America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver Bullion Quarter Coins

by Coin Collecting News on July 5, 2010

America the Beautiful Quarters

Five new bullion coins are due from the United States Mint yet this year, and all indications are that the Mint is in the process of ramping up for their striking. Known as the America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver Bullion Quarter Coins, these pieces are an extension of the circulating America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program, also from the U.S. Mint.

Both programs were authorized by Public Law 110-456, also known as the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. The act was signed into law by former President George W. Bush on December 23, 2008.

In the text of the law, a majority of the focus was placed on creating the new quarters program. These American coins continue a series of rotating reverse designs on 25-cent pieces which began in 1999 with the introduction of the highly successful 50-State Quarters Program, and immediately followed in 2009 by the D.C. & U.S. Territories Quarter Program. In these programs, sites were selected from each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States to be honored on the coins.

The new quarters series follows this same basic principle, but the law mandated that the selected locations had to be of national interest. This would include sites like national parks, national monuments, national seashores and national forests. Quarters in the program are to be issued at a rate of five per year until each jurisdiction has been honored.

Debut strikes of the America the Beautiful Quarters have already been released this year with the first one honoring Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas which premiered on April 20, 2010. The second coin in the series, the Yellowstone National Park Quarter had its release ceremony on June 3, 2010.

America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins

Along with the circulating quarter-dollars, the Mint must create bullion America the Beautiful Silver Coins featuring identical designs to the quarters. The text of the legislation reads as such:

"The Secretary shall strike and make available for sale such number of bullion coins as the Secretary determines to be appropriate that are exact duplicates of the quarter dollars."

Interestingly, the technical details called for by the law in creating them placed a burden on the Mint as it had never before produced such a coin. The coin specifications demand that each must:

  • Have a composition of .999 fine silver
  • Weigh five ounces
  • Have an extremely large diameter of three inches

That diameter is almost twice as large as the Mint’s currently offered bullion silver coin, the American Silver Eagle which is 1.598 inches.

A further requirement of the silver pieces dictates that each be edge incused with the coin’s fineness and weight, a task that proved to be the most difficult to perform. (For more, read about the coin production challenges as described in a coin forum by U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy.)

The Mint purchased a $2.2 million Graebener coining press specifically for striking America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, and it seems to have worked out the coin production issues. The five bullion pieces due in 2010 are scheduled for release beginning in the third quarter of the year (July, August and September) — after the first, the remaining will be issued in intervals through the rest of this year.

The five slated for 2010 include:

  • 2010 Hot Springs National Park 5 oz Silver Coin representing Arkansas
  • 2010 Yellowstone National Park 5 oz Silver Coin representing Wyoming
  • 2010 Yosemite National Park 5 oz Silver Coin representing California
  • 2010 Grand Canyon National 5 oz Park Silver Coin representing Arizona
  • 2010 Mount Hood National Forest 5 oz Silver Coin representing Oregon

Future coins will be released annually on approximately the same schedule as the circulating America the Beautiful Quarters.

Where to Purchase the Bullion Coins

Because the coins are bullion, the Mint will not sell them directly to the public like it does with its numismatic or collector proof and uncirculated coins. Instead, they will be distributed through its network of authorized purchasers who will then resell them for a small premium over the current spot price of silver. The Mint has indicated the possibility of offering numismatic versions directly to coin collectors and enthusiasts.

The bullion coins may also be sold by the National Park Service (NPS). Within Public Law 110-456 is the language:

"In addition to the authorized dealers utilized by the Secretary in distributing bullion coins and solely for purposes of distributing bullion coins issued under this subsection, the Director of the National Park Service, or the designee of the Director, may purchase numismatic items issued under this subsection, but only in units of no fewer than 1,000 at a time, and the Director, or the Director’s designee, may resell or repackage such numismatic items as the Director determines to be appropriate."

"The Director of the National Park Service, or the designee of the Director, may resell, at cost and without repackaging, numismatic items acquired by the Director or such designee under subparagraph (A) to any party affiliated with any national site honored by a quarter dollar under subsection (t) for repackaging and resale by such party in the same manner and to the same extent as such party would be authorized to engage in such activities under subparagraph (A) if the party were acting as the designee of the Director under such subparagraph’."

