Burnished Gold EaglesIn 2006, the United States Mint introduced a new collectible version of the popular American Gold Eagle. Referred to by many collectors as the "Burnished Gold Eagles," these coins have attracted attention due to their low mintages.
The coins carry the standard design used for the bullion and collector series since its introduction in 1986. The obverse carries Augustus Saint Gaudens' design featuring Lady Liberty walking confidently forward holding a lit torch and olive branch. In the background are the rays of the rising sun and the U.S. Capitol building. The reverse features a design by Miley Busiek depicting a family of eagles.
The Burnished Gold Eagles feature a finish similar to the bullion counterparts. The coins are struck on specially burnished planchets and carry the "W" mint mark. They also undergo more careful handling and are packaged and sold individually as numismatic products.
From 2006 to 2008, the US Mint produced these coins in a full range of sizes including one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce sizes. The coins were not offered in 2009 or 2010. In 2011, they returned in one ounce size only.
In comparison to both the collectible proof versions and the bullion versions, these burnished coins have carried exceptionally low mintages. The 2012-W Burnished Gold Eagle had a final confirmed mintage of only 5,829 pieces, representing the absolute low for the series. This coin and other lower mintage issues have come to command premiums as they are pursued by collectors.