The 2019 American Memorial America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin will be the second strike of 2019 to appear as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program. The coin also marks the forty-seventh out of fifty-six that are due to appear as part of the series which debuted in 2010 and runs through 2021 at a rate of five per year.
An artistic representation of a portion of American Memorial Park in the Northern Mariana Islands will be found on the reverse (tails side) of this coin. The final design, however, will probably not be known until early in 2019 when the Mint should unveil the five America the Beautiful designs for that year. Design candidates for the strike should be reviewed by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts early in the previous year giving the public its first glimpse of what the coin might look like. The comments of those two bodies will be forwarded to the Treasury Secretary who is charged with making the final selection.
On the obverse (heads side), a portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States will be featured. As these coins are issued as a companion series to the America the Beautiful Quarters that are appearing at approximately the same time and are to have identical designs, it is no surprise that Washington is shown. His portrait has been on the quarter dollar since 1932.
The coins were all authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which also stipulates that the bullion pieces be edge inscribed with their weight and fineness. Thus, five ounces and .999 fine silver will be found there. Each coin will have a diameter of three inches making them the largest bullion piece produced by the Mint.
All fifty states along with the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin Islands and Guam) will have a coin struck representing them in this series. The chosen locations within those jurisdictions all have national significance, however, as each portrays a national park, national monument, national forest, etc.
The Mint will only sell the bullion pieces directly to its network of authorized purchasers. The network, in turn, will resell them at a small premium over the spot price of the five ounces of silver contained within them.
Since the American Memorial strike is the second to appear in 2019 as part of the America the Beautiful series, it will be preceded by a coin honoring Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts. Following the American Memorial coin in 2019 will be three more showcasing the War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.
American Memorial Park in the Northern Mariana Islands
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.
The sacrifices are not over-looked, however. A Court of Honor and Flag Circle contains the names of more than 5,000 American soldiers, seamen, and airmen who died during the battles. Also located in the park is a carillon bell tower which tolls every half-hour. The bells are also used to chime American and the Marianas Anthems at certain times. Finally, in the evening, Taps is played to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.