The last coin to appear in 2016 as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program will be the 2016 Fort Moultrie America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin. It also numbers thirty-five in the fifty-six coin series which debuted in 2010 and runs until 2021.
All of the coins in the series will contain an portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States, on their obverse (heads side). This is due to the fact that these bullion coins are issued as a companion series to the America the Beautiful Quarter Dollar Program released at the same time with both programs using the same designs.
On the reverse of the Fort Moultrie coin, an image of the historic national monument of the same name will be found. Design candidates for the strike should be reviewed by the Citizens’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts in early 2015, giving the public in general its first glimpses of what the coin might look like. Then, in early 2016 an official unveiling by the US Mint should occur finalizing the design that will be used.
The bullion coins will be massive in comparison to any other bullion piece currently produced by the US Mint. Each will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. To signify the coins contents, an edge inscription will show the weight and purity.
The program calls for fifty-six new coins with one representing a site from each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States. Each chosen site is considered "of national interest" meaning that the federal government retains control of the grounds like in a national park, national forest, etc.
As with all bullion pieces from the US Mint, these coins will not be available directly from the Mint to the general public. Instead, a network of authorized purchasers will get them in bulk from the Mint and then resell them in smaller quantities to individuals for a small premium over the spot price of the silver contained within them.
Four coins will precede the Moultrie strike in 2016. They honor the following sites: Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) in South Carolina
Fort Moultrie is located on Sullivan’s Island in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina and has played an integral role in American history since the country’s founding.
The first fort on Sullivan’s Island was still incomplete and nameless when naval forces of the British Empire began attacking it on June 28, 1776. Under the command of Colonel William Moultrie, the Continental forces withstood the attack – owed in large part to the new Palmetto logs that were used in the forts construction. Many reports even stated that cannon ball actually bounced off of the soft wood instead of shattering it to bits as the British intended.
Recognizing the ineffectiveness of their bombardment, British forces retired after nine hours of battle. To show the country’s gratitude for his leadership, the new fort was named after the Colonel who had defended it – Moultrie.
Over the next several decades, the fort went through stages of disrepair and rebuilding, only to be eventually over-looked as attentions were turned to the construction of a newer fort in the vicinity – Fort Sumter. By the time of the beginning of the American Civil War, four forts actually stood to protect Charleston including Sumter and Moultrie.
It was Moultrie’s commander in the days leading up to the war, however, who refused to surrender to Confederate forces – unlike the commanders of the other three forts. But, recognizing the inferiority of his location, the Moultrie commander moved his troops to the stronger Fort Sumter only to be bombarded into submission three months later at the start of the Civil War.
Fort Moultrie remained in Confederate possession until their retreat occurred from Charleston in February of 1865.
Visitors to the fort today are actually visiting a portion of the larger Fort Sumter National Monument complex, of which Fort Moultrie is a part. Their hours spent at Moultrie is a trip back through time beginning in World War II when it served as a Harbor Entrance Control Post back to the days when the fort was first established.