Updated June 22, 2017, to correct the engraver’s name and the fineness. Thank you to the readers who caught the errors!
Updated May 31, 2017, to correct the date in the headline.
Tomorrow (June 1) is the release date for the Mint’s annual American Eagle 1-ounce gold Uncirculated coin (17EH), which will be available from noon Eastern time. The Uncirculated and Proof AGEs are collector versions of the official U.S. Mint American Eagle gold bullion coins, differing with respect to finish and mintmark (which the bullion strike lacks). Each 22-karat (0.9167 fine) gold Uncirculated coin, denominated $50, is enclosed in a clear capsule housed in a blue, Mint-branded box, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Each coin measures 1.287 inches in diameter (32.7 mm) and has a reeded edge. The obverse design features Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s full-length figure of Liberty with flowing hair, striding toward the viewer against a background of 26 sun rays. Her left foot steps up onto a rocky outcrop, as if she is climbing a mountain; at the base of the outcrop is a cluster of oak leaves, symbolizing strength. She carries a torch of freedom, held in her right hand, and an olive branch, symbolizing an offer of peace, out to the side in her left. In the distance, at the lower left of her skirt, is the U.S. Capitol. The word LIBERTY arches above her head, the I and B spaced slightly wide to accommodate the top of the torch. To the lower right of the effigy, superimposed over the sun’s rays, is the date, 2017, with the mintmark W and the monogram of Augustus Saint-Gaudens below. The design is almost fully encircled by a border of 50 six-pointed stars.
The reverse was designed by Miley J. Busiek and engraved by Sherl J. Winter. The upper half features a male eagle carrying a branch (presumably of olive), its wings scooping forward as it brakes for landing. The lower half depicts a nest of sticks set on a leafy branch and holding a female eagle, whose wings are cupped protectively around two chicks. Arching above the main motif are the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, with 1 OZ. FINE GOLD ~ 50 DOLLARS below the motif. In smaller letters in the field to the left, in two lines, is the national motto, E PLURIBUS / UNUM, and in the field to the right, IN GOD / WE TRUST. The initials of the designer and engraver, MB and JW, respectively, are below the eagles’ nest. ❑