2016 Proof American Gold Eagles Soar in Debut


New 2016-W Proof American Gold Eagles sold quicker out of the gate than any in the series since 2010, the latest figures from the United States Mint show. Starting sales of the collector coins strengthened for a fourth straight year. More impressive, opening sales of this year’s Gold Eagles more than doubled the early results of last year’s issues.

Photo of 2016-W $50 Proof American Gold Eagle
Photo of a 2016-W $50 Proof American Gold Eagle

Released on March 17, buyers snapped up a total of 45,673 coins in four days for a combined 21,362.15 ounces. Here’s a table comparing these results from those of the last six years:

2016 45,673 21,362.15
2015 20,655 10,007.85
2014 18,309 9,301.10
2013 9,370 4,480.15
2012 8,369 4,234.55
2011 29,353 15,902.55
2010 54,466 29,677.95


In 2010, the proof coins enjoyed an early sales spike because of pent-up demand. The U.S. Mint did not sell them in 2009, diverting their production to bullion Gold Eagles.

Stronger starts in recent years have been supported by less expensive coin prices — triggered by weaker precious metals markets. Another supporting factor for this year was the surge in gold on the day the proof coins launched. The precious metal on March 17 jumped nearly 3% to end just shy of a 13-month high.

American Gold Eagles are sold in 1 oz., 1/2 oz., 1/4 oz. and 1/10 oz. sizes that correspond to denominations of $50, $25, $10 and $5. The U.S. Mint also offers a set with the four coins together. Here’s a table showing how each of them performed early into their release:

Debut Sales of 2016-W Proof American Gold Eagles
1 oz $1,560.00 6,573 6,573 13,311 $10,253,880.00
1/2 oz $795.00 1,969 985 8,707 $1,565,355.00
1/4 oz $410.00 2,143 536 8,881 $878,630.00
1/10 oz $175.00 8,036 804 14,774 $1,406,300.00
4-Coin Set $2,890.00 6,738 12,465.30 N/A $19,472,820.00
Totals 25,459 21,362.15 45,673 $33,576,985.00


Here are two larger photos of an obverse and reverse proof $50 Gold Eagle.

Photo of 2016-W $50 Proof American Gold Eagle, Obverse
A photo of the obverse or heads side of the coin
Photo of 2016-W $50 Proof American Gold Eagle, Reverse
A photo of the reverse or tails side of the coin

Here is a photo of the 1 oz. coin in its presentation case:

2016-W Proof American Gold Eagle in Presentation Case
U.S. Mint Certificate of Authenticity and 1 oz. proof gold coin in its presentation case
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Seth Riesling

FYI CoinNews readers – If you purchase the bullion versions of these gold coins you might want to check your 2016 1-ounce AGE coins for what the U.S. Mint is calling a “variation.” The Mint doesn’t know how, but has stated that approximately 63,000 of these coins were sold to their 13 worldwide official registered bullion coin “Authorized Purchasers” that have the design of Lady Liberty above the rim of the coins. Therefore, they do not stack well on top of each other as designed to do. The Mint refuses to call them “errors” (for obvious bad quality control reasons?)… Read more »


High-Relief Gold Eagle. Premium examples without wear, even straight out of tubes, will command high premiums.

Seth Riesling

Legend –

Actually just the opposite, since they are shipped in tubes all touching on each other they have ended up with more scratches than usual. One major grading service wouldn’t grade an entire monster box due to this defect unless the Mint says they are error coins. The AP can’t return them either since the Mint doesn’t accept returns on its “sold as is” investor bullion version coins.


Seth Riesling

FYI CoinNews readers –

NGC has reported that counterfeit gold U.S. Mint AGE & AGB 1-ounce coins inside very deceptive counterfeit NGC holders are entering the marketplace. They appear to have a prooflike look to them but have the grade of MS-70 on the counterfeit NGC plastic holder label. The first ones were detected in Columbus, Ohio by a coin dealer.