The tenth year of US Mint strikes created to celebrate the beauty of the United States in a silver bullion coin is the 2019 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. The five coins scheduled to be released in 2019 as part of the program are:
Massachusetts – 2019 Lowell National Historical Park Silver Bullion Coin
Northern Mariana Islands – 2019 American Memorial Park Silver Bullion Coin
These bullion coins are struck to be the largest produced by the Mint at three inches in diameter with five ounces of .999 fine silver. The coins content will be edge inscribed on each piece so as not to disturb the obverse (heads side) or reverse (tails side) design.
That is because the act which authorized them (America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008) stipulates that the obverse and reverse designs be identical to the circulating quarter dollars also created by the act. Even the inscription of "Quarter Dollar" is due to be placed on the obverse of the bullion coin despite its value being much higher.
Along with that "Quarter Dollar" inscription, the obverse will also contain a portrait of George Washington, the First President of the United States. He has been featured on the quarters since 1932, so his inclusion on the America the Beautiful coins is not much of a surprise.
The reverses of each coin will contain the designs that are emblematic of a national park or other site of national interest meant to celebrate the beauty of the United States. Selected sites include national forests, national monuments, etc. One site was chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States (US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and American Samoa) to total fifty-six locations and consequently fifty-six new coins. The order of issue for the coins was determined by the date in which the honored location shown on it came under the direct control of the federal government.
Interested individuals will probably have to wait until early in 2019 to find out exactly what the designs on the reverses will be for the America the Beautiful strikes. That is when the Mint should unveil them before actually releasing the first coin that year. Design candidates, however, should appear the previous year for their review by the appropriate groups and individuals. All relevant comments will be forwarded by the Mint to the Treasury Secretary who will make the final selection.
Information on the selected 2019 sites is shown below:
Lowell National Historical Park
Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts was only established in 1978, but was designed to recall an era much earlier. Namely, the textile industry located in the area during the 19th century.
The town of East Chelmsford in Massachusetts was founded in the 1600’s, but it did not really rise to prominence until the 1820’s. It was during this time that industrial planners devised the idea to harness the power of the Merrimack River and use it to drive machinery used in textile creation.
To that end, a planned community was built along the banks which could both tap into the water power and provide open green spaces and large dormitories for the workers. The city was also renamed Lowell in honor of the founder’s deceased business partner.
American Memorial Park
Located on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, American Memorial Park honors the sacrifices made by American and Marianas people during the Marianas campaign of World War II. Initiated in June of 1944, the battles would ultimately cost thousands of allied lives but would result in American control of the region and eventual victory.
To commemorate the deadly engagements, and conscious decision was made to also include "living memorial" facilities. To this end, the park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy activities that service personnel could have completed while stationed there including bicycling, tennis, soft-ball, and some water sports. Adjacent to the park is one of Saipan’s finest beaches known as Micro Beach where additional activities such as picknicking, sunbathing, snorkeling, etc. can be undertaken.
Unknown to many, the park also includes a 30-acre wetland and mangrove forest which provides habitat for many native species including the endangered Nightingale Reed-Warbler.
War in the Pacific National Historical Park
Established in 1978, the War in the Pacific National Historical Park of Guam is meant to honor all of those who participated in the Pacific Theater of World War II. This includes people from the nations of the United States of America, Japan, France, China, Canada, Australia, Soviet Union, Great Britain, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
The Memorial Wall located within the park, however, remembers only the American and Chamorro (indigenous people) casualties of the 1944 landing on Guam which liberated the island. 16,142 names are inscribed on the wall for all of those who suffered or died in the related battles.
Guam had been under the control of the United States since the 1898 Treaty of Paris which ended the Spanish-American War. It remained a valuable shipping stop on the route to and from the Philippines until the onset of World War II when it was felt that an attack by Japan would shortly follow. That prediction was accurate with Japanese forces landing the day after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas recalls an earlier time when the area now known as Texas was still a part of Spain’s colonization of the New World. In a quest to bring Christianity to the Native Americans of the region, members of the Catholic religious orders started to create missions along the San Antonio River.
The first of these missions was established in 1718 and in less than two decades four more would appear in the region. In no particular order, the missions that are part of the National Historical Park today include the Mission San José, the Mission Concepción, the Mission San Juan and the Mission Espada.
The last of the five original missions was known originally as the Mission San Antonio de Valero. Most know it better by its current name, the Alamo, site of a famous battle between the forces of the Texian Army and Mexican soldiers. However, the Alamo is not part of the Historical Park but is instead owned by the State of Texas.
Frank Church River of No Returns Wilderness
The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho has the distinction of being the largest section of wilderness area in the continental United States with total land area of 2,366,757. The area was established in 1980 and was named after four-term U.S. Senator from Idaho Frank Church.
Banked by the Salmon River Mountains, the Clearwater Mountains and the Bighorn Crags, the Wilderness encompasses steep jagged mountain ranges, deep canyons and white-water rivers to give visitors to the area scenery which they can experience no where else in the world. In fact the Salmon River Canyon is one of the deepest gorges in North America – deeper even than the much more famous Grand Canyon located in Arizona.
The Salmon River running through the mountains was known by many throughout the years as the "The River of No Return" which explains part of the Wilderness areas name. It was called the River of No Return because early settlers to the region could easily navigate down the river, but its swift current and many rapids made it impossible to return up-river.