The 2013 America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins will mark the fourth year for strikes of the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series to appear from the United States Mint. Coins in the series showcase reverse designs emblematic of selected sites of national interest from around the United States, its territories and the District of Columbia. The five coins scheduled to be released in 2013 and the states they represent are:
New Hampshire – 2013 White Mountain National Forest Silver Uncirculated Coin
Like all other coins of the series, these five will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver. They will also feature a diameter of three inches.
These are the same specifications that the US Mint uses for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™. That is because these uncirculated coins are struck by the United States Mint as the numismatic versions of those bullion coins.
Congress authorized the bullion coins (along with a series of circulating quarter dollars) with the passage of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. Anticipating collector demand for similar coins, the US Mint created this uncirculated series under the authority granted the Secretary of the Treasury in 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3) to “prepare and distribute numismatic items.”
Both the bullion and the uncirculated coins contain the same basic specifications and designs. The only major difference in their appearance is the inclusion of a mintmark on the uncirculated coins. A ‘P’ mintmark indicates the coins were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. The bullion coins are also struck at the Philadelphia facility but contain no mintmark which is standard practice for bullion coins from the United States Mint.
The designs used for both series are actually originally created for the aforementioned circulating quarter dollars known as the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. This includes an obverse portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The portrait not only appears on all America the Beautiful related coinage, but has been seen on circulating quarter dollars in one form or another since 1932.
Shown on the reverse of the coins are designs emblematic of selected sites of national interest. The order in which the sites are honored in the programs is dictated by the order in which the sites came under the direct control of the federal government.
Details on the chosen 2013 America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin sites are shown below:
White Mountain National Forest
White Mountain National Forest is located mainly in New Hampshire with a small portion also located in the neighboring state of Maine. For the purposes of the America the Beautiful Program, however, it is associated only with the state of New Hampshire.
The Weeks Act of 1911 allowed for the creation of the site. It authorized the federal government to purchase private lands for the sole purpose of creating national forests. The first section of what would become White Mountain National Forest was purchased for $13 an acre.
White Mountain has the distinction of being one of the most visited national forests in the nation owing, in great part, to its proximity to a large population base. The national forest is within a days drive to over 70 million people.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is a monument to two opposing philosophies – war and peace. The site celebrates the victory of the United States during the Battle of Lake Erie but also acknowledges the lasting peace seen since then between the opposing parties – the United States, Great Britain and Canada.
Led by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, nine ships of the United States Navy defeated and captured six vessels of Great Britain’s Royal Navy under the command of Robert Heriot Barclay during the Battle of Lake Erie. The result of this battle insured that the United States retained control of Lake Erie for the remainder of the War of 1812.
However, in the years that have followed the war, the three opposing parties, United States, Great Britain and Canada, have become the staunchest of allies which is also commemorated by the national site.
Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park is located in the state of Nevada approximately 300 miles north of Las Vegas. The park is named after the area where it is located which is a dry region between the Wasatch Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.
Congress only established the 77,000 acre national park in 1986, but a small portion has been under federal control since 1922. That area is known as the Lehman Caves and was established as a national monument in 1922.
Visitors the park can not only visit the caves, but are also able to enjoy the abundant natural beauty of the region such as the groves of ancient bristlecone pines.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is located on the Locust Point Peninsula of the Baltimore Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. The site has played an integral role in American history on several occasions, but is probably most remembered for the national anthem that was written in the area.
Fort McHenry was established to protect Baltimore Harbor in the years following the American Revolution. During the War of 1812, it was doing just that and survived a 25-hour bombardment by British Naval forces.
After witnessing the bombardment and the flag still flying above the fort after, Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star-Spangled Banner which would go on to become the national anthem of the United States.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Work on the memorial started in 1927 under the direction of sculptor Gutzon Borglum.
Borglum chose to immortalize four past Presidents of the United States on the sculpture – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. He felt these four individuals were important to the history of the United States for their roles in preserving and expanding the nation.
Construction continued on the sculpture until 1941 when it was completed to the state we still see it in today.