2011 marks the second year of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin® Program. Under the program, the United States Mint will strike a total of fifty-six bullion coins released at a rate of five per year.
Designs on the coins will be identical to the designs found on the circulating America the Beautiful Quarters® Program also from the U.S. Mint. Both feature reverses honoring a select site of national interest from around the United States.
Each coin will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver. An edge inscription on each piece indicates the strikes weight and fineness. Brief information for each of five 2011 America the Beautiful 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins follows. Additional details for each may be found by following the provided links.
2011 Gettysburg 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
The first America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin to appear in 2011 also marks the sixth for the program overall — the Gettysburg Silver Coin. These strikes honor the military park in Pennsylvania which preserves the location of the American Civil War Battle of Gettysburg which was fought July 1-3, 1863.
Credited with being the turning point of the war which lead to an eventual Union victory, the battle was the bloodiest to have occurred in the entire conflict. In fact, an estimated 8,000 men were killed with another almost 30,000 wounded. The site was also the location where President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address several months following the battle.
2011 Glacier 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
The second silver bullion coin to appear as part of the program in 2011 was the Glacier Silver Coin. The coins honor Glacier National Park which is located in the state of Montana.
Glacier was originally established on May 11, 1910 and today covers over 1 million acres of pristine landscape. Inside the park, parts of two mountain ranges can be found along with over a hundred lakes and over a thousand species of plants and animals. The park also contains the Going-to-the-Sun Road which spans the park at 53 miles.
2011 Olympic 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Appearing as the third 2011 release of the program were the Olympic Silver Coins honoring the Olympic National Park located in the state of Washington. Considered a pristine area by many, 95% of its land is designated as wilderness.
The park itself was established on June 29, 1938 after having first been designated a national monument in 1909. It consists of approximately 922,000 acres and receives well over two million visitors annually. Those that do visit participate in activities like hiking, skiing, rafting, etc.
2011 Vicksburg 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
Released as the fourth 2011 issues of the program, the Vicksburg Silver Coins honor Vicksburg National Military Park which is located in both the states of Mississippi and Louisiana (for the purposes of this coin, the state of Mississippi is represented).
The park preserves the location of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg as well as recalling the greater Vicksburg Campaign. Over 1,000 historic monuments and markers are present within the park along with reconstructed forts and trenches.
2011 Chickasaw 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins
The final America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin to appear in 2011 is the Chickasaw Silver Coins. Each of these strikes honors the Chickasaw National Recreation Area which is located in the state of Oklahoma. The site was originally established as the Sulphur Springs Reservation in 1902.
The area was named after the Chickasaw Indian Nation whose members were relocated to the area by the US Government in the 1800’s from the Southeastern United States. The Chickasaw’s later sold 640 acres back to the US Government for the creation of the recreation area. Today, it consists of almost 10,000 acres.
A site dedicated only to the series can be found by clicking 5 oz bullion coins.
Sites include locations such as national parks, national seashores, national monuments, etc. One site was chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US territories. The coins are released in the order upon which the honored sites came under the direct control of the federal government.
All of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins will feature a portrait of George Washington on their obverse. The first President of the United States has been on the circulating quarter dollar since 1932, and since these bullion coins are to feature identical imagery, the portrait is also found on these strikes. It was originally designed by John Flanagan for the 1932 quarter and has been used (with some modifications) ever since.
As a bullion product, the pieces will not be sold directly to the public. Instead, the Mint uses a network of authorized purchasers which buys the coins in bulk from the Mint, then resells them to the public for small premium above the current spot price of the silver contained within them. Since each America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin contains five ounces of .999 fine silver, the price from the network will be a small amount over the current market value of five ounces of the precious metal.