Today, April 30, 2015 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2015-W Uncirculated $50 American Gold Eagle. This is the collectible uncirculated or “burnished” version of the coin, which typically experiences a much lower mintage compared to the bullion and proof versions.
The obverse design of the coin features the classic depiction of Lady Liberty by Augustus Saint Gaudens. Liberty is shown holding an olive branch and lit torch as she steps confidently forward against the backdrop of the rising sun and the US Capitol Building. The reverse design of the coin by Miley Busiek depicts a male bald eagle bringing an olive branch to a nest containing a female eagle and eaglets.
The 2015-W Uncirculated Gold Eagles are struck on specially burnished blanks and carry a finish similar to the bullion version. However, the coins are clearly differentiated by the appearance of the “W” mint mark on the obverse. The bullion version does not carry a mint mark. Each coin is struck in 22 karat gold and contains 1 troy ounce of gold content.
The initial pricing for the offering is $1,475.00 based on an average weekly gold price within the $1,150 to $1,199.99 range. The price of the coin may be adjusted weekly based on changes in the market price of gold. There are no mintage or household ordering limits in place.
The United States Mint first offered the burnished American Gold Eagles in 2006. That year, the three-coin 20th Anniversary American Gold Eagle Set contained a one ounce burnished coin. Later in the year, a full line of burnished Gold Eagles were offered across one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes, either individually or within a complete set. The same line up was offered the following two years in 2007 and 2008. The burnished Gold Eagles were not offered in 2009 and 2010. The offering was resumed in 2011, and has been offered each subsequent year in individual one ounce size only.
The recent issues have experienced low mintages within the context of other American Gold Eagles. The 2011-W burnished coin had a final mintage of 8,729, followed by the mintage low of 5,829 for the 2012-W. The 2013-W had a final mintage of 7,298. The 2014-W coin has been listed as “unavailable” on the US Mint’s website for many months after reaching sales of 7,902.