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Silver American Eagle coin

History of American Silver Coins

August 06, 2010998 view(s)

Although not as common as gold coins, silver American Eagle coins have a rich history in the United States on their own. Here we’ll give you a brief history of American silver coins.

During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress attempted to create a national currency to supplant the currencies that were then in use by the individual colonies. Called the Continental, it quickly began to lose value and in 1776 plans were made for a silver coin. However, with the events of the War taking precedent, the coins were never circulated.

wasn’t until 1794 that silver coins were produced in the United States in a quantity of just under 1800. They were produced until 1804 and not again until 1834. The coins minted in 1804 were done with the date 1803 and when in 1834 the United States wanted coins created to give Asian rulers, the United States Mint used a die with the date 1804 on it. This means the 1804 silver coins were actually created in 1834 and because of their history are among the rarest silver coins in the world. There are only eight of these coins that currently exist.

Interestingly, there are also Class II and Class III 1804 Silver Dollars. This strange fact arises from the fact that the coin was illegally minted between 1858 and 1860 by Mint employee Theodor Eckfeldt. Only one Class II and seven Class III coins are known to exist.

In 1840 a new silver coin was introduced, known as the Seated Liberty Dollar. This was minted through 1873 and was replaced by the Trade Dollar. The Trade Dollar was an attempt to head off foreign powers with a coin that could be used for trade in Asia. However, the price of silver soon plummeted and traders could purchase these dollars in Asia for less than face value, return them to the United States, and use them as payment for those who didn’t know their legal tender status had been revoked by Congress.

The Trade Dollar itself was replaced by the Morgan Dollar, struck from 1878 through 1904 and again in 1921. The Morgan Dollar in turn was replaced by the Peace Dollar. This was so named as it commemorated the peace treaties signed to end World War I. The Peace Dollar was minted through 1935 and then in 1965, although all coins minted in 1965 were subsequently melted and never circulated.

In 1986, after earlier attempts by Presidential administrations to sell of reserve silver, the United States Mint introduced the American Silver Eagle Coin. Continually minted since then, it is the only silver bullion coin minted by the United States.

If you are interested in adding the American Silver Eagle Coin or any other silver coin to your collection, contact United States Gold Bureau today and speak with one of our representatives.

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