The 2017 America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins will be issued by the United States Mint as the eighth year of its America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. Reverse designs on each of the coins will be 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 2017 and the states they represent are:
District of Columbia – 2017 Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Silver Uncirculated Coin
These five coins represent the thirty-sixth through fortieth for the silver uncirculated coin series.
America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins made their debut with five 2010-dated strikes. The program features a release rate of five per year which will be maintained until 2021 when the last of fifty-six new coins will have been issued under the program.
Each coin in the program will honor a different site of national interest with one site chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US territories. The release order for coins of the program is dictated by the order in which the site came under the direct control of the federal government.
The designs featured on the coins will also be featured on coins of two other US Mint series – the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program and the America the Beautiful Bullion Coin™ Program. This is because these silver uncirculated coins are struck as the numismatic versions of the bullion coins which themselves are struck as large versions of the circulating quarter dollars.
Congress dictated that the bullion coins be struck with the same designs as the quarters when it passed the legislation authorizing both of them – the American’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which became Public Law 110-456. The choice to also use the designs on the silver uncirculated coins was made by US Mint officials as the uncirculated coins are struck as the numismatic versions of the bullion coins.
Each silver uncirculated coin is struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver, the same as the bullion coins. Since the uncirculated coins also contain the same designs, the only definitive way to tell the difference between coins of the two programs is to look for a mintmark.
A ‘P’ mintmark is found on each of the uncirculated coins indicating it was struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. The bullion coins are also struck in Philadelphia but contain no mintmark which is standard practice for US Mint bullion products.
Details on the chosen 2017 America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin sites are shown below:
Effigy Mounds National Monument of Iowa
Effigy Mounds National Monument is located in two units and found in the northeastern part of the state of Iowa. It was officially established on October 25, 1949.
The site preserves over 200 prehistoric effigy mounds created by Native Americans. Effigy mounds are raised piles of earth shaped in the form of creatures such as fish, birds, mammals, etc.
The monument today consists of 2,526 acres and receives an estimated 80,000 annual visitors.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site of the District of Columbia
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is located in the District of Columbia. The site came under the control of the federal government in 1962 but did not become a national historic site until February 12, 1988.
The site preserves the former home of noted 19th century African American Frederick Douglass. Known as Cedar Hill, Douglass lived there from 1877 until his death in 1895.
Douglass was a former slave who escaped to freedom. He went on to become a famous orator, author and abolitionist.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways of Missouri
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is located in the south central portion of the state of Missouri. It was officially created on August 27, 1964.
The scenic riverways helps to protect the Current and Jacks Forks Rivers. Fed by some of the nation’s largest springs, the riverways are touted by the national park service as some of the clearest and best float streams in the United States.
The area is also known for many caves.
Ellis Island National Monument of New Jersey
Ellis Island National Monument is located in New Jersey and is operated as part of the Statue Of Liberty National Monument. It was officially established on May 11, 1965.
The site preserves and commemorates the Ellis Island Immigration Inspection Center run there by the federal government from 1892 until 1954. During that time, more than twelve million immigrants passed through the doors of the site.
The immigration museum on the island opened in 1990.
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park of Indiana
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park is located on the banks of the Wabash River in Indiana. The site was officially established on July 23, 1966.
The park is believed to be located where Fort Sackville was during the American Revolutionary War. George Rogers Clark was sent by his state of Virginia to protect its interests in the Old Northwest. He did so by capturing Fort Sackville and then was forced to re-capture it again in February of 1779.
Possession of the fort meant that the United States retained control of the region.