The United States Mint also released the 2011 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin on January 3, 2011, just like the Silver Eagle. Together, the two strikes comprise the most popular bullion products of the Mint.
In fact, in the first few days of the year, the Mint's network of authorized purchasers ordered 8,500 of the one ounce gold bullion coins. While not a staggering number in and of itself, it does reflect a consistent interest in the coins that really dates back to the debut of the program in 1986 after being authorized by the Bullion Coin Act of 1985.
Since then, literally millions of the coins have been sold. The most recent figures show that a total of 1,143,500 of the coins were ordered from the Mint just last year. And that is just for the one ounce size.
The Mint also typically strikes fractional Gold Eagles which have also proven to be popular with investors and collectors. The 2011-dated fractionals will be available later this year as will the collector proof Gold Eagles, also issued by the Mint.
Collectors will recall that demand for these bullion strikes has been at record levels for the past few years. In fact, the Mint cancelled production of the proof Gold Eagle in 2009 altogether as it diverted all available blank planchets towards these bullion coins to help fulfill a surge in precious metal interest.
Those interested in obtaining these bullion Gold Eagles should contact their local coin dealer as these bullion strikes are not sold directly to the public by the Mint.