Premiering in 2010 were five new bullion strikes from the United States Mint. These five new pieces marked just the first installment of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin® Program which is scheduled to run until 2021.
When completed, a total of fifty-six new bullion coins will have been struck under the program. They will have obverse and reverse designs that are identical to the corresponding circulating America the Beautiful Quarters™ also produced by the U.S. Mint. The coins all honor select sites of national interest such as national parks, national forests or national memorials. One site was chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States.
While the reverse of each silver coin showcases an image emblematic of the selected site, the obverse features a portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. It is the same image of Washington that has been featured on the quarter dollar in one form or another since 1932 and was originally designed by John Flanagan.
The similarity between these silver bullion coins and the American circulating quarters stop at the designs however. Each one of the bullion pieces are struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. Their large size makes them the largest Mint bullion products. The silver coins also have lettering on their edge stating their fineness and weight. These factors, along with the technique used to manufacture them, makes the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins more detailed than their circulating quarter counterparts.
U.S. Mint bullion coins are not sold directly to the public. The Mint instead sells them to authorized dealers for a premium to cover the coins’ silver content, manufacturing costs and other expenses. Resellers need to make money on the transaction as well. As such, the coins will have slightly higher prices and resulting values than a typical precious metal silver bar or medal round with the same five ounces of pure silver. There are also numismatic considerations that will make certain strikes more valuable to coin collectors.
Brief information for each of five 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins follows. Additional details for each may be found by following the provided links.
2010 Hot Springs 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Serving as the debut strike of the series, the Hot Springs Silver Coins honors the Hot Springs National Park which is located in the state of Arkansas. The federal government first took control of the area in 1832 at the request of the Arkansas Territorial Legislature which wanted the land and its resources to be federally protected.
The coin honoring the park contains an image of the front doors of the park headquarters building on its reverse. In front of the building, a thermal fountain is shown. The image was designed by Don Everhart and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
2010 Yellowstone 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Appearing as the second release of the series, the Yellowstone Silver Coins actually honor the first national park ever created by the United States — Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is located mostly in the state of Wyoming. The park was established by the U.S. Congress in 1872 and consists of 3,472 square miles including some of the most well known thermal features in the world such as the Old Faithful Geyser.
Seen on the reverse of this coin is an image of two bison or buffalo. One is shown in front of an erupting Old Faithful Geyser with the other shown in smaller proportions to the rear of the geyser. The image was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.
2010 Yosemite 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
The third release in the series was the Yosemite Silver Coin. The national park honored by this coin is found in the state of California and was established by Congress in 1890. Covering 761,268 acres, the park hosts millions of visitors annually who partake in many of the park’s scenic views.
The design on the reverse shows the massive granite monolith known as El Capitan that is found within the park’s boundaries. The cliff rises more than 3,000 feet above the valley floor below and is considered the largest in the world. Joseph Menna designed the image while sculpting work for the coin was completed by Don Everhart.
2010 Grand Canyon 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Issued as the fourth coin in the program was the Grand Canyon Silver Coin. It honors the Grand Canyon of Arizona which was originally dedicated as a national park in 1919. The park receives over 4 million annual visitors, with most of them visiting the southern rim to peer into the gorge of the Colorado River. The gorge reaches depths of up to one mile deep making the view unforgettable for most who visit.
Found on the reverse of the coin is a design showcasing the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta in Marble Canyon by the Colorado River. The design was completed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
2010 Mount Hood 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
The last America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin to appear for 2010 was the Mount Hood Silver Coins. Each of these strikes honor Mount Hood National Forest which is located in the state of Oregon. Over 4 million visitors come to the forest annually to partake in some of the many activities found there like boating, skiing, camping, hiking, etc.
Phebe Hemphill also designed and sculpted the reverse of this coin. It shows the majestic Mount Hood in the background with Lost Lake depicted in the foreground. The shoreline of the lake is shown covered with trees.
A site dedicated only to the series can be found by clicking 5 oz bullion coins.