The American Eagle Platinum coin is the official platinum bullion of the United States, and the only platinum coin guaranteed by the U.S. government. These coins were released to the public in 1997, following years of work from Philip Diehl, David Ganz and Jacques Luben. Not only are they one of the most recognizable platinum coins in the world, but the proof Platinum Eagles are the only U.S. coins to alternate designs on the reverse side annually.
Development, Introduction and History
American Eagle coins are official precious metals bullion introduced and authorized by the United States Congress. There are three primary precious metals used for American Eagle coins – gold, silver and platinum.
While the Gold and Silver American Eagle bullion coins were authorized in 1985 and released in 1986, the Platinum Eagle bullion coins weren’t minted until 1997.
The fight to introduce Platinum Eagles began in 1995, when Philip Diehl (Director of the U.S. Mint), David Ganz (President of American Numismatic Association) and Jacques Luben (Executive Director of the Platinum Guild International) lobbied for a platinum alternative to the hugely successful American Eagle coin series. Their efforts paid off when, two years later, Congress authorized the production and sale of the Platinum Eagle.
Each American Eagle coin also comes in ‘proof‘ versions, which are specially minted for collector value. These coins are more polished than bullion versions in an effort to promote visual appeal. ‘Proof’ coins are otherwise identical to bullion coins in size, shape, quality and appearance.
American Platinum Eagle Physical Characteristics
The front, or “obverse”, side for both bullion and proof versions of the American Platinum Eagle coins features the “Liberty looking to the future” image designed by John Mercanti. Interlaced between the crown on the Statue of Liberty stretches the word LIBERTY, and the year of mintage appears next to the face above the words IN GOD WE TRUST.
The rear, or “reverse”, side of the bullion Platinum Eagles features the image of an eagle soaring away from a rising sun, underneath the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, .9995 PLATINUM and the weight denomination (e.g. 1 oz.). The image were engraved by Thomas D. Rogers.
For proof Platinum Eagles, the reverse design changes annually. Until 2002, each edition featured a bald eagle – the national animal of the United States – with different backdrops. Since then, different symbols of American democracy have been featured on reverse of proof coins.
The reverse side of proof Platinum Eagles changes annually.
There are four different weight denominations for American Eagle Platinum coins, ranging from 1/10 troy oz. to 1 troy oz. Each coin is guaranteed to be .9995 fine platinum, making them eligible for IRA investing.
1 troy oz.
1/2 troy oz.
1/4 troy oz.
1/10 troy oz.
American Platinum Eagle Pricing
Each American Silver Eagle carries a face value, or its transactional value when used as a currency. This value is dictated by law. The one-ounce Platinum Eagle coin carries a face value of $100, the highest to ever appear on U.S. coin.
While technically legal tender, these values are largely symbolic; the actual value of Platinum Eagles is typically much greater than the listed face value.
This is because face value is completely separate from a coin’s market value, which is primarily determined from the spot price of platinum for the American Platinum Eagles.
Since the price of platinum fluctuates daily, the market prices for American Platinum Eagles will fluctuate daily as well. You can check out our home page for live metal pricing.
Adding American Eagle Platinum Coins to an IRA
American Eagles have been authorized additions to self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) since their inception. The Platinum Eagle coins was introduced for IRA investing in 1997.
By placing real, physical platinum inside of an IRA, investors add a level of diversification to their portfolio that is independent of fluctuations for stocks and bonds. Platinum is far more scarce than gold or silver, and investments in platinum are becoming more liquid as investors continue to recognize the value of this special metal.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows specific types of IRAs to carry gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion in a portfolio. Sometimes referred to as a “precious metals IRA”, only IRS-approved bullion – such as the American Platinum Eagle – can be added to these investment vehicles.
Investors must make a minimum initial purchase of $5,000 of approved metals in order to establish a precious metals IRA. Each subsequent purchase must be at least $1,000. Additionally, any purchase of investment bullion for an IRA is required to be transferred to and held within an approved precious metals depository. These depositories are responsible for the safety and maintenance of the metals until a distribution is made.
Any IRS-approved bullion must meet minimum purity requirements in order to be included in an IRA. All American Eagles are guaranteed by the United States Mint to meet these requirements.
Those with existing IRAs have the option of transferring or rolling over funds into a precious metals IRA.
American Gold, Silver and Platinum Eagle bullion coins are not available for direct purchase from the United States Mint. Rather, American Eagles are sold in bulk to qualifying institutions at a slight premium. The US Mint does, however, allow direct purchase of uncirculated and ‘proof’ coins at a fixed price.
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