The 2016 America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins will appear as the seventh year of strikes issued as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. Shown on the reverse of each coin will be a design emblematic of a selected site of national interest from around the United States and its territories.
The America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins scheduled to be issued in 2016 and the states they represent are:
These five coins of 2016 also represent the thirty-first through thirty-fifth of the series which debuted with 2010-dated strikes and are issued by the US Mint at a rate of five per year. The final strike of the program will be released by the US Mint in 2021.
At that time, a total of fifty-six sites will have been honored in the series. One site will have been featured from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US Territories.
Each coin in the series is struck to the same specifications. This includes a composition of five ounces of .999 fine silver and a diameter of three inches. An edge inscription is shown on each piece identifying the composition with ".999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE."
Coins of this series are struck by the United States Mint under the authority granted to the Secretary of the Treasury, who oversees the US Mint, in 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3) to "prepare and distribute numismatic items." They are considered the numismatic versions of another US Mint series known as the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™.
The bullion coins and these silver uncirculated coins feature identical specifications and imagery. The only definitive way to tell the difference between coins of the two series is to look for a mintmark. Each silver uncirculated coin contains a ‘P’ mintmark indicating they were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. The bullion coins contain no mintmark.
When released, these silver uncirculated coins will be sold directly to the public by the US Mint. This differs from the bullion coins which are sold through the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers.
Details on the chosen 2016 America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin sites are shown below:
Shawnee National Forest of Illinois
Shawnee National Forest is found in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills of the state of Illinois. It was officially declared a national forest on September 6, 1939.
During the first years of the development of the forest, exhausted farmland was planted with pine trees to prevent soil erosion. Accordingly, many pines are still found in the forest today along with hardwoods more characteristic of the region.
Shawnee National Forest currently consists of 265,616 acres located in nine different counties. The forest headquarters is located in Harrisburg, Il.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park of Kentucky
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is located in the state of Kentucky along the border of the state with Tennessee and Virginia. It was officially created on June 11, 1940.
The historical park was established to acknowledge the importance of Cumberland Gap to the history of the United States and to help preserve the location. Cumberland Gap is actually a natural break in the rough terrain of the Appalachian Mountains.
Because of that break, the gap was used for centuries for wildlife migration as well as by Native Americans. It was even considered an important strategic location during the American Civil War.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park of West Virginia
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located in and around Harpers Ferry, West Virginia by the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. It was officially established as a national monument on June 30, 1944 and changed to a national historical park in 1963.
The site has been an important location throughout the history of the United States. In the early days of the nation, it was a ferry crossing across the river. In later years, it became the location of a federal armory even supplying goods for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Harpers Ferry is also the location of the famous John Brown’s Raid and served as a strategic site during the American Civil War.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park of North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in three separate areas of the badlands of western North Dakota. In 1935, the area was officially established as Roosevelt Recreation Demonstration Area and became the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge in 1946.
It was re-designated as Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park in 1947 and was the first and only national memorial park created. In 1978, it became Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
The park was named after the 26th President of the United States who owned and operated two ranches in the area.
Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) of South Carolina
Fort Moultrie is a series of citadels preserved as part of the larger Fort Sumter National Monument of South Carolina. Fort Sumter itself was created as a national monument on April 28, 1948.
Fort Moultrie was established during the American Revolutionary War to protect Charleston, South Carolina. It was called upon to do just that on June 28, 1776 when British forces attacked. The soft palmetto logs used in the construction of the fort caused the cannon balls fired at it to just bounce off.
The fort also played in important role during the American Civil War.