The American Gold Eagle was first struck by the United States Mint in 1986. The 22 karat gold bullion coins were available in four different sizes, each containing the specified weight in pure gold. This included one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes. Bullion coins have been distributed by the US Mint through a network of authorized purchasers. Gold Eagles are acquired for both precious metals investment and collecting purposes.
The design for the obverse of the coin is reproduced from the Saint Gaudens Gold Double Eagle, designed by Augustus Saint Gaudens. A depiction of Liberty is shown, as she holds a lit torch and olive branch and strides boldly forward. The reverse of the coins was designed by Miley Busiek, specifically for the new bullion coin series. It features a male eagle bringing an olive branch to a nest containing young eagles and their mother.