In the early 1980’s World Mints had been taking advantage of selling silver bullion related coins to meet public demand. However, the U.S. Mint did not have authorization by Congress to compete with other World Mints at the time. Consequently, the Mint seeked authority from Congress and finally, on July, 09, 1985, the U.S. Mint received the required approval from Congress to strike Silver Eagles.
Following Congress's approval, the Mint struck Silver Eagles for the first time ever on November 24, 1986. Immediately, the coins proved to be a huge success and the Mint managed to sell over five million coins in the first year of introducing the Silver Eagle Program.
Histroical Facts: The price of silver was approximatlely $5.25, on the day that the coins were struck by the U.S. Mint. Therefore, the coins could have been purchased for about $6 or $7 each from a Mint authorized dealer.
Legal tender: Each Silver Eagle is issued by the United States with a legal tender value of One Dollar. However, the coins have an intrinsic value of more than one dollar due to the silver metal content within the coins.
Public Law: Produced under Public Law 99:61 which states - Liberty Coin Act - Amends Federal law to direct the Secretary to mint and issue, in quantities sufficient to meet public demand, one dollar silver bullion coins of specified size, weight, and design. Specifies the source of the silver to be used for such coins. Provides for their sale and issuance.