The 2012 Hawaii Volcanoes America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin marks the fourth of five 2012-dated releases in the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. Shown on the reverse of the coin is a design emblematic of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located in the state of Hawaii.
The America the Beautiful Five Ounce Uncirculated Coins, like this Hawaii Volcanoes Coin, are struck as the numismatic versions of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™. Both series feature coins with reverse designs emblematic of different sites of national interest from around the United States, its territories and the District of Columbia.
Both series are also struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver and feature a diameter of three inches. Those specifications were originally required of the bullion coins under the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-456). Later legislation has amended the requirements for the bullion coins so that the diameter may be adjusted, if needed. However, the US Mint has opted to keep the original specifications.
These uncirculated coins and their bullion counterparts are almost identical. The only defining difference between the two series is the inclusion of a mintmark on the uncirculated coins. The ‘P’ mintmark indicates the coins were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. The bullion coins were also struck in Philadelphia but contain no mintmark.
Designs for the uncirculated and bullion coins are actually originally created for a third US Mint series, the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. As such, the obverse of each coin contains the same portrait of George Washington. The image of Washington by John Flanagan was first used on the 1932 circulation quarter dollar and has been in use on quarters in one form or another ever since.
The reverse design for the Hawaii Volcanoes America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin is therefore the same as the Hawaii Volcanoes Quarter which the US Mint described with:
"The reverse of the (Hawaii Volcanoes) quarter of 2012 depicts an eruption on the east rift of Kilauea Volcano. Inscriptions are HAWAI’I VOLCANOES, HAWAII, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. It was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers."
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park of Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is located in the state of Hawaii. It was established by an Act of Congress which was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on August 1, 1916. As Hawaii was not a state at that time, it marked the first national park to be created in a territory of the United States.
The park currently consists of 323,431 acres and encompasses two active volcanoes – Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world with Mauna Loa being the world’s most massive.
Visitors to the park can often see actual active lava flows. In addition, other thermal features are also accessible.