The 2018 Apostle Islands America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin will appear as the second of five 2018 strikes of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program. This coins numbers forty-two out of fifty-six new coins that will be issued under the series which debuted in 2010 and runs through 2021.
These bullion coins were authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which also mandated a series of circulating quarter dollars released at approximately the same time. Both programs will feature identical imagery including the obverse (heads side) which will have a portrait of George Washington on them. Washington, the first President of the United States, has been seen on the quarter dollar since 1932.
The reverse (tails side) of this coin will showcase a portion of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore which is located in Wisconsin. Design candidates for the strike should be available from the US Mint in early 2017. Then, by early 2018 an unveiling ceremony should occur with all five of the America the Beautiful strikes for that year.
Under the terms of the program, a total of fifty-six sites of national interest will be honored with five appearing each year from 2010 until completed in 2021. One site was chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States (Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa). The term "national interest" signifies a location owned and managed by the federal government like a national lakeshore, national park, national monument, etc.
To show the coins content, an edge inscription will be struck on each bullion piece stating the coins weight of five ounces and its purity of .999 fine silver. To further differentiate these coins from any other bullion coins produced by the Mint, each of the America the Beautiful bullion pieces will have a diameter of three inches.
The Mint only sells its bullion products to a network of authorized purchasers. The network then resells the coins to coin dealers and individuals for a small mark-up over the spot price of the silver contained within them making them excellent precious metal investments.
A coin honoring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan will precede this Apostle Islands strike in 2018. Following those two coins will be three more showcasing portions of Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin
Located on the northern tip of the Lake Superior shoreline of Wisconsin, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore includes not only 12 miles of mainland, but also 21 islands (which the name suggests). The preserved area also claims several historic lighthouses, some old growth forest areas, and sandstone sea caves.
While no one knows for certain, the Apostle Islands were probably given their name by early Jesuits who drew up the maps of the region in the early 18th century. Since then, visitors to the area have come to love the scenery and the diversity that it has to offer.
Those interested in visiting the islands have several choices. First, bringing your own private boat is always an option as well as kayaking, canoeing or paddle boating. Water taxis may be utilized out of Bayfield and private cruise operations can take guests on sight-seeing trips as well as ferrying them from island to island.
Camping is available on 18 of the 21 islands in the Lakeshore. Facilities range from semi-modern to almost backcountry facilities giving a complete range to those who might be interested.
Preparation is key for any visitors as the weather can vary drastically. Also, bugs and bears can create issues for guests as well, so plan accordingly.