American Platinum Eagle Coins
The American Platinum Eagle was first issued in 1997, as an extension of the American Eagle Bullion Program. The platinum coin was added to the existing offerings for the Gold and Silver Eagle coins previously introduced in 1986. The Platinum Eagle is the first and only investment grade platinum coin issued by the United States Mint.
The obverse design of the coin features a rendition of the Statue of Liberty designed by John Mercanti. It bears the inscriptions “Liberty”, “E Pluribus Unum”, and “In God We Trust” as well as the date.
The reverse design of the bullion coins features a soaring Bald Eagle against a rising sun. This reverse was designed by Thomas D. Rodgers Sr. The inscriptions include “United States of America”, “.995 Platinum”, the denomination, and platinum content. From 1998 to date, the proof and collectible uncirculated versions of the coins have featured annually rotating reverse designs from various artists.
Four Different Denominations
During the course of the series, the American Platinum Eagle coins have been offered in four different sizes. Each contains its indicated weight in pure platinum and carries a legal tender face value.
- 1 ounce : $100 face value
- 1/2 ounce: $50 face value
- 1/4 ounce: $25 face value
- 1/10 ounce: $10 face value
The four denominations were offered for both bullion coins and collectible proof coins from the introduction of the series in 1997 until 2008. The collectible uncirculated coins were also available across all four options from 2006 to 2008. Since 2009, only one ounce sized coins have been issued in proof format.
Purchasing Platinum Eagles
Similar to Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins, Platinum Eagle bullion coins were not sold directly to the public. The United States Mint sold the coins through a network of authorized purchasers who in turn resold the coins to other dealers and public, as well as established a two way market for the coins. At the end of 2008, the US Mint announced a suspension of production for platinum bullion coins. Although the US Mint has periodically expressed their intentions to resume production, no American Platinum Eagle bullion coins have been issued from 2009 to date. There is no legal requirement for the US Mint to produce the coins each year.
Since the beginning of the series, the United States Mint has offered collectible proof versions of the coins for sale directly to the public. Initially, each denomination was offered for sale individually, or as part of a four coin set. For the first year of issue in 1997, the US Mint offered a special “Impressions of Liberty” set containing one ounce 1997 Proof Gold, Silver, and Platinum Eagle coins. Starting in 1998, a series of annually changing reverse designs were used frequently surrounding different multi-year themes.
From 2006 to 2008, the US Mint offered collectible uncirculated versions of the coins directly to the public. These coins were offered in all four denominations, for sale individually or as a four coin set. The coins differ from the bullion coins by the inclusion of the “W” mint mark and the use of the rotating reverse designs also used on proof coins.
Collector offerings were streamlined starting in 2009 to only include a single one ounce proof version.
Composition and Specifications
Platinum Eagles are the only platinum bullion coins with their weight, content, and purity guaranteed by the US Government. The composition of each coin is .9995 fine platinum.
The $100 face value coins have a weight of 1.0005 troy ounces yielding a weight of one pure ounce of platinum. The diameter of the coin is 32.7 mm with a thickness of 2.39 mm. The $50 face value coins have a weight of 0.5003 troy ounces with diameter of 27 mm and thickness of 1.75 mm. The $25 coins have a weight of 0.2501 ounces with a diameter of 22 mm. The smallest $10 coins weigh 0.1001 troy ounces and have a diameter of 16.5 mm.