The release listings by site and year of issue follow (also see the silver coin release dates):

America Silver Coins Release Dates

2011 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
Pennsylvania Gettysburg National Military Park TBA 2011
Montana Glacier National Park TBA 2011
Washington Olympic National Park TBA 2011
Mississippi Vicksburg National Military Park TBA 2011
Oklahoma Chickasaw National Recreation Area TBA 2011
     
2012 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
Puerto Rico El Yunque National Forest TBA 2012
New Mexico Chaco Culture National Historical Park TBA 2012
Maine Acadia National Park TBA 2012
Hawaii Hawaii Volcanoes National Park TBA 2012
Alaska Denali National Park TBA 2012
     
2013 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
New Hampshire White Mountain National Forest TBA 2013
Ohio Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial TBA 2013
Nevada Great Basin National Park TBA 2013
Maryland Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine TBA 2013
South Dakota Mount Rushmore National Memorial TBA 2013
     
2014 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains National Park TBA 2014
Virginia Shenandoah National Park TBA 2014
Utah Arches National Park TBA 2014
Colorado Great Sand Dunes National Park TBA 2014
Florida Everglades National Park TBA 2014
     
2015 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
Nebraska Homestead National Monument of America TBA 2015
Louisiana Kisatchie National Forest TBA 2015
North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway TBA 2015
Delaware Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge TBA 2015
New York Saratoga National Historical Park TBA 2015
     
2016 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
Illinois Shawnee National Forest TBA 2016
Kentucky Cumberland Gap National Historical Park TBA 2016
West Virginia Harpers Ferry National Historical Park TBA 2016
North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt National Park TBA 2016
South Carolina Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) TBA 2016
     
2017 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
Iowa Effigy Mounds National Monument TBA 2017
District of Columbia Frederick Douglass National Historic Site TBA 2017
Missouri Ozark National Scenic Riverways TBA 2017
New Jersey Ellis Island National Monument (Statue of Liberty) TBA 2017
Indiana George Rogers Clark National Historical Park TBA 2017
     
2018 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
Michigan Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore TBA 2018
Wisconsin Apostle Islands National Lakeshore TBA 2018
Minnesota Voyageurs National Park TBA 2018
Georgia Cumberland Island National Seashore TBA 2018
Rhode Island Block Island National Wildlife Refuge TBA 2018
     
2019 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
Massachusetts Lowell National Historical Park TBA 2019
Northern Mariana Islands American Memorial Park TBA 2019
Guam War in the Pacific National Historical Park TBA 2019
Texas San Antonio Missions National Historical Park TBA 2019
Idaho Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness TBA 2019
     
2020 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
American Samoa National Park of American Samoa TBA 2020
Connecticut Weir Farm National Historic Site TBA 2020
U.S. Virgin Islands Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve TBA 2020
Vermont Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park TBA 2020
Kansas Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve TBA 2020
     
2021 5 oz Silver Bullion Coin
Alabama Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site TBA

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry March 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm

One of the United States Mint’s authorized purchasers (CNT) finally put its 2010 America the Beautiful 5 oz silver coins on sale today (March 8, 2011). A buyer was required to call a toll free number between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. [EST] in order to purchase the coins. My buddy and I called the number for the complete 2 hour period. We were on separate telephone lines and averaged about 6 calls per minute with redial buttons. This amounts to 4 man hours of calling and a total of 1440 telephone calls. We never got through.
This is the process the United States Mint has allowed for the distribution these coins. These authorized purchasers are under the auspices of the Mint. This is a ridiculous process and a prime example of the inefficiency of the United States government. Who ever devised this process should lose their job (and let’s not forget our congressmen). And to think, the government is now in control of healthcare – if that does not scare you, then you don’t have a brain.

George October 12, 2011 at 3:12 am

Larry the misinformed alarmist! FYI, the government is NOT in control of healthcare. Last I checked, you could choose and go to your own doctor. And to the subject at hand, there was heavy demand for this first release. It took me about 10 minutes to get through and place my order.

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