Composition and Specifications

After a rise in the price of gold lead to widespread melting of early U.S. gold coins, two separate acts of Congress were passed in 1834 and 1837, which would serve to adjust the weight and purity for these denominations.

The Liberty Head Gold Eagle would have a composition of 90% gold and 10% copper. The standard weight of each coin was 16.718 grams (258 grains). This compared to specifications for the Capped Bust Eagle, issued from 1795 to 1804, for a composition of 91.67% gold and weight of 17.50 grams.

Remaining specifications for the Liberty Gold Eagle included a diameter of 27 mm and reeded edge. Each coin will have a net weight of .48375 troy ounces of pure gold.

Quality of striking varies with each issue, as does the overall appearance. Carson City and New Orleans issues, especially the earliest are usually the most poorly produced issues, although exceptions exist. Many pieces show extensive bagmarks, although a few nearly pristine pieces are also known to exist.