The American Platinum Eagle is the official platinum bullion coin of the United States. In 1995, Director of the United States Mint Philip N. Diehl, American Numismatic Association President David L. Ganz, and Platinum Guild International Executive Director Jacques Luben began the legislative process of creating the Platinum Eagle. After over two years of work, the coins were first released by the United States Mint in 1997. It is offered in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 troy oz varieties and consists of .9995 fine platinum. The American Platinum Eagle is authorized by the United States Congress, and is backed by the United States Mint for weight and content.
Proof versions of the coins are made for coin collectors. The proof American Platinum Eagles are unique in the fact that they are the only U.S. bullion coins that have a yearly alternating design on the reverse. Uncirculated versions (with the same reverse every year) have been minted from 1997 through late 2008, in 2014 and in 2016.
Because it may be considered commodity platinum rather than a rare coin, the American Platinum Eagle may be placed in an Individual Retirement Account in the United States. Collectibles such as rare coins and dolls are forbidden from being held in such an account. Thus, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission believes that the Platinum Eagle will not appreciate beyond its metal value.