U.s. Gold Coins - Investing & Collecting
United States gold coins date back to 1795 when the first $5 (Half Eagle) and $10 (Eagle) gold pieces were issued. The $2.50 (Quarter Eagle) gold coin was minted beginning the following year. These coins were .9167 fine, the standard authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792.
The $1 gold and $20 (Double Eagle) coins were minted beginning in 1849 with a fineness of .900. The other U.S. gold coins had changed to .900 during the late 1830's. In 1907 the twenty dollar gold coin began using the design of the noted sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The St. Gaudens double eagle is considered by many to be the most beautiful United States coin ever.
The three dollar gold piece and the four dollar Stella were also minted during the nineteenth century, the latter as a pattern coin during 1879-80. The United States stopped minting gold coins after 1933 and U.S. citizens were prohibited from holding them in 1934. Restrictions were eliminated in 1975. In 1986, the U.S. began minting the American Eagle Gold bullion coin.