The Proof Gold Eagle is a widely popular collector coin series produced by the United States Mint. Introduced in 1986, the obverse of the coins feature a classic depiction of Liberty designed by Augustus Saint Gaudens. The reverse of each coin carries a depiction of a family of eagles designed by Miley Busiek specifically for the coin series.
For most years of release, the Proof Gold Eagles have been offered in four different sizes. This has included a one ounce coin with $50 legal tender face value, one-half ounce coin with $25 face value, one-quarter ounce coin with $10 face value, and one-tenth ounce coin with $5 face value. Each coin is struck in a durable composition of 22 karat gold and carries its stated weight in pure gold.
From the beginning, the United States Mint has sold the American Gold Eagle Proof Coins directly to the public. The coins have been offered either individually or as part of a multi-coin sets. In general, the packaging has consisted of protective capsules placed within velvet lined presentation cases and outer boxes. Each coin has included a certificate of authenticity listing the specifications of the coins and the signature of the Director of the United States Mint.
Proof Gold Eagles have been offered each year from 1986 to present, with the exception of 2009, when the collector offering was canceled due to an increase in demand for bullion coins. On a few occasions, the coins have been included within special sets incorporating other coins from the American Eagle program. For the 20th anniversary of the program a special set was released including a reverse proof Gold Eagle.