2012 America the Beautiful Silver Coins

The 2012 America the Beautiful Silver Coins will mark the third year for their respective programs. These coins are actually struck as part of two separate series including the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin® Program and the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Uncirculated Coin™ series.

2012-America-the-Beautiful-Silver-Coins

Coins struck as part of the 2012 releases of the America the Beautiful Silver Coins feature reverse designs emblematic of selected sites of national interest, just like previous releases. The five 2012 coins will honor El Yunque National Forest of Puerto Rico, Chaco Culture National Historical Park of New Mexico, Acadia National Park of Maine, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park of Hawaii and Denali National Park of Alaska.

Both previously mentioned series feature coins composed of five ounces of .999 fine silver and diameters of three inches. They also feature the same basic design elements.

Their differences lie mostly in their intended markets. The bullion coins were authorized by Congress under the America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which also instituted a series of new circulating quarter dollars from which the silver coins take their designs. However, whereas the quarters are struck for circulation, Congress intended the bullion coins for investors as a means of adding silver to their portfolios at near market prices like Silver American Eagles.

As such, the US Mint does not sell the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins directly to the public. Instead, a network of authorized purchasers obtains the coins in bulk from the Mint, then resells them to the public for a small premium above the spot price of the silver contained within them, just like Silver Eagles.

In contrast, the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Uncirculated Coins are struck for numismatic purposes under the authority granted the Secretary of the Treasury. These coins, despite looking quite similar to the bullion coins, are sold directly to the public by the US Mint for a much larger premium.

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two series is the inclusion of a 'P' mintmark on the uncirculated coin as the bullion coin contains no mintmark. The 'P' mintmark indicates the coin was struck at the US Mint's facility in Philadelphia (which is also responsible for striking the bullion coins).

Both series feature an obverse portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States, by John Flanagan. This portrait is also shown on the associated circulating quarter dollars and has been used, with small variations, on the quarters since 1932.

Each coin also contains an edge inscription indicating its weight and fineness with "999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE"

2012 Silver Coin Designs

The five America the Beautiful Silver Coins due to be released in 2012 include:

2012 El Yunque Silver Coin - Features a reverse design emblematic of El Yunque National Forest of Puerto Rico.

The design depicts a Coqui tree frog sitting on a leaf and a Puerto Rican parrot behind an epiphyte plant. Reverse inscriptions are EL YUNQUE, PUERTO RICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.  The reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Gary Whitley and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. (See 2012 El Yunque Silver Coin.)

2012 Chaco Culture Silver Coin - This coin showcases a reverse emblematic of Chaco Culture National Historical Park of New Mexico.

Shown on the reverse is a view of two elevated kivas in the Chetro Ketl Complex as well as the north wall of Chetro Ketl and the north wall of the canyon.  Reverse inscriptions are CHACO CULTURE, NEW MEXICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.  The reverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. (See 2012 Chaco Culture Silver Coin.)

2012 Acadia Silver Coin - Shown on the reverse of this strike is a design representing Acadia National Park of Maine.

The reverse design highlights the rough Atlantic coast of the park along with Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.  Inscriptions are ACADIA, MAINE, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.  The reverse was designed by AIP Associate Designer Barbara Fox and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna. (See 2012 Acadia Silver Coin.)

2012 Hawaii Volcanoes Silver Coin - This strike features a reverse showcasing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park of Hawaii.

A view of an erupting east rift of Kilauea Volcano is shown on the reverse along with the inscriptions of HAWAI'I VOLCANOES, HAWAII, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.  It was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers. (See 2012 Hawaii Volcanoes Silver Coin.)

2012 Denali Silver Coin - The final strike in the series for 2012 represents Denali National Park of Alaska.

This reverse depicts a Dall Sheep with majestic Mount McKinley off in the distance. Inscriptions are DENALI, ALASKA, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.  The reverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz. (See 2012 Denali Silver Coin.)

 

America the Beautiful Silver Coin Specifications

Mint: Philadelphia ('P) mintmark on uncirculated, none on bullion
Finish/Condition: bullion / uncirculated
Composition: .999 fine silver
Weight: five ounces
Diameter: three inches
Edge: edge incused lettering
Date of Issue: 2012

America the Beautiful Silver Coin Resources