The thirteenth strike issued as part of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program will be the 2012 Acadia America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin. It is also the third piece released that year in the series which launched in 2010 and finishes in 2021 when the fifty-sixth coin of the program is issued.
These coins are a sister series to the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program and contain the same basic imagery. The bullion strikes, however, will be minted from five ounces of .999 fine silver and have a large diameter of three inches. As bullion pieces from the Mint are guaranteed for content and purity, the coins fineness and weight will be inscribed on the edge.
Just like on the quarter dollars, George Washington (first President of the United States) will be seen on the obverse of the America the Beautiful bullion pieces.
The reverse will have a design showcasing Acadia National Park in Maine. Design candidates for this coin should be released in early 2011 to allow time for review by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts. The comments of these two groups as well as the governor of Maine and the Secretary of the Interior will be submitted by the Director of the US Mint (along with his or her own recommendation) to the Treasury Secretary.
According to the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which authorized the series, the Treasury Secretary has the duty of selecting the final design. That choice should be unveiled by the Mint in early 2012 before the first strike of the program is released in that year.
Up to five new strikes will appear each year from 2010 through 2021 through the program. Each coin will feature a design honoring a site of national interest such as national park or national forest, with one site chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The US Mint sells these bullion pieces to a network of authorized purchasers and not directly to the public. The authorized purchasers then resell them to coin dealers and individuals for a slight mark-up over the spot price of the silver contained within them.
Acadia National Park in Maine
Encompassing over 47,000 acres, Acadia National Park in Maine was established to preserve several islands and a portion of the Schoodic Peninsula. Included in the park is most of Mount Desert Island as well as a majority of Isle au Haut and parts of Baker Island.
Contrary to what many believe, the park consists of not only shoreline, but also mountains, woodlands and lakes. This diverse landscape makes it ideal as a place of habitation for many species including deer, foxes, bobcats and bears.
The park itself was first afforded some protection in 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson created the Sieur de Monts National Monument. In 1919, it was elevated in status and renamed the Lafayette National Park after the Marquis de Lafayette, a well-known French supporter of the American Revolution. In 1929, the name was changed again to its current title of Acadia National Park.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr was instrumental in the development of the park through his generous contributions throughout the early 1900’s. His funds allowed the construction of over 50 miles of carriage trails and over a dozen granite bridges.
Acadia has the distinction of being the first national park ever created east of the Mississippi River.