The final strike to appear in 2013 as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program will be the 2013 Mount Rushmore America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin. It also has the distinction of being the twentieth strike in the program overall.
Five ounces of .999 fine silver is used to mint each bullion coin in the program to a diameter of three inches. The weight and fineness will be edge inscribed so as not to dilute the obverse and reverse designs as dictated by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008.
George Washington, the first President of the United States, will be featured on the obverse (heads side) of each bullion coin. He is also found on the observe of the circulating quarter dollars which will feature the same designs as these bullion strikes.
An artistic representation of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota will be seen on the reverse of these strikes. The final design, however, will not be known until probably early in 2013 when all five of the 2013 America the Beautiful designs will be unveiled by the US Mint. Design candidates, however, should be released in early 2012 to be reviewed by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts. Their recommendations will be taken into consideration by the Treasury Secretary when he or she makes the final decision.
The program will encompass 56 new coins once it has been completed in 2021 and will feature a site of national interest from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US territories – Guam, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.
When each bullion coin is released, only a network of authorized purchasers will be allowed to purchase them directly from the US Mint. They, in turn, will then resell them to coin dealers and individuals for a small mark-up over the spot price of the silver contained within them.
As the Mount Rushmore strike is the last to appear in 2013, it will be preceded by four other America the Beautiful Bullion Coins honoring White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Ohio, Great Basin National Park in Nevada and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Maryland.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota
Work on Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota commenced in 1927 and continued almost non-stop until 1941. It was all the original brain-child of historian Doane Robinson who envisioned grand carvings in the Black Hills to attract tourists from around the world to the state.
To this end, Robinson brought in sculptor Gutzon Borglum and took him to the granite pillars known as Needles. Borglum dismissed these pillars deciding they were to thin to support sculpting and instead turned his sights on Mount Rushmore. Its southeastern facing location allowed for maximum sunlight and it also provided a grand view for long distances.
In 1925, Congress authorized the sculpture and fund-raising began. Borglum chose four past presidents of the United States to grace the mountain – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. His criteria for these selections were there roles in preserving and expanding the nation.
The entire sculpture cost $989,992.32 – a large figure for that time but still very reasonable. More amazing is the fact that during the decade plus of construction, no one died.
Today, the memorial receives an estimated 2 million plus visitors annually achieving the goal originally intended by Doane Robinson of bringing tourism to the state of South Dakota.