Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Washington Mint 4 Oz Golden Eagle

In some recent entries I've written about some silver rounds that are replicas of officially-minted classic coins. Today I'll show you an example of a replica coin, or silver "art round" as they are sometimes called. This is a "Giant Quarter Pound Golden Eagle" produced by the Washington Mint (note that this is a private mint, not the US Mint). The quarter pound Golden Eagle is a replica of the American eagle gold bullion coin, approximately copying its design of St. Gaudens' Lady Liberty and the American Eagle. However, it is not a gold coin, it is a silver round containing one quarter pound of .999 fine silver, and 24 karat gold plated.

Washington Mint $100 4oz silver coin

A quarter pound is equivalent to 4 oz. troy, and this silver art round's price is based on the spot price of silver. The gold plating is pretty thin (in the certificate of authenticity it says "layered with" gold), so the gold layering doesn't really affect the price, it seems, since it's such a small amount.

Washington Mint 4oz gold layered silver art roundThe thing that immediately distinguishes this item from an original American eagle is its size. Its diameter is 3.5 inches (89.8 mm), while a 1 oz American gold eagle's diameter is 32.7 mm and a silver eagle's diameter is 40.6 mm. Its name also does not include the words "American Eagle" but rather "Golden Eagle". But you will see people selling these under the name "American Eagle" to give the impression that they are officially minted. I bought this one on Ebay, and it was referred to as a giant American Eagle. I knew what it was, so I wasn't fooled, but other less-informed buyers might be misled by such mislabelling.

The Washington Mint also produced giant 1/2 pound golden eagles and 1 pound golden eagles, as well as silver eagle replicas and platinum eagle replicas of the same giant sizes. The silver and platinum versions are also silver rounds containing .999 fine silver, with the platinum eagle replica being layered in platinum.

Even though these rounds are replicas of official bullion coins and may not be as liquid as officially minted eagle coins, they are indeed fine silver bullion and I expect to have no problems selling mine for at least the spot price of silver. I'll have it melted down if necessary. I wouldn't pay too much of a premium above spot price for this kind of replica though.

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