Gold: $2305.31  |  Silver: $29.02

The $50 Gold American Eagle coin is one of four gold coins that belong to the United States Mint’s bullion coin program, which began in 1986. $50 American Gold Eagles are coins that contain one troy ounce of 22-karat gold and represent the highest of the four gold coin denominations in the program. The obverse design on all American Gold Eagle coins depicts Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ design of Miss Liberty walking in a full gown as she holds a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left. On the reverse of American Gold Eagle coins is a design by Miley Busiek showing a male eagle clasping an olive branch as it flies above a nest with a female and her hatchlings.

$50 American Gold Eagles measure 1.287 inches in diameter and weigh 1.0909 troy ounces. While the 91.67% gold coin contains one ounce of pure gold, it’s composition is also 3% silver and 5.33% copper to help make the coin more wear resistant. The coin is also legal tender, but its $50 face value is purely symbolic. Clearly, the coin has a much higher actual intrinsic value than its denominational value, but indeed could be spent in a sales transaction. Bullion coins are minted at the Philadelphia mint and proofs and burnished finish specimens are produced at West Point. From 1986 through 1991, the date was expressed on the coin using Roman numerals.

Here’s a rundown of the various dates, mintages, and approximate values for the $50 gold coin:

  • MCMLXXXVI (1986), 1,362,650 minted; $1,300

  • MCMLXXXVI (1986-W) Proof, 446,290; $1,500

  • MCMLXXXVII (1987), 1,045,500; $1,300

  • MCMLXXXVII (1987-W) Proof, 147,498; $1,500

  • MCMLXXXVIII (1988), 465,000; $1,300

  • MCMLXXXVIII (1988-W) Proof, 87,133; $1,500

  • MCMLXXXIX (1989), 415,790; $1,300

  • MCMLXXXIX (1989-W), 54,570; $1,500

  • MCMXC (1990), 373,210; $1,300

  • MCMXC (1990-W) Proof, 62,401; $1,500

  • MCMXCI (1991), 243,100; $1,300

  • MCMXCI (1991-W) Proof, 50,411; $1,500

  • 1992, 275,000; $1,300

  • 1992-W Proof, 44,826; $1,500

  • 1993, 480,192; $1,300

  • 1993-W Proof, 34,389; $1,500

  • 1994, 221,633; $1,300

  • 1994-W Proof, 46,674; $1,500

  • 1995, 200,636; $1,300

  • 1995-W Proof, 46,484; $1,500

  • 1996, 189,148; $1,300

  • 1996-W Proof, 36,000; $1,500

  • 1997, 664,508; $1,300

  • 1997-W Proof, 27,554; $1,500

  • 1998, 1,468,530; $1,300

  • 1998-W Proof, 26,060; $1,500

  • 1999, 1,505,026; $1,300

  • 1999-W Proof, 31,446; $1,500

  • 2000, 433,319; $1,300

  • 2000-W Proof, 33,006; $1,500

  • 2001, 143,605; $1,300

  • 2001-W Proof, 24,580; $1,500

  • 2002, 222,029; $1,300

  • 2002-W Proof, 27,499; $1,500

  • 2003, 416,032; $1,300

  • 2003-W Proof, 33,000; $1,500

  • 2004, 417,019; $1,300

  • 2004-W Proof, 8,720; $1,500

  • 2005, 356,555; $1,300

  • 2005-W Proof, 35,246; $1,500

  • 2006, 237,510; $1,300

  • 2006-W Burnished Uncirculated, 45,912; $1,900

  • 2006-W Proof, 47,000; $1,900

  • 2006-W Reverse Proof, 10,000; $2,900

  • 2007, 140,016; $1,400

  • 2007-W Burnished Uncirculated, 18,609; $2,000

  • 2007-W Proof, 51,810; $1,600

  • 2008-W, 710,000; $1,400

  • 2008-W Burnished Uncirculated, 11,908; $2,100

  • 2008-W Reverse of 2007, mintage included above

  • 2008-W Proof, 29,000; $2,150

  • 2009, 122,000; $1,300

  • 2010, 1,125,000; $1,300

  • 2010-W, 59,480; $1,600

  • 2011, 857,000; $1,400

  • 2011 Burnished Uncirculated, 8,729; $2,400

  • 2011-W Proof, 48,306; $1,600

  • 2012-W, mintage unknown; $1,300

  • 2012 Burnished Uncirculated, 5,829; $3,000

*Values listed above are for uncirculated coins and bullions coins grading MS 65 and proofs grading PF 65, unless otherwise noted; as values for gold bullion coins fluctuates on a daily basis, you should double-check current bullion prices to better approximate the exact value.

The $50 American Gold Eagle has been produced every year since 1986 and is struck in both bullion (uncirculated) and proof finishes. The bullion version, which is usually sold for a small premium over the coin’s intrinsic bullion value, mainly appeals to gold investors. Meanwhile, proof $50 American Gold Eagles are generally sought by numismatists who appreciate the finer surfaces and strong strike qualities of proof coinage.

Interestingly, American Gold Eagles have a much smaller numismatic market than American Silver Eagle coins, which have a strong collector base. In fact, even bullion finish American Silver Eagles are widely collected by numismatists and assembled into date sets. The lower cost of Silver Eagles versus Gold Eagles may be a major factor behind those particular collector habits. It’s also worth noting that, like the Saint-Gaudens design on the American Gold Eagle coins, Silver Eagles have an equally attractive Walking Liberty obverse design by Adolph A. Weinman.