The 2012 Denali America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin is the fifth of five strikes to be issued by the United States Mint as part of its America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. A design on the reverse of the coin is emblematic of Denali National Park which is located in the state of Alaska.
That same design is actually also featured on coins from two other series of strikes from the US Mint. One of those series is the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program which actually serves as the basis for designs for all of the America the Beautiful related coins.
The other series is the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™. This uncirculated series is considered the numismatic versions of those bullion coins and feature almost identical specifications.
Those specifications include a composition of five ounces of .999 fine silver and a diameter of three inches. The composition and diameter were originally required by Congress as part of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-456) which authorized the bullion coins. Congress later passed legislation allowing for diameter changes, if needed, but the US Mint has opted to remain at three inches for both the bullion coins and these uncirculated coins.
As imagery is identical on both the bullion and uncirculated coins, the only way to definitively tell the difference between the two series it to look for a mintmark. A ‘P’ mintmark is struck on the uncirculated coins indicating they were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. The bullion coins are also struck in Philadelphia but contain no mintmark.
All coins of the series contain the same obverse portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The portrait was originally completed by John Flanagan and first seen on the 1932 circulating quarter dollar.
The reverse of the associated Denali Quarter (and thus this uncirculated coin) is described by the US Mint with:
"The (Denali) quarter of 2012 depicts a Dall sheep with Mount McKinley rising in the background. Inscriptions are DENALI, ALASKA, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz."
Denali National Park of Alaska
Denali National Park is located in the state of Alaska. A portion of the area was originally preserved as Mount McKinley National Park by an Act of Congress on February 26, 1917.
The park has since been expanded and today consists of 4,740,911 acres as well as being renamed Denali to better reflect the wishes of the local people. They refer to the mountain within the park as Denali (and have for hundreds of years) with the name McKinley only associated with the mountain in the late 1890’s.