2009 American Platinum Eagles

American Platinum Eagle - Click to Enlarge

American Platinum Eagle - Click to Enlarge

Following their sister gold and silver bullion coins by more than a decade, the American Platinum Eagle was first introduced to the market in 1997. Each of these coins are struck from .9995 pure platinum at the United State Mint facility in West Point, N.Y.

The US Mint will launch the 2009 One Ounce Proof Platinum Eagle on Dec. 3, 2009. It made this announcement on Oct. 6, and also said it would not produce bullion versions for the year.

The Mint in 2008 began implementing cycles of coin suspensions due to enormous demand and the difficulty in maintaining a bullion blank coin inventory. Toward the end of 2008, platinum eagles came off such a suspension with the remaining inventory sold. Since then, no new coins have been made available to the public.

Platinum was first discovered by the Conquistadors in Central America in the 1500's. They named it platina del Pinto which translates to "little silver of the Pinto River" where it was found. Their discovery did not excite many and the metal would remain virtually unknown until the mid 1700's when scientists began to test it in earnest. It was during this time the precious metals inherent traits became known.

It is dense, malleable, ductile and resistant to corrosion making it ideal for jewelry and other industries where durability and corrosion resistance is desired. However, as platinum is more precious than gold or silver, practical uses are limited based on its cost.

Sizes and Denominations

The Platinum bullion coins are normally available in four different sizes: 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz and 1 oz with face values of $10, $25, $50 and $100 respectively. The one ounce $100 coin has the distinction of being the highest face value ever to appear on a coin of the United States. Obviously, the face values are only to signify their authenticity as US coinage because the intrinsic value of the platinum they contain will be much higher than the value struck on its surface.

The United States government guarantees the weight, content and purity of these coins, as it does for the gold and silver bullion coins. This assurance makes all the bullion coins ideal for investment devices. World markets easily acknowledge the value of these coins making them a durable liquid asset that can counteract other investments in your portfolio.

Platinum Eagle Design

The obverse of the platinum coins has an image of the Statue of Liberty "looking towards the future" designed by John Mercanti. Mercanti is a long-term employee of the US Mint and has produced images for coins and medals that are well-known to coin collectors. Also seen on the obverse are the inscriptions 'Liberty,' 'In God We Trust' and the year of mintage.

The reverse design of these coins change yearly, making them the only bullion coin that does so. Beginning in 2009, the reverse starts a six year series showcasing six principles of the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States. This years coin shows the theme "A more perfect union" by having the hair and clothing of four ethnically different individuals intertwining.

Proof and uncirculated versions for all sizes of the Platinum Eagles have been available in the past, but the US Mint discontinued all uncirculated as well as all but the 1 oz. proof Platinum Eagles in 2008.

As mentioned, new platinum bullion coins are also not being struck currently by the Mint, but previous years are available from secondary markets and auctions. Once the Mint resumes production, the bullion coins will be available from authorized resellers as the Mint does not sell them directly to the public.

American Platinum Eagle Specifications

Mintmark: W for Proof, None for bullion
Composition: 99.95% platinum
Weight and Diameter: Depends on denomination
Date of Issue: 2009
Mintages: Based on Demand
Obverse Designer/Sculptor: John Mercanti
Reverse Designer/Sculptor: Susan Gamble/Phebe Hemphill

Platinum Eagle Resources