most beautiful U.S. coin ever minted, the Saint Gaudens Double Eagle features a full-length figure of Liberty and a soaring eagle. Its creation by Augustus Saint-Gaudens marked the pinnacle of American coin artistry.

First Spouse Gold Coins (2007-2020)

The First Spouse Gold Coins series honors the contributions of the First Ladies of the United States. Each coin features a portrait of a First Lady on the obverse and a unique reverse design representing her life and work.

2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle

A modern tribute to Saint-Gaudens' masterpiece, the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle was minted using the latest technology to realize the original high relief design intended by Saint-Gaudens. This coin is a bridge between the historical artistry of early 20th-century gold coins and contemporary numismatic advancements.

U.S. Gold Coins and their mintage years:

$1 Gold Coin: 1849- 1889

$2.5 Liberty Gold Coin: 1840- 1907

$2.5 Gold Indian: 1908-1929

$5 Liberty Gold Coin: 1839- 1908

$5 Indian Head Gold Coin: 1908-1929

$10 Liberty Gold Coin : 1838- 1907

$10 Indian Head Gold coin: 1907-1933

$20 Liberty Gold coin: 1850- 1907

Saint Gaudens Double Eagle: 1907-1933

First Spouse Gold Coins: 2007-2020

2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle



What are the most popular types of US Gold Coins for collectors?
The most popular types of US Gold Coins among collectors include the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles, Liberty Head Eagles, Indian Head Eagles, and Gold American Eagles due to their historical significance and aesthetic appeal.
How do I determine the value of US Gold Coins?
The value of US Gold Coins is determined by factors such as rarity, mint year, condition (or grade), and the current market price of gold. Collector interest and historical significance can also affect their value.
What is the history behind US Gold Coins?
US Gold Coins were first minted in 1795, with their production and design evolving over the years. They were created to support commerce and symbolize wealth and progress. Key historical series include the Liberty Head, Indian Head, and Saint-Gaudens coins.
Are US Gold Coins a good investment?
US Gold Coins can be a good investment due to their gold content and potential numismatic value. Their appeal to collectors and investors alike can make them a worthwhile addition to investment portfolios, especially in times of economic uncertainty.
Can I find US Gold Coins in circulation today?
It is highly unlikely to find US Gold Coins in general circulation today as they are now primarily collected and traded among numismatists and investors.
What are the most valuable US Gold Coins?
Some of the most valuable US Gold Coins include the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, the 1907 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle, and rare dates of the Liberty Head and Indian Head series, fetching prices in the millions at auctions.
How are US Gold Coins graded?
US Gold Coins are graded on a scale from 1 (Poor) to 70 (Perfect condition) by professional grading services. Factors considered include luster, surface preservation, and overall appeal.
What sizes do US Gold Coins come in?
US Gold Coins have been minted in various denominations, including $1, $2.50 (Quarter Eagle), $5 (Half Eagle), $10 (Eagle), and $20 (Double Eagle). Modern commemorative and investment coins may also come in fractional sizes.
Are all US Gold Coins made of pure gold?
Not all US Gold Coins are made of pure gold. Many historic coins have a gold content of 90%, alloyed with copper and silver for durability. Modern investment gold coins, like the American Eagle, include a 22-karat (91.67%) gold composition.
What is the best way to store and preserve US Gold Coins?
US Gold Coins should be stored in a cool, dry place, ideally in coin holders or albums designed to prevent scratches and reduce exposure to air and moisture, preserving their condition and value.
How can I sell US Gold Coins?
US Gold Coins can be sold through reputable coin dealers, auctions, numismatic shows, or online platforms. It's important to know the current gold market value and the coin's numismatic value before selling.
What are proof US Gold Coins?
Proof US Gold Coins are specially minted coins with a mirror-like finish and sharp details, produced for collectors. They are struck multiple times and treated with special dies, making them more valuable than regular issues.
How do recent gold prices affect US Gold Coins' value?
Recent gold prices directly affect the melt value of US Gold Coins. Higher gold prices can increase their base value, but numismatic value can vary based on collector demand and rarity.
Can US Gold Coins be used as legal tender?
While US Gold Coins have a face value and can technically be used as legal tender, their actual market value, especially for older coins, far exceeds their denominational value, making them impractical for everyday transactions.
What are the most recent US Gold Coins minted for collectors?
Recent US Gold Coins minted for collectors include the American Eagle Gold Coins, American Buffalo Gold Coins, and special commemorative issues celebrating significant events and anniversaries in U.S. history.