The American Gold Eagle is guaranteed by the U.S. government to contain the stated amount of actual gold weight in troy ounces.
The gold is 22 karat (a small amount of other metal is added for durability), but each 1 oz. American Eagle contains one full ounce of pure gold from American sources.
In 1986, Lady Liberty, as depicted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, was selected as the design that would grace the obverse of the American Eagle Gold Coins by Theodore Roosevelt like the ancient Greek and Roman coins. The Saint-Gaudens design first appeared on the United States’ $20, or double-eagle, gold piece in 1907, where it remained until 1933.
On the obverse side of the coin, Lady Liberty stands with flowing hair and holds a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left, with the Capitol building in the left background. The reverse design, by sculptor Miley Busiek, features a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying above a nest containing a female eagle and her hatchlings.
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