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Gold Eagles bound to same rules as bullion coins

Are the collectible proof and uncirculated gold and silver American Eagles legally bound to the same precious metals sourcing rules as the bullion coins? (i.e. gold mined from natural deposits of the United States, within one year after the month the ore was mined, at not more than the prevailing price of gold?)

All gold coins that the U.S. Mint currently produces must comply with this requirement. The requirement to purchase gold mined from natural deposits of the United States at 31 U.S.C. § 5116 addresses coins issued under § 5112(i) . The First Spouse and American Buffalo gold coins have identical provisions at 31 U.S.C. §§ 5112(o)(7)(A) and 5112(q)(4)(A), respectively. These requirements apply to all coins, regardless of their quality – bullion, uncirculated or proof. Section 5116 is more flexible concerning the purchase of silver, especially when obtaining newly mined domestic silver is not economically feasible.

Under what authority does the Mint produce proof and uncirculated gold and silver American Eagles? (I realize that the bullion coins are covered under Public Law 99-185 and Public Law 99-61, but these laws do not seem to contain authorization for proof or other collectible coins.)

All collectible proof and uncirculated gold and silver American Eagles are produced under the Mint’s general numismatic authority at 31 U.S.C. § 5111(a)(3). Over the years Congress has supplemented this general authority with additional specific authority to produce proof gold coins having specifications that are different than the 22-karat American Eagle gold coins (31 U.S.C. § 5112 [i][4][C]) and proof platinum coins (31 U.S.C. § 5112 [k]).

What did they do with the New York Assay Office after it was closed down?

The building, at 32 Old Slip on the East River in New York, was sold to a real estate developer for $27,010,000, making it the most valuable piece of government property ever sold at auction.

Do you think dealers will “process” the copper-plated zinc cents like they did the 1943 steel cents?

It’s possible, but I think the hobby has advanced to the point where replated coins will be unacceptable to the majority of collectors. I suspect too that the technical problems involved in stripping, cleaning and replating the zinc cents will be too costly.

Address questions to Coin Clinic, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions. Include a loose 44-cent stamp for reply. Write first for specific mailing instructions before submitting numismatic material. We cannot accept unsolicited items. E-mail inquiries should be sent to Answerman2@aol.com.

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