Issued as the first 2017-dated strike in the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series will be the 2017 Effigy Mounds America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin. Depicted on the reverse of the strike will be a design emblematic of Effigy Mounds National Monument located in the state of Iowa.
This strike also marks the thirty-sixth in the series overall. Each strike in the program features a design emblematic of a different site of national interest from around the United States and its territories.
Coins of the series are released at a rate of five per year with the first strikes bearing 2010 dates. The last strike of the program will be issued in 2021 at which time a total of fifty-six will have been issued each honoring a site from a different state, the District of Columbia or one of the five US Territories.
Like all of the other coins in the series, the Effigy Mounds Silver Uncirculated Coin will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver. They will also feature the extremely large diameter of three inches.
These are the same specifications used by the Mint for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™ Program. That similarity is not without reason, however, as the US Mint created the silver uncirculated series as the numismatic version of the bullion coins.
As such, this series also contains the same designs as found on the bullion coins, which themselves are originally taken from a third US Mint series – the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. This includes an obverse portrait of George Washington, by John Flanagan, seen in one form or another in circulating quarters since 1932.
The reverse design for the Effigy Mounds Silver Uncirculated Coin should be unveiled by the US Mint in late 2016.
Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa
Effigy Mounds National Monument is located in the northeast part of the state of Iowa. It was officially established on October 25, 1949.
The monument preserves over 200 earthen mounds created by Native Americans of the region. Many of the mounds were formed in the shape of birds, reptiles, mammals, etc. thus we call them effigy mounds.
Of the 200-plus mounds of the monument, 31 are effigies. The largest of these is Great Bear Mound which stretches 42 meters from head to tail and rises over one meter above the original ground level.
The following paragraph is used by the National Park Service to describe Effigy Mounds National Monument:
"The mounds preserved here are considered sacred by many Americans, especially the Monument’s 12 affiliated American Indian tribes. A visit offers opportunities to contemplate the meanings of the mounds and the people who built them. The 200 plus American Indian mounds are located in one of the most picturesque sections of the Upper Mississippi River Valley."