There are two different types of US gold coins that can be purchased, Collectible Coins and Bullion. A Collectible U.S. gold coin, also known as Numismatic Coins, is typically defined as a coin that was struck (or made) on or before 1933 and they usually have a collectible value to them because of their rarity along with their weight in gold value. Then in 1986 the United States government started to strike new gold coins and these are referred to as bullion which are mostly bought for their gold value as investments and do not have much of a collectible value associated to them since there is no shortage of them (unless the mint produces a coin specifically for collectors). In the United States, what we now consider collectible gold coins started out in 1795 as two denominations that were used in every day circulation. There was the Eagle that had a “face” value of $10 and contained almost half an ounce of gold. The other denomination was half that value and logically called a Half Eagle with the face value set to $5 and weighing in at one-quarter once of pure gold. At that time there were less than six thousand Eagles and nine thousand Half Eagles struck at the Philadelphia Mint, and that number has decreased significantly. Back then if a coin was overly worn or damaged it would be melted down into a new coin. Also in the early 1930s the United States government recalled all U.S. gold coins from circulation and melted them into large 400oz bars. This has made the 1795 Eagle and Half eagle highly sought after giving them a very high market value reaching into six-figures for the few coins that are well preserved. The U.S. government minted gold coins used as every day money in America between 1795 and 1933, but today the coins that are produced are not used for circulation, instead they are sold as bullion investments. Each coin is valued based on its weight and the current prices of gold. The Bullion Coin act of 1985 instructed the Treasury Department to start the production and distribution of non-circulating gold coins. Now produced in large quantities, the American Eagle family has quickly become the most sought after gold coins in the investing world. There are four coins that make up the American Eagle family of coins and they are 1, ½, ¼ and 1/10 ounce coins. They are made from 22-karats of gold which is about 91.66 percent pure gold. The current American Eagle coin has a “Striding Liberty” design on the front of it which was inspired by the same coin Augustus Saint-Gaudens created in 1906. On the back there is a large eagle hovering over its nest created by Miley Busiek. The great thing about American Eagle gold coins is that they are guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury Department for its weight and purity of the gold, this is why they are valued at, at least the market value of gold. Each coin also contains a symbolic denomination, or a “face value” but that is only used to indicate that it’s a legal tender and is considered lawful money of the United States.