Considered by many to be the most beautiful coin ever produced, the gold American Eagle is the top-selling gold bullion coin in the world.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan accepted the Republican nomination for president, giving a speech about America coming together for a new beginning. A sculptor named Miley Busiek was inspired as she listened to the future president, and Busiek would later say:
“[Reagan] was encouraging Americans to be thankful for what we have in this country and to act upon that feeling. He was encouraging private-sector initiatives – a willingness to reach out and care about each other and pull together.
I liked the idea of thinking of America as a caring family, so I put together a sketch showing not just one eagle, but a whole family.”
Busiek then drew her now-famous design, of a male bald eagle carrying an olive branch to his nest, where a female eagle and baby eagles wait.
The Republican party asked Busiek to create a small sculpture out of the sketch for replicas, and Reagan gave them as gifts for the U.S. hostages returning from Iran after 444 days of captivity.
Then Busiek saw an article about efforts to create a new gold bullion coin. She conducted a years-long campaign lobbying Congress to use her design on the coin. Busiek succeeded when in 1985, Congress passed legislation for a new gold bullion coin, stipulating that it use the Family of Eagles design on the reverse.
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