December 17, 2015, will be the 30th anniversary of the signing into law of the American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin legislation, by Ronald Reagan. This is today Public Law 99-185 [31 USC 5112(a)(7…11),(i),(q) – and “legal tender” 5112(h)]. The law created a US Mint coinage based on troy ounces of fine gold. The denominations were $50.00 per ounce, $25/half, etc.
Credit is due to Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) who introduced the original legislation in the 98th Congress as H.R. 4226 (10/26/1983). It did not become law during his term in Congress. In the 99th Congress Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) reintroduced the bill with co-sponsorship from Rep. Julian Dixon (D-CA), and Sen. James McClure introduced the Senate bills. President Ronald Reagan signed the law on December 17, 1985.
The design artist, Miley Busieck, whose “family of eagles” was specified in the law, was instrumental as a visitor to each Congressional and Senator’s office with her sweet persuasion in favor of the gold coinage. This is the first legal tender relationship between the US Treasury and a weight of gold since the classic days before 1933.
What I wrote some years ago:
February 8, 2008
Story of the Gold Coinage