Silver American Eagle Coin and Gold American Eagle Coin on black background

Get to Know the U.S. Mint’s Most Popular Coin Programs


Written by John Rothans

Mar 15, 2018

The U.S. Mint makes not only coins but also history. Congress authorizes special U.S. Mint coin programs to celebrate and honor uniquely American people, places, events, and institutions, and to provide everyday citizens an opportunity to hold U.S. gold and silver as powerful financial assets. Coin programs can include circulating coins, uncirculated coins, proof sets, gold bullion, silver bullion, and even platinum coins. Each coin is produced in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time. Learn more about the most popular coin programs and how you can make a piece of American history yours, too.

Popular U.S. Mint Coin Programs to Know

Gold & Silver American Eagle Coin Program

The Gold Bullion Act of 1985 led to the establishment of the American Eagle Coin Program and the production of a highly revered family of coins. The program officially launched in 1986 with the sale of American Eagle Gold and silver bullion coins. Platinum was added to the American Eagle bullion family in 1997 and palladium in 2017. The program also includes the production of gold proof and silver proof coins.

The Gold American Eagle Coin is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful gold coins ever struck, in part thanks to its timeless patriotic imagery. The obverse of the Gold American Eagle was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the early 1900s. It features Lady Liberty's full-length figure, her face framed by windswept hair and stamped with a fearless gaze. She holds a torch in one hand and an olive branch in the other. The reverse features a family of bald eagles, designed by Miley Busiek (now known as Miley Tucker-Frost) in 1986. Today, Gold American Eagle Coins stand as a symbol of American tradition and unity.

1 oz. Gold American Eagle Bullion Coin 1 oz. Silver American Eagle Coin, View of Front

Silver American Eagles, on the other hand, feature an alternative portrayal of Lady Liberty by early 20th-century sculptor Adolph A. Weinman. Lady Liberty strides across the front side of the coin, draped in the American flag. Her right hand extends outward and she holds branches of laurel and oak in her left. The reverse design, by sculptor/engraver John Mercanti, features an eagle with a shield. The eagle holds an olive branch in its right talon and a bundle of arrows in its left.

Looking for these U.S. Mint coins for sale? Note that the Mint does not sell American Eagle bullion coins directly to the public. Instead, the Mint distributes bullion coins through a network of trusted precious metals companies. U.S. Money Reserve specializes in selling coins produced at the U.S. Mint. Fully backed by the U.S. government for their gold content, weight, and purity, U.S. Money Reserve’s American Eagle bullion coin selection fits the needs for precious metals owners at every level.

Gold and silver proof versions are also available for precious metals buyers who may want more long-term insulation from market prices. These coins undergo a special minting process and are evaluated and graded for their condition and rarity. They're encapsulated and sonically sealed in a plastic case to protect their coveted condition and potential!

front and back of gold american easgle coins in sealed platic casing front and back of Silver American Eagle-Proofs in sealed plastic casing

“The U.S. Mint goes to extraordinary lengths to produce a stunningly beautiful coin, including multiple strikes and polishing of coin blanks to obtain the design detail and shining field characteristic of the coin,” says Philip N. Diehl, President of U.S. Money Reserve and former Director of the U.S. Mint.

Gold American Buffalo Coin Program

Gold American Buffalo Coins were first released to the public in June 2006 under Public Law 109-145, also called the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005. Title II of this act announced the striking and issuing of $50 Gold American Buffalo bullion and proof coins, effectively beginning the American Buffalo Coin Program. The legislation provided guidelines for the coin’s design, production volume, price, legal tender status, gold sourcing, and more.

Gold American Buffalo coins triumphantly embody the beauty of the American West. The obverse design features a portrait of a Native American. The reverse features a massive buffalo who “recalls the pioneering spirit of the Nation's westward expansion,” says the U.S. Mint.

1 oz. Gold American Buffalo 1 oz. Gold American Buffalo Coin, View of Back

The history of the Gold American Buffalo Coin speaks to the coin’s popularity and success. In the past, the U.S. Mint has halted production of Gold American Buffalo Coins due to insurmountable demand. They stopped production during the financial crisis of 2008, ran out of 1 oz. bullion inventory in 2010, and sold through their 1 oz. proof inventory in 2015.

The 50 State Quarters Program

The U.S. Mint 50 State Quarters Program launched in 1999 with help from Philip N. Diehl, U.S. Money Reserve's current president and the former U.S. Mint Director. It was a 10 year-initiative that honored each state in the order it ratified the U.S. Constitution or was admitted into the Union.

Once launched, this coin program quickly became a national phenomenon. Each quarter was produced for 10 weeks and then never produced again. State designs were displayed on the reverse of the quarters, while the obverse displayed a traditional and familiar image of George Washington. Americans of all ages rifled through their pockets and change jars in search of the next state quarter. According to the U.S. Mint, an estimated 147 million Americans actively collected the coins between 1999 and 2008.

“This groundbreaking initiative has been the most successful coin program in the Nation’s history,” said United States Mint Director Ed Moy at the close of the program. “The 50 State Quarters Program has educated a generation of Americans about the history and geography of the States. It has also generated tremendous state pride and encouraged citizens to consider which images should symbolize the region where they live.”

U.S. Money Reserve's Free Gold Information Kit


Buying U.S. government-issued gold coins is one of the smartest ways to own a piece of American history and better protect your financial future. Few other physical assets compare. Learn more in our free Gold Information Kit, complete with everything you need to know about gold ownership!

American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin Program

The American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin is a newer coin program from the U.S. Mint. This gold coin went on sale July 30, 2015 and was strongly influenced by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, an 11-member body established in 2003 by Congress to advise the Secretary of the Treasury on the themes and designs of all U.S. coins and medals.

The coin was so popular that within a few short hours of its debut at the U.S. Mint, the American Liberty’s initial inventory was completely sold out. Citizens had to wait weeks for new stock to be replenished. Everyone wanted to own the nation’s first high relief gold coin minted in over 100 years.

The obverse design features a modern rendition of Lady Liberty, a timeless symbol of liberty, hope, and courage. The reverse features a bald eagle in flight carrying an olive branch, symbolizing over 200 years of freedom and courage.2015 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin

As a high relief coin, the American Liberty’s design elements are raised up more than a typical strike. This minting technology gives the coin tremendously sharp details, but also makes it more difficult to produce than many other gold coins. That’s one reason very few coins in the U.S. Mint’s history come in a high relief format.

U.S. Mint Coins for Sale at U.S. Money Reserve

The U.S. Mint has launched many successful coin programs over the years. While these programs come and go, physical gold and silver last forever. U.S. Money Reserve can help make sure you own the gold or silver coin that means the most to you before it's gone. Call 1-844-307-1589 to learn more about U.S. Mint coins for sale today!


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