Legal Eagles: A newly minted coin takes off

A newly minted coin takes off

The eagle soared higher and faster than anyone had anticipated. All 800,000 American Eagles, the first U.S. gold bullion coin ever issued, were snatched up within two days last week. Twenty-five authorized dealers bought the entire supply of 558,000 oz., worth some $237 million, creating a temporary shortage of the costly coinage. "We're thrilled about it," said Hamilton Dix, a spokesman for the U.S. Mint. "We expected to sell 2.2 million oz. in the first twelve months. At this rate we'll reach that in ten days."

The coins, which are legal tender, have face values of $50, $25, $10 and $5...

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