When gold coin collectors talk about a five dollar gold coin, they can mean one of two types of coin – a historical coin, issued as currency, or a modern bullion coin, issued for collectors or for investment in gold. (There are also some commemorative coins issued with a five dollar face value.)
The historical five dollar gold coin is the half eagle, issued between 1795 and 1929. This is a small coin, about 22mm in diameter, with various designs on the obverse, but always with an eagle and the value 'Five Dollars' or 'Five D' on the reverse. These coins were minted over the years at all eight of the USA Mints. They are very popular coins with collectors.
These coins contain just under a quarter ounce of gold.
The Five dollar gold coin - the Half Eagle
These examples are on sale today:
The modern bullion five dollar gold coin is the one-tenth ounce American Eagle, a fractional version of the much Larger $50 American Eagle (which has one full ounce of gold). This is a very small gold coin, diameter 16.5mm, featuring Lady Liberty on the obverse and an eagle landing on its nest, plus the gold weight and the face value of the coin on the reverse.
The five dollar gold bullion coin - a modern coin
This bullion coin is of course worth far more than its $5 face value – it is worth one tenth of the current spot price of gold (which is stated for one ounce) plus a market premium. These coins are very popular with those starting out on their collection of gold coins, are are also often given as gifts, being among the least expensive gold coins to buy.