AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL 5 OZ.
America The Beautiful 5 oz. silver coins are the largest coins ever minted by the U.S. (as of 2015). The series features the large 5 oz. silver bullion coins that share identical designs with the America the Beautiful quarter series. The coins began production in 2010, and are slated to last through at least 2021. Multiple coins are released each year, with each one featuring a National Park or national site from each state, territory, or federal district. The 5 oz. America The Beautiful silver bullion coins each 5 ounces of pure .999 fine silver. This program has been wildly successful amongst collectors, investors, and the general public, which have fueled speculation of extending the series into 2033.
America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008
America The Beautiful 5 oz. silver bullion coins, and the corresponding quarters, were authorized by Public Law 110-456, or America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. This program instructed the Unites States Mint to strike companion .999 fine silver coins weighing 5 ounces with a diameter of 3 inches, in addition to each circulated quarter. The Act was first introduced by Rep. Michael Castle back in June of 2008. The Act was quickly passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. It was officially Public Law 110-456 on December 23, 2008, after former president George W. Bush signed the legislation.
America The Beautiful 5 oz. silver bullion coins have a unique size. These very large 3-inch diameter silver bullion coins are .999 fine silver (99.9% fine silver) and weigh 5 ounces. They are a replica of the issued America The Beautiful quarters released each year, with a few exceptions: the silver bullion quarters are much larger, with a different metallic composition and edging. A circulating quarter weighs 0.2 ounces (5.670 grams) and is less than an inch in diameter, at .955 inches. Compared to the larger bullion coins, the quarters are significantly smaller.
The U.S. Min had never produced coins this large before this program launched. As such, the unique size caused some technical issues during the initial Mint production, delaying the release date to 2010. Because there were no 5 oz. blanks to use to make the silver coins, so the Mint had Sunshine Minting create custom blanks to strike the 5 oz. coins. Congress also mandated that the coins be 3 inches in diameter, resulting in a paper thin coin. In order to better handle the requirements of these new coins, the U.S. Mint ordered a new coining press from a German firm. Finally, in September of 2010, the Mint began production of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins using the custom blanks and the new equipment.
America The Beautiful Design
The designs for this coin series are inspired by the beautiful National Parks and National Sites in each of the 50 states, Washington D.C., and the five U.S. Territories. Each year, the U.S. Mint releases 5 new designs that feature beautiful scenery from across the U.S. These are released in the order the national site or park was established. Public Law 110-456 provides appropriate design criteria for each silver bullion coin in the series. Each design on the reverse (back) side must be emblematic, and must honor the national site or national park in each jurisdiction, deemed most appropriate and significant, in natural or historical terms.
Deciding what design to strike is an involved process. Once the design candidates are reviewed by the Secretary of Interior, the Chief Executive of the Host Jurisdiction, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the Mint makes any changes deemed necessary. At last, the Secretary of the Treasury makes the final selection for the design.
The Hot Springs America The Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin was the first coin released in the bullion series. This design honors the Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. There were four other 2010 dated strikes: Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming), Yosemite National Park (California), Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona), and Mount Hood National Forest (Oregon).
Five more were unveiled in 2011: Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania), Glacier National Park (Montana), Olympic National Park (Washington), Vicksburg National Military Park (Mississippi), and Chickasaw National Recreation Area (Oklahoma).
In 2012, El Yunque National Forest (Puerto Rico), Chaco Culture National Historical Park (New Mexico), Acadia National Park Maine), Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii), and Denali National Park (Alaska) were all featured.
2013 saw five more releases: White Mountain National Forest (New Hampshire), Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (Ohio), Great Basin National Park (Nevada), Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Maryland), and Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota).
2014 America The Beautiful coins featured Great Smokey Mountains National Park (Tennessee), Shenandoah National Park (Virginia), Arches National Park (Utah), Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado), and Everglades National Park (Florida).
Coins scheduled for release in 2015 include Homestead National Monument of America (Nebraska), Kisatchie National Forest (Louisiana), Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina), Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (Delaware), and Saratoga National Historical Park (New York).
Between 2010 and 2021, the U.S. Mint will produce a total of 56 silver coins. As of 2015, there have been a total of 30 silver bullion coins designed by the U.S. Mint, as listed above.
The America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins share the familiar portrait of George Washington on the obverse (front) side, the same as the one found on circulating quarters. This portrait was debuted on the quarter-dollar in 1932. In 1999, William Cousins modified the original design we see on the quarters today.
Unlike the circulating quarters that have a total of 119 reeds on their edge, the edging on the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin series is flat, with edge lettering displaying the coin’s fineness and weight.
Coin vs. Bullion
Aside from the size and the edging, there are a few other differences between the America The Beautiful quarters and the 5 oz. bullion coins. One difference is the mint mark found on the obverse side of the coin, under the "In God We Trust" inscription (for example, "P" for the Philadelphia Mint). This mint mark is not found on the bullion version of the coin. Another difference is the finish. The quarter version has an uncirculated matte finish, while the bullion version has a more brilliant finish.
Due to the silver content, investors typically prefer the 5 oz. bullion version of the America The Beautiful coins. The face value is still only 25 cents, but with five ounces of pure, fine silver in each coin, the actual value is much higher. Collectors appreciate the unique designs in the series, but often prefer to collect the regular quarters, as opposed to the larger 5 oz. bullion, because the quarters are less expensive and easier to acquire.
The U.S. Mint distributes the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins exactly like the American Silver Eagles, which are the only other silver bullion coin produced by the Mint. These coins are not sold directly to the public by the Mint. Instead, the Mint works with dealers, or "Authorized Purchasers," who resell the coins to collectors, investors, and precious metal dealers alike. ITM Trading is a trusted seller of these spectacular coins. We guarantee and insure every transaction made through our website, and are pleased to offer these gorgeous coins, which commemorate the beauty and history found all over the U.S.