The first 2017 strike of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program will be the 2017 Effigy Mounds America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin. The coin is also the thirty-sixth in the program which will include a total of fifty-six by the time it is completed in 2021.
As these coins are considered a companion series to the America the Beautiful Quarter Dollars which are appearing at the same time, they will also have the same basic imagery. Consequently, the obverse (heads side) will contain an image of the first President of the United States George Washington.
The reverse (tails side) will have an artistic representation of Effigy Mounds National Monument, which is located in the state of Iowa. The final design for this strike will not be known until probably early in 2017 when the US Mint should have an unveiling ceremony for all of the 2017 America the Beautiful coins. Those interested in what the coin might look like will have a better idea by early 2016 when the Mint should release design candidates for review by the appropriate individuals and agencies.
Each of these coins will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches – making them larger than any bullion coin currently produced by the Mint. To identify the coins content, and edge inscription will show the weight and purity.
All 50 states, along with the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States will have one coin in the series linked directly to them. That is because a site of national interest within each jurisdiction was chosen to be included in the program. The term "national interest" signifies a location currently under the control of the federal government like a national park or national monument.
A network of authorized purchasers will be the only ones allowed to buy the America the Beautiful bullion coins directly from the Mint. This network will then resell the pieces to coin dealers and individuals for a small mark-up over the price of the silver contained within them.
Since the Effigy Mounds coin is the first strike to appear as part of the series in 2017, it will actually be followed by four other coins that same year. These coins will honor Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the District of Columbia, Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri, Ellis Island National Monument (Statue of Liberty) in New Jersey and George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana.
Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa
Recalling a society of Native Americans that lived in the region beginning well over a millennia ago, Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa also pays tribute to the unique sites they created.
Mound building was not uncommon for many Native American tribes throughout the centuries in North America. What proved to be unique about the Effigy Mounds area is the cluster of mounds in close proximity to each-other. Consisting of only 2,500 acres of monument land, over 200 mounds are now preserved within those borders.
Unfortunately, a lot of the history behind these mounds are now long forgotten. What is for certain is that the mounds served many purposes, some of which were ceremonial and sacred. In fact, many members of the twelve tribes currently affiliated with the Mound Monument still regard them as such today.
Making this location even more unique than the sheer number of mounds is the inclusion of 31 mounds created in the forms of mammals, birds or reptiles. Known as effigies, these are what gives the monument its name.
Aside from the historic structures, many visitors come the monument to enjoy the scenery of the area. The Mississippi River can easily be seen while still on monument land.