Americas Gold Eagle program was launched in 1986, the same year as its counterpart, the American Silver Eagle. Although the bullion coin was struck in all four weights (1 oz, oz, oz, and 1/10 oz) in 1986, the 1 oz Proof American Gold Eagle was the only weight struck in the proof mintage that year. That makes the 1 oz coin the longest-running mintage in the proof series. The oz proof coin was added in 1987, with the oz and 1/10 oz coins added in 1988.
Since 1988, proof American Gold Eagles have been struck in all four weights each year except 2009 when no proof coins were struck. Although the 1 oz Proof American Gold Eagle was the first coin struck in the proof series, it often has the lowest mintage of any of the four weights. Some 446,290 1 oz proofs were struck in 1986, but that number had dropped to 87, 133 by 1988. As of 2013, roughly 24,710 1 oz proofs were struck.
The 1 oz Proof American Gold Eagle is produced by the United States Mint. Although the Mint operates four major facilities, the proof American Gold Eagles are only struck at the West Point Mint in New York. Each coin bears a W mint mark as an identifying marker.