The 2010 Mount Hood America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin is the fifth installment from the new coin program which honors U.S. national parks and other national sites. This coin honors Mount Hood National Forest from the state of Oregon
Sales of these strikes began on December 10, 2010. This was a few days later than the Mint had originally planned as it was delayed to allow the Mint time to institute a new pricing policy to address price gouging concerns by the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers. With the new policy in place, the five 2010-dated strikes of the series (each with a mintage of 33,000) were offered for sale beginning on December 10th to the authorized purchasers. By the end of December, all five coins had been sold out.
The America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin® Program is a multi-year initiative, beginning in 2010 and lasting through 2021. At a rate of five each per year, five ounce silver bullion coins will feature reverse designs emblematic of a particular site. The designs will be shared with the companion circulating quarter from the America the Beautiful Quarters® series.
The silver bullion coins are duplicates of the quarter, with the exception of their composition, size and edge. The five ounce coins are composed of .999 fine silver, and have a diameter of three inches. To illustrate the size, they are double that of early Morgan or Peace Silver Dollars. The silver bullion edge of the coin will be incused with the fineness and weight.
The final design for the Mount Hood America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin, shown above, was announced with those of the other 2010 coins on March 24, 2010.
Prior to its selection, four designs candidates or proposals were created by the United States Mint. (See all four design candidates below.) The main criteria for all the silver bullion coin designs is to portray an image of the national site that distinguishes it from other sites and coinage.
Two government groups, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), reviewed the four Mount Hood silver coin candidates. Both preferred the same design known as OR-03. It features a view of Mount Hood behind Lost Lake as the water rippled up to the trees along the shore. It was this design that was used as the basis for the final Mount Hood America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin.
For reference, all four candidate designs are shown below along with accompanying CCAC and CFA comments. Each image may be enlarged with a click:
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee commented that design OR-03 "was lauded for the artistry of its imagery, and for the absence of design elements that would detract from the view of the mountain."
In a report from CFA Commission Secretary Thomas E. Luebke to US Mint Director Ed Moy, Luebke wrote, "The Commission recommended alternative #3 due to its superior composition and simplicity of elements."
Both recommendations were factored into Treasury Secretary Geithner’s decision, as he was responsible for making the final selection after receiving counsel from U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy and his staff.
As far as the coin’s obverse (heads) goes, it features a restored version of the familiar 1932 portrait of George Washington.
America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins are not directly available from the U.S. Mint. Instead, the Mint sells them to a network of authorized buyers who then resell them to the coin dealers, collectors, precious metal providers, etc. The price these resellers charge is usually a slight premium over the current spot price of silver at the time.
The United States Mint will also be releasing a collector grade version of this coin known as the Mount Hood Silver Uncirculated Coin.
Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon
The snow-clad volcanic peak of Mount Hood, a very popular mountain climbing destination, can be seen from the Portland metropolitan area in Oregon. It is just one of the many distinctive geographic features of the Mount Hood National Forest. Other popular spots in the forest include the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Barlow Road of the Old Oregon Trail. Mount Hood National Forest has over four million visitors annually, making it one of the most-visited National Forests in the United States.
Mount Hood received its name in 1792 when Lt. William Broughton named the peak after Lord Samuel Hood, a respected admiral of the British Royal Navy.
The area was first placed under the protection of the federal government in 1892 as the Bull Run Forest Reserve. In 1908, Bull Run was merged with Cascade National Forest and the two became the Oregon National Forest. Finally, in 1924, the whole area was renamed Mount Hood National Forest.
Over 25% of the forest lands are designated wilderness, meaning a concerted effort is maintained to restrain human influences on the area. This does not prevent almost 4 million annual visitors from enjoying Mount Hood as a whole, however.