Continuing as the seventh in a series of five ounce .999 fine silver coins from the United States Mint is the 2011 Glacier America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin. The Glacier coin represents Glacier National Park, found in the state of Montana.
The United States Mint released the Glacier Silver Uncirculated Coin on October 25, 2011 with a maximum mintage of 35,000. At release, the coin was sold for $229.95 which marked the lowest debut price point of any coin in the series up to that point. Previous strikes debuted at $279.95.
It is a part of but one of three series of coins from the US Mint to all feature similar obverse and reverse designs. Probably the most well-known of these series is the circulating America the Beautiful Quarters® Program which includes five new circulating quarters annually and was authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008.
The second series was also authorized by that same law, but features much larger five ounce silver bullion coins struck for investors known as the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program. Finally, this coin is part of the third series which are the collector grade versions of the bullion program and have been called by the Mint the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Uncirculated Coins.
All three programs will include five year-dated strikes annually from 2010 until the final coin is released in 2021. The obverse of each strike in all three programs will contain a portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Sculptor John Flanagan designed the portrait for the 1932 circulating quarter dollar and it has been on the quarter ever since.
Reverse designs in the three programs are emblematic of selected sites of national interest from around the United States including national parks, national forests, national seashores etc. A total of fifty-six coins will be struck for each program, with one design representative of a location from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US territories.
This specific strike honors Glacier National Park and contains an image of Mount Reynold’s northeastern slope with an iconic mountain goat shown in the foreground. It was designed by AIP Associate Designer Barbara Fox and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles Vickers.
Glacier National Park in Montana
Glacier National Park of Montana was initially promoted for protection by the Great Northern Railway whose line ventured near the southern border of the present-day park. It sought to increase tourism to the area which would benefit the railway immensely. To that end, it lobbied the United States Congress until the area was declared a forest preserve in 1897.
Unsatisfied with that designation, the railway along with several other prominent individuals continued to lobby Congress for the next several years until Glacier National Park was created on May 11, 1910. The bill creating the park was signed into law by President William Howard Taft.
The park today consists of over one million acres which includes two mountain ranges and over 130 named lakes. In addition, over 1,000 different species of flora and fauna call the area home leading it to be included as part of the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem" for its pristine environment.
Most people who visit the park take in the scenic beauties found along the 53-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road which bisects the park, the only road to do so.