22 countries in the world produce and distribute government-minted gold coins and bullion. Gold coins and bullion manufactured and distributed by the government primarily serve as an assurance of the purity of the gold and the legitimacy of the transaction, and help to facilitate trade of the precious metal.
The American government has produced three different gold coins, two of which are still in production and available for purchase. One of these coins is the Gold Eagle; a 22k pure and 9167 fine gold coin that was first issued by the US government in 1986 and is available in 4 different sizes (1/10 ozt, 1/4 ozt, 1/2 ozt, 1 ozt). The Gold Eagle features a rendition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' full length figure of Lady Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left, and the Capitol building in the left background. On the other side, is a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying over a nest containing a female eagle and her hatchlings.
The second American gold coin still in commission is called the American Buffalo, or the ‘gold buffalo’. This is a 24k gold coin and one of the purest in the world with a 9999 fineness; the front of the coin features a Native American with the word “Liberty” in the top right corner and year of mintage in the bottom left corner. On the reverse side is a buffalo standing on a mound of dirt. This side also features the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM above the buffalo’s lower back, which is Latin for ‘one out of many’.