In 1986, the US released its newest and most current version of the silver dollar. The Silver Eagle, with a face value of a dollar and containing precisely one troy ounce of fine silver, displays Walking Liberty on its face and the Heraldic Eagle with a shield on the reverse. The American Silver Eagle was created from a plan to sell some of the silver held in the Defense National Stockpile in the 1970s and 1980s. Although when the plan was announced the value of silver dropped sharply, and despite Congressional dissatisfaction with the plan, the Silver Eagle was still sold anyway as part of a plan that would attempt to balance the national budget under the Reagan Administration. Even though it was clear to Congressional opposition to the bill that an influx of readily available silver returning to the market would lower the value of silver overall and hurt the silver mining industry, the plan to sell off approximately 75% of the stockpile continued until July of 1982, when it was stopped by Senator McClure of Idaho and his amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriation bill.
Although the sale was stalled, it was not halted. McClure, seeing that at the first available chance the US Government would seek to sell the stockpile, he continued to press forward by proposing bills against the sale of the majority of the stockpile. After nearly two years of stalled production, a bill was finally proposed by McClure for the production of what would become known as the Silver Eagle. This proposal was accepted and Signed into law by President Ronald Regan in 1985.