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What Does MCMLXXXVI Mean on My Gold Coin?

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MCMLXXXVI No Date Gold Eagle

MCMLXXXVI is the date in Roman numerals on this American Eagle gold coin that seems to have no date. MCMLXXXVI means 1986.

Photo courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries.
Question: What Does MCMLXXXVI Mean on My Gold Coin?

I have a gold coin from the U.S. that has a denomination of $5, $10, $25, or $50 but the gold coin has no date on it. Instead it has something like MCMLXXXVI. What does this mean?

Answer:

During the first few years of the American Eagle gold coin program, the U.S. Mint did not use standard dates on the coins. Instead, the date was given in Roman numerals. Here is a breakdown of the dates on these gold coins and their corresponding years in our more familiar Arabic numerals:

MCMLXXXVI - 1986
MCMLXXXVII - 1987
MCMLXXXVIII - 1988
MCMLXXXIX - 1989
MCMXC - 1990
MCMXCI - 1991

Beginning in 1992, the dates on U.S. gold coins began appearing in normal digits.

Classic U.S. Gold Coins With No Date

In 1907, the U.S. Mint issued both high relief and ultra-high relief double eagle gold coins designed by legendary sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. These coins also had Roman numeral dates on them, which appear as MCMVII. The 1907 gold coins with Roman numerals are extremely rare.

The 2009 Ultra-High Relief Saint-Gaudens Gold Coin

The U.S. Mint will issue a special one-year Ultra-High Relief Saint-Gaudens gold double eagle (twenty-dollar gold piece) in 2009. This coin will also have the date given in Roman numerals as MMIX. This gold coin is a tribute to the original ultra-high relief double eagles first issued in 1907. The "tails" sides of these coins are different than the American Eagles described above. Double eagle gold coins have the denomination spelled out as TWENTY DOLLARS.

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