Appearing as the third of five 2014-dated releases of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series will be the 2014 Arches America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin. The reverse of the coin will contain a design emblematic of Arches National Park located in the state of Utah.
The United States Mint created this series of silver uncirculated coins as the numismatic versions of its America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™. Both these uncirculated coins and the bullion coins are struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver and both have a diameter of three inches.
As numismatic pieces, the uncirculated coins are initially sold directly to the public by the United States Mint. The bullion coins are sold through a network of authorized purchasers for a small premium above the current spot price of the five ounces of silver contained within each.
Another difference between coins of the two series is the inclusion of a mintmark. The silver uncirculated coins contain a ‘P’ mintmark indicating they were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. The bullion coins are also struck in Philadelphia but contain no mintmark.
Both the uncirculated and bullion coins contain the same basic designs which are actually originally created for a third US Mint series – the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. Congress dictated the designs also be used on the bullion coins with the passage of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which authorized the quarters and the bullion pieces. (The associated silver uncirculated coins were created under the authority granted the Secretary of the Treasury in 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3) to “prepare and distribute numismatic items.”
All America the Beautiful related coins contain the same obverse portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. This portrait of Washington was designed by John Flanagan and has been featured on the obverse of circulating quarter dollars since 1932.
The reverse of this coin will contain the design emblematic of Arches National Park. Design candidates for the coin should appear from the US Mint in mid-2013 with a final design announced later that year.
Arches National Park of Utah
Arches National Park is located in the state of Utah near Moab. The park today consists of 76,679 acres, although when originally created on April 12, 1929 as a national monument, it was much smaller.
Arches National Park protects over 2,000 sandstone arches created through the ages by erosion. This erosive effect still continues today and has even led to over forty of the arches collapsing since 1970.
The National Park Service describes Arches National Park with:
"Visit Arches and discover a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets."