The U.S. Mint is winding down production of American Eagle gold bullion coins as it prepares to introduce a new version of the coin.

Through the first four months of the year the Mint has steadily lowered production. The Mint produced just 38,500 one-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins in April, down from 191,000 in January, 121,000 in February, and 55,500 in March. By comparison, during the first four months of last year the Mint produced an average of 70,000 one-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins per month.

The Mint produced no half-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins this March and April, and no quarter-ounce gold American Eagles in April. 

As production of the existing coins slow, the U.S. Mint is preparing to produce new American Eagle coins in honor of the program’s 35th anniversary.

The new American Eagles will feature a redesigned reverse (tails) showing a close-up portrait of an eagle surrounded by the inscriptions, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “50 DOLLARS,” and “1 OZ. FINE GOLD.” The coins will retain the obverse (heads) image of Liberty holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left, designed by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

The U.S. Mint has said it will issue the new gold American Eagles “midyear 2021.”

The Mint has been unable to keep up with strong demand for both its gold and silver bullion coins, partly due to pandemic-related production challenges.

Sales of U.S. gold bullion coins rose 258 percent in 2020 and heavy demand has persisted in 2021.