Even as the market for America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins has cooled, some details remain unknown for the numismatic versions of the coins which will soon be available for purchase directly from the United States Mint.
Collectible versions of the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins are not specifically authorized under Public Law 110-456 America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act. Rather the coins are being produced under under 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3), which grants the Secretary of the Treasury discretion to design, produce, and sell numismatic items.
The coins carry the same specifications as the bullion versions, with a composition of .999 silver, 3 inch diameter, and weight of 5 troy ounces. The reverse designs for the first five issues will represent Hot Spring National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Mount Hood National Forest. The obverse will feature the familiar portrait of George Washington, designed by John Flanagan.
The 2010 releases will be limited to 27,000 units each, all of which have been struck during the 2010 calendar year.
The United States Mint previously indicated that the coins would be offered for sale during the first quarter of 2011, with the release date and pricing announced at a later time. Each of the five different 2010 coins are shown separately on the US Mint’s 2011 scheduled product listing with a release date of “TBD” (To Be Determined).
The US Mint provided the following statement in response to a recent inquiry:
No date has been set for the release of the 2010-dated uncirculated (numismatic) coins. However, they will be sold by the United States Mint directly to the public online and over the phone.
A few minor details about the collectible versions of the America the Beautiful 5 Ounce Silver Coins have been provided elsewhere. The coins will include the “P” mint mark for Philadelphia, as opposed to the bullion versions which do not contain a mint mark. Coins will carry a special finish created through a vapor blasting technique applied after the coins are struck. The same finish is currently used on US Mint produced bronze medals.
In terms of packaging, the coins will be encapsulated in plastic, placed within a presentation case, and come with a certificate of authenticity signed by the Director of the United States Mint.