The 2016 American Gold Eagle was produced by the United States Mint in bullion, collectible proof, and collectible uncirculated formats. The bullion coins were distributed through the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers, while the collectible coins were offered for sale directly to the public.
On January 11, 2016, the United States Mint began accepting orders from authorized purchasers for one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce 2016 Gold Eagle bullion coins. Opening day sales were extremely strong with 60,000 ounces sold across the four options. By the end of the month, a total of 124,000 ounces worth of gold had been ordered, topping the prior year total by more than 53%.
For the full year, bullion sales reached 817,500 one ounce , 74,000 one-half ounce , 152,000 one-quarter ounce , and 925,000 one-tenth ounce coins. The one ounce option saw growth compared to the prior year, with the fractional options remaining relatively flat. On an overall basis, bullion sales measured 985,000 ounces, representing an increase of nearly 23% compared to the prior year.
Sales for the 2016 Proof Gold Eagles would open on March 17, 2016. Following the format of the prior year, the four different denominations were offered individually or within a complete four coin set. At the start of sales, the individual coins were priced at $1,560 for the one ounce, $795 for the one-half ounce, $410 for the one-quarter ounce, $175 for the one-tenth ounce coin, and $2,890 for the four coin set. These prices were based on the average weekly market price of gold and would vary weekly. The United States Mint did not announce a maximum authorized mintage or product limit for the offerings and there was no household ordering limit imposed.
Opening sales for the proof coins were extremely strong, four of the five options reaching double the opening sales of the prior year versions. The highest demand was seen for the individual one ounce and four coin set offerings. The four coin set actually moved to back order status on the opening day of sales, as the US Mint’s initial inventory was quickly exhausted. The pace of sales would moderate in the following weeks, but cumulative sales totals remained comfortably ahead of the prior year figures.
On April 7, 2016, the US Mint opened sales for 2016-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle, representing the remaining numismatic offering. This version of the coin was struck on specially burnished blanks with an uncirculated finish and the “W” mint mark. The Mint offered the coin in individual one ounce size only with no stated maximum mintage and no household ordering limit imposed. The opening sales price for the product was $1,525, based on the average weekly market price of gold. The uncirculated coin would sell out prior to the end of the year with last reported sales of 6,888 pieces.
The price of gold began the year below $1,100 per ounce, but quickly rose during the next two months above the $1,250 level. After trading within a relatively right range, the price would break higher to $1,350 by the summer months where it would remain until October, when the price fell back to $1,250. After a brief rise to $1,300, the price declined into the end of the year to close at $1,145.90 per ounce. The cumulative average price of gold for the year was $1,250.74.
2016 Gold Eagle Specifications
Mint Mark: none (bullion), W (proof and uncirculated)
Composition: 91.67% gold, 3% silver, 5.33% copper
Weight ($50 Coin): 1.0909 troy oz (33.930 grams)
Diameter ($50 Coin): 1.287 inches (32.7 mm)
Thickness ($50 Coin): 0.113 inches (2.87 mm)
Designers: Augustus Saint-Gaudens (obverse), Miley Busiek (reverse)
2015 Gold Eagle Mintage
Bullion Mintage: 817,500 (1 oz), 74,000 (1/2 oz), 152,000 (1/4 oz), 925,000 (1/10 oz)
Proof Mintage: TBD
Burnished Mintage (Last Reported Sales): 6,888