The 2017 Ozark America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin will be the third of five strikes released by the United States Mint in 2017 as part of the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. Showcased on the reverse of the coin will be a design emblematic of Ozark National Scenic Riverways located in the state of Missouri.
Each of these coins are struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. These are the same specifications used by the Mint for the related America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™ Program.
The fact that the specifications are the same for both programs is not coincidence. The US Mint created the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series as the numismatic versions of the bullion coins.
Thus coins from both series are extremely similar in appearance. The only definitive way to tell coins of the two series apart is to look for a mintmark. Coins from this silver uncirculated series have a ‘P’ mintmark indicating they were struck at the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia. The bullion coins are also struck in Philadelphia but contain no mintmark which is common practice for bullion products.
Designs for coins of both series are actually taken from a third US Mint series – the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. This includes an obverse portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The portrait was originally designed by John Flanagan for use on the circulating 1932 quarter and has appeared on quarters, with minor variations, ever since.
Congress authorized the quarters and the bullion coins with the passage of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which became Public Law 110-456. This series of silver uncirculated coins was created under the authority give the Secretary of the Treasury in 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3) to "prepare and distribute numismatic items."
Design candidates for the Ozark Silver Uncirculated Coin should be released by the US Mint sometime in mid-2016. After review and comments by several groups and individuals, the final design will be chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury and announced later that year.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri
Ozark National Scenic Riverways is located in the south-central portion of Missouri. It was officially established on August 27, 1964.
The riverways protects the Current and Jacks Forks Rivers. The two are touted as some of the best float rivers in the United States thanks to being fed by one of the largest spring systems of the country.
Along with all of the water recreation opportunities available in the area, many caves are also available to be explored.
The National Park Service uses the following paragraph to describe the riverways:
"More Than Just the Rivers…."
"Ozark National Scenic Riverways is the first national park area to protect a river system. The Current and Jacks Fork Rivers are two of the finest floating rivers you’ll find anywhere. Spring-fed, cold