The fact of the matter is, American Eagles have the same amount of gold similar to other coins that are .9999 in purity. They contain .31 grams or 1 troy ounce of gold. Also, given that the said coin also has 1 troy ounce of gold, it too contains a small amount of silver which is at 3%, and copper at 5.33%. All these are added in to keep the structural integrity of the coin which is a little bit larger than the 24-carat coins.
The Eagles coin is generally identifiable by its legendary design which was created by Augustus Saint Gaudens. Incidentally, in 1904 he was commissioned by then-President Theodore Roosevelt to make American coins look more attractive. Looking at the obverse side of the American Eagle coin, it features Lady Liberty with her flowing hair. She also holds a torch in her right hand while holding the proverbial olive branch in her left.
The United States government guarantees that the Eagles coin actually contains the exact stated amount of gold weight in troy ounces. The law also requires that the gold must come from American sources. Additionally, certified coins and proofs are generally not approved for IRAs since they may command a collectible premium.
The American Eagles coin comes in the following four sizes.:
- 1 oz
- 1/2 oz
- 1/4 oz
- 1/10 oz
These sizes allow for more affordability even for the smallest of IRA accounts.
However, if you are looking for the best bang for your buck, we recommend that you choose the 1-oz gold coin. Note that at the time of this writing, the 1-oz American Eagle coins are selling at $1,517, or just about $75 cheaper compared to the Vienna Philharmonic 1-oz gold coins. Or you can go for the next best deal which are 1 oz gold coins that come from Canada, the Canadian Maple Leaf.
At this point, we could only assume that the Maple Leaf, is selling at a lower premium due to the fact that it is the least attractive among all IRA-approved coins. Looking at the obverse, you will see the portrait of the Queen herself, as some of the recent mintage is showing other versions of the 79-year old lady monarch.
Let’s admit it, if these coins showed Victoria’s Secret models rather than a beautiful albeit aging queen, it would look more attractive and for all intents and purposes more popular too. Nevertheless, what Maple Leaf coins are missing in the aesthetic appeal, they make up for in gold content. It does count a lot regardless of the design. Maple Leaf coins are 24-carat gold and are .9999 pure.
Compared to the harder and more rigid American Eagles coin, the softness of the 24 carats worth of gold of the Maple Leaf combined with its tubed storage and milled edge, causes wear marks to show on the coin. Canada started minting Maple Leafs in 1979, and that version featured the queen as a younger 39-year old lady. At that time, there existed only that 1-oz version of the coin.
The more recent Maple Leafs are available in the following five sizes:
- 1 oz
- 1/2 oz
- 1/4 oz
- 1/10 oz
- 1/20 oz
This kind of availability in sizes makes it incredibly affordable. But then again, if you are looking for the best value for your money, we suggest you go for the 1-oz coin.
As of this writing, Maple Leaf 1-oz coins are selling at $1,505, or about $87 less than the Vienna Philharmonic 1-oz gold coins. The Maple Leaf may just be the cheapest as of this time since they are the least attractive in terms of aesthetics. However, once the price of gold goes up the discount will disappear. This is only because any known disruption in coin supplies will cause investors to appraise the coin solely on its gold content.
You can visit us at our gold IRA comparison page if you’d like to learn more about top gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and the best places to buy them.