American Eagles are one of the most popular coins in both North American and the world. Produced and distributed by the United States mint, American Eagles have been incredibly popular since their inception in 1986. In the early days, Eagles were only made in gold and silver versions, though this changed in 1997 when Platinum American Eagles were released.
Being one of the most visibly American coins on the market, these Platinum American Eagles are popular amongst both collectors and investors. The purpose of this article is to give you a bit more knowledge about what makes the Platinum American Eagle as popular as it is, its relative scarcity, and the amount of platinum actually present in the coin.
Platinum Eagle Sizes
Just like any other type of American Eagle coin, the platinum version comes in a variety of different sizes. As is the case with any other coin on the market today, the 1 ounce version is the most popular, but it is also one of the priciest so it is not always an option for all collectors and investors.
Besides the 1 ounce Platinum American Eagle, there are three other versions including the 1/10th, 1/4th, and ½ ounce varieties.
- The 1/10th ounce Platinum American Eagle is the smallest and has a diameter of 16.5 mm, a thickness of .95 mm, and a face value of $10.
- The 1/4th ounce Platinum Eagle has a diameter of 22 mm, thickness of 1.32 mm, and a face value of $25.
- The ½ ounce American Eagle has a diameter of 27 mm, a thickness of 1.75 mm, and a face value of $50.
- Finally, the 1 ounce variety has a diameter of 32.7 mm, a thickness of 2.39 mm, and a face value of $100.
Though the American Eagle is a piece of American history, what makes it really valuable is the amount of platinum actually present in the coin. Unlike Gold Eagles which have a purity level of about 92% gold, the Platinum Eagle is comprised of 99.95% platinum. This means that there is more platinum and less filler metals in the coin, and thus the coin is more valuable.
Years Produced, Quantities
The American Platinum Eagles have been in production for about ten fewer years then its gold and silver counterparts. The world became incredibly interested in gold and silver towards the middle of the 1980s, and by the mid-90s worldwide interest expanded into additional precious metals such as platinum.
Though interest in platinum bars and coins picked up in the early 90s, it was until 1997 that the Platinum American Eagle was released. The amount of Platinum Eagles minted varies a bit from year to year as in the inaugural year there were a little over 170,000 coins (all sizes included) minted where only a year later total mintages of non-proof Platinum Eagles was bumped up to over 240,000. Mintages have not always increased over the years as in 2000 fewer than 100,000 non-proof Platinum Eagles were minted.
Proof coin mintages, on the other hand, have been declining over the years as in the first year Platinum Eagles were released there were closer to 100,000 proof Platinum Eagles minted as opposed to 2008 where under 20,000 proof Platinum Eagles were released.