Parts of a Coin: Gold American Eagle Anatomy | U.S. Money Reserve

When ’ s the last clock time you picked up a mint and actually looked at it ? You credibly first base noticed its condition, then its design. If you didn ’ thymine give it any more think than that, you missed out ! There ’ south a treasure treasure trove of information on a mint, from its inscription to its motto. When you understand the versatile parts of a coin and the terminology to use, you can better commune with other coin holders, adenine well as appreciate your own pocket switch and portfolio of gold coins. Follow along as we explain the chief parts of a coin, using a proof american english Eagle Gold Coin as an exercise .

Parts of a Coin: Terminology to Know

Parts of a Coin Proof Gold American Eagle Infographic

The Basics

Let ‘s start with basic coin terminology .

What is a coin?

not everything that ‘s round and make of precious alloy is a coin. Coins are minted by a autonomous government, are legal affectionate, and have a minimum face value in addition to a mellow measure. In most countries, a coin ‘s design must be approved by a legislative body and advisory committee.

What is numismatics?

Numismatics is the cogitation or collection of coins, paper currentness, medals, tokens, and other money-related objects. While you may not realize it, you likely parcel many interests with numismatists : people who study coins and other forms of currentness .

The Proof American Eagle Gold Coin – Obverse

We ‘ll inaugural look at the obverse, or front, of the Proof American Eagle Gold Coin—one of the most popular gold coins in U.S. history. This english of the coin is besides referred to as the “ heads ” side. It features Lady Liberty in all of her aura, standing tall and firm with an olive branch in one hand and a fire blowtorch in the other .


The legend is the chief dedication or lettering on a mint. On the gold american Eagle Coin, the caption on the front reads, “ LIBERTY ” and on the back, “ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. ” Typically, an inscription tells us significant information about the coin, like its state of origin, who minted the mint, or who ‘s featured in the portrait, if applicable .


The field is the flat part of a coin ‘s surface. It is overlooked, without design or dedication. The field is basically the setting on to which designs and inscriptions are added. A validation coin has a mirror-like ( reflective ) field, while a bullion coin exhibits a matte field .
To achieve their beautiful “ proof ” ending, American Eagle Coins must undergo a special mint process .
“ The U.S. Mint goes to extraordinary lengths to produce a spectacularly beautiful mint, including multiple strikes and polish of coin blanks to obtain the design detail and shining plain characteristic of the mint, ” says Philip N. Diehl, President of U.S. Money Reserve and former Director of the U.S. Mint .
The field is frequently subdivided into leave and right, notes When writing about elements in the field, you would write “ to l. ” or “ to r. ” to refer to the left and right as the spectator sees them. If you were describing the left or right arms or hands of a calculate on the mint, however, you would not use “ to l. ” or “ to r. ” You would merely write that they are the left or right arms or hands of the trope or portray .


The easing is the part of the mint ‘s design that is raised above the surface/field. On the front man of the Gold American Eagle, the relief is Lady Liberty holding a torch and an olive ramify, striding toward the viewer with sunbeams and the Capitol build in the background. The reverse relief features a syndicate of eagles clutching olive branches. The raise areas of a validation mint are frosted in appearance, while a bullion coin ‘s relief has a bright appearance .


A mint grade is a humble letter identifying the localization of the mint where the coin was produced. Current United States batch marks are P ( Philadelphia ), D ( Denver ), S ( San Francisco ), and W ( West Point ). Depending on the coin and its year, a mint mark may or may not be present. Proof and Burnished Gold American Eagles include a mint commemorate, while bullion american Eagles do not include a mint mark.


The date is an dedication that indicates the year the coin was minted. aureate american english Eagles were first minted in 1986, after the sign of the Gold Bullion Act of 1985. From 1986 to 1992, Gold American Eagles were produced with Roman-numeral go steady. Since 1992, the U.S. Mint has produced this series with Arabic ( standard ) numbers .

The Proof American Eagle Gold Coin – Reverse

now let ‘s search at the inverse, or second, of the Proof American Eagle Gold Coin ! It features a family of bald eagles clutching olive branches. This side is besides referred to as the “ tails ” side .


This is the boldness value of a legal tender coin. The gold american Eagle pictured here carries a symbolic legal offer value of $ 50. The actual monetary value of a bullion Gold American Eagle Coin is based on the blot price of gold plus a minor bounty to cover the costs of fabrication and distribution. The actual price of a Certified Proof Gold American Eagle Coin includes these factors, but besides takes into report the mint ‘s handiness and condition .


Some coins will besides include the engraver ‘s initials. According to the U.S. Mint, the engraver is the artist who sculpts a cadaver model of a coin ’ second purpose in barium ( abject ) respite. Sheryl ( or Sherl ) J. Winter engraved the gold american Eagle .


Some coins will include the initials of its architect. The interior designer is the artist who creates a mint ’ mho purpose but doesn ’ t inevitably engrave the design into a neologism die. Their initials are normally small and require a magnify glass to locate. On the obverse of the Gold American Eagle, you can see AG for Augustus Saint-Gaudens. On the invert, MB stands for Miley Busiek ( now known as Miley Tucker-Frost ). Learn more about the men and women who designed the gold american eagle !

9. RIM

The rim is the lift depart along the edge of both sides of the coin. A mint ‘s rim makes it easier to stack and reduces wear when handling. A gold american Eagle has a raised or “ upset ” rim .

10. EDGE

The edge is the outer margin of a mint and is besides called the “ third side. ” There are four types of edges : plain, reeded, lettered, or decorated. The gold american english Eagle has a reeded boundary .


The motto is an inspirational or historic saying on either the obverse or rearward english of the coin. A motto is different than an inscription, as it ‘s typically made up of words that are inspirational or emotionally stirring. On the aureate american Eagle, the motto includes “ E Pluribus Unum ” and “ In God We Trust ” on the reverse side.


The declared sum of gold ( or other valued metal ) message guaranteed by the write out government in each coin. The 1-oz. gold american Eagle shown here is produced with precisely one snow leopard of gold and guaranteed by the U.S. politics. fractional coins in the series hold 1/2, 1/4, or 1/10 of an ounce of gold .

ready to put your newfound numismatic cognition to use ? now that you understand the american english Eagle Gold Coin from front to back, inspect one for yourself ! Order an american english Eagle Gold Bullion Coin or Certified Proof Coin on-line or by calling 1-844-307-1589 today !

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