The 2013 Great Basin America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin will be the third of five strikes released by the United States Mint in 2013 as part of its America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. A design emblematic of Great Basin National Park of Nevada will be showcased on the reverse of each coin.
Each coin will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver and will have a diameter of three inches. These same specifications will be used on all other America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins as well as strikes of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™.
The uncirculated coins are actually considered the numismatic versions of those bullion coins. They were created under the authority granted the Secretary of the Treasury in 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3) to “prepare and distribute numismatic items.”
Since the bullion and the uncirculated coins have the same basic specifications and contain the same basic designs, the only way to definitively tell between coins of the two series is to look for a mintmark. The America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins have a ‘P’ mintmark indicating they were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. The bullion coins have not mintmark which is common for US Mint bullion coins.
Designs featured on the America the Beautiful Silver Coins are originally created for use on the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. Accordingly, the obverse of each coin contains the same portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. This portrait is a familiar one to many as it has been featured on circulating quarter dollars in one form or another since 1932.
The reverse design for the Great Basin Quarter (and thus this silver uncirculated coin) will be emblematic of Great Basin National Park of Nevada. Design candidates for the coins should be unveiled by the US Mint in mid-2012 with a final design released later in the year.
Great Basin National Park of Nevada
Great Basin National Park is located in the state of Nevada. It is found about 300 miles to the north of Las Vegas between the Wasatch Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.
The National Park Service describes the park with:
"In the shadow of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, 5,000 year old bristlecone pine trees grow on rocky glacial moraines. Come to Great Basin National Park to experience the solitude of the desert, the smell of sagebrush after a thunderstorm, the darkest of night skies, and the beauty of Lehman Caves. Far from a wasteland, the Great Basin is a diverse region that awaits your discovery."
An area in Great Basin National Park first came under the control of the federal government in 1922 when Lehmann Caves National Monument was created. The current national park was not established until October 27, 1986.