1988 American Gold Eagle Coins

The 1988 American Gold Eagle Coins marked the third year of availability for the precious metal coins struck by the US Mint.

1988 American Gold Eagle Coins
Mintage: 465,500 One Ounce Bullion, 87,133 One Ounce Proof
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Demand for the strikes continued to wane across the board from the debut year highs, especially for the bullion versions of the coin. Proof Gold Eagle demand was somewhat helped by the Mint’s introduction of two new fractional versions of the strike – the 1/4 ounce and the 1/10 ounce Eagle. Previously, these fractional sizes were only available in the bullion Eagles.

Gold also showed some declining interest as it started off the year in the $480 per ounce range but continued to falter to the point of an annual average for the precious metal of only $436.98. This was a drop of $9.50 per ounce from the previous year.

1988 Gold Eagle Mintage

Bullion Gold Eagle Mintage

The four sizes offered in the Bullion Gold Eagles all saw significant declines from the previous year with the total number of bullion strikes a mere 35% of what it had been in 1987.

The chart below shows the total mintage of 1988-dated Bullion Gold Eagles:

One Ounce Bullion Gold Eagle 465,500
1/2 Ounce Bullion Gold Eagle 45,000
1/4 Ounce Bullion Gold Eagle 49,000
1/2 Ounce Bullion Gold Eagle 159,500

Proof Gold Eagle Mintage

Proof Eagle Mintage saw declines in the one ounce and 1/2 ounce varieties – both of which were available the previous year. However, the Mint introduced new fractional Eagles with the proof 1/4 and 1/10 ounce Eagles which returned a decent mintage level in their inaugural year.

The chart below shows the total mintage of 1988-dated Proof Gold Eagles:

One Ounce Proof Gold Eagle 87,133
1/2 Ounce Proof Gold Eagle 76,528
1/4 Ounce Proof Gold Eagle 98,028
1/10 Ounce Proof Gold Eagle 143,881

Issue Information

The Gold Eagles had been available for three years with the release of the 1988 issues.

Release Date

Bullion Gold Eagles were available for most of the year.

Issue Price

Bullion Gold Eagles were sold by the US Mint’s network of authorized purchasers for a small premium above the current spot price of the gold contained within them. Proof Eagles were sold directly by the Mint for $585 for the One Ounce Eagle, $295 for the 1/2 Ounce Eagle, $150 for the 1/4 Ounce Eagle and $65 for the 1/10 Ounce Eagle.

U.S. Mint Production Facility

Gold Eagles were struck by the US Mint at both its West Point and Philadelphia facilities. However, the One Ounce Proof Eagle was struck solely at the West Point facility and shows a ‘W’ mintmark while the fractional Proof Eagles were struck at the Philadelphia facility and show a ‘P’ mintmark.

Designer & Sculptor

First featured on the Double Eagle coin from 1907-1933, the obverse (heads side) of the Gold Eagles shows Augustus Saint-Gauden’s full-length version of Lady Liberty with flowing hair. The reverse (tails side) shows Miley Busiek’s image of a family of eagles with the male flying above the nest.

Coin Specifications

Face Value: $50
Finish: Bullion, Proof
Composition: 91.67% Gold, 3% Silver, 5.33% Copper
Standard Weight: 33.930 g
Standard Diameter: 32.70 mm
Edge: Reeded

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