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November 18, 1986

 

On the heels of the success of the American gold bullion program came the silver Eagle. Once again, Numismatic News was there for the first striking.

First silver struck in San Francisco

One-ounce silver bullion coins are now in production at the Assay Office in San Francisco following a first-strike ceremony on Oct. 29 which featured Treasury Secretary James Baker III and Mint Director Donna Pope.

In remarks before the attending crowd, Baker praised the beauty and usefulness of the coin by saying, “Its importance lies not just in its inherent value and purity, but in the human handcraftmanship that has produced it.”

He added that he expected the coin to “rival the already successful gold coin program in its wide appeal.”

Summing up the goals of the program, the Treasury Secretary declared, “The production and distribution of the American Eagle silver bullion coin will benefit us all. It is, after all, a brand-new use for our American silver. It will provide investors with and opportunity to invest their hard-earned dollars in a product that keeps money working in our domestic economy. And it provides the investors with a high-quality silver coin that is a source of pride and enjoyment, not just for the generations of young people who will inherit what we produce and understand its importance in our country’s history.”

Pope expressed her hope that the coins would ignite a “silver fever” comparable to the rush for the U.S. gold bullion coins.

The Mint director closed her address by reaffirming that the silver coins would be available “in coin shops, precious metals dealer, brokerage firms, participating banks and savings and loan institutions across the country by late November.”