The American Platinum Eagle was introduced in 1997 as the only United States Mint investment grade coin struck in platinum. The offering joined the existing lines of gold and silver bullion coins. The platinum coins were offered in one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes. The bullion versions of the coins were distributed through a network of authorized purchasers who could order the coins in bulk quantities based on the market price of the metal plus a specified mark up.
The design for the obverse of the coin was created by John Mercanti. It features a portrait of the Statue of Liberty with her face and crown in view, as well as a portion of her arm holding the torch. On the reverse is an image of a soaring bald eagle with a sun and its rays in the background. The inscriptions indicate the platinum content, fineness, and legal tender face value. The reverse was designed by Thomas D. Rogers.