Only one coin is scheduled to be released in 2021 as part of the original America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin Program and it will honor the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama. The 2021 Tuskegee Airmen America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin also has the distinction of being the last of fifty-six coins originally authorized as part of the series.
All of the America the Beautiful Bullion Coins were authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 along with a companion series of circulating quarter dollars. The original programs debuted in 2010 with fifty-six sites chosen by the Mint to be included. Each of those sites were located in a separate state, the District of Columbia or the five territories of the United States (Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands) to insure an equal distribution of the chosen locations.
The coins of the program were then scheduled to be released at a rate of five per year with just the Tuskegee coin slated to appear in 2021. However, a stipulation of the authorizing act made an allowance for a continuance of the original program. If the Treasury Secretary wishes to, he/she may request the program be extended for another complete run of fifty-six coins, with all of the original guidelines still in place. This means each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories would all once again be represented by another coin.
The Treasury Secretary must make this determination by the ninth year of the original program, or 2018, and inform Congress of the decision. While the continuation specifically only applies to the circulating quarter dollars, it is inferred that it would also apply to these bullion coins.
If the programs are extended, the second run is due to initiate immediately following this Tuskegee coin. In effect, this will result in four more America the Beautiful strikes in 2021 – the first four of the second run.
Both the bullion and the circulating quarter America the Beautiful coins are issued to showcase the beauty of the United States. Consequently, the reverse (tails side) of each of these strikes is required to be emblematic of a national park or other site of national interest. These other sites could include locations such as national forests, national monuments, national memorials, etc.
This Tuskegee strike is no exception as it honors the historic site of the same name located in Alabama. The final design for the coin, however, will probably not be unveiled until early in 2021 shortly before the coin is released. Possible design candidates for the strike should appear the previous year to be reviewed by individuals and groups like the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts.
The obverse of all of the America the Beautiful coins will feature a portrait of George Washington on them. The first President of the United States has been shown on American coinage non-stop since 1932 when he first appeared on the quarter dollar.
Each coin in the America the Beautiful Bullion Coin Program will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. An edge inscription will be placed on each to show its weight and fineness.
Some additional information on the Tuskegee site is shown below:
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama
The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama was only created in 1998, but really commemorates the contributions of African Americans to the World War II effort over a half a century earlier.
Man has had a fascination with flight since the earliest times, but it was only with the turn of the 20th century that mastery over the skies seemed possible. Within a few decades after the Wright brothers had their first successful flight, thousands of Americans looked to the sky for their future.
With the onset of World War II, the U.S. Army Air Corp established a training squadron whose goal was to train African Americans to become combat pilots. Not only did the program succeed, but the Tuskegee Airmen (formally known as the 332nd fighter group) served with distinction in multiple enemy encounters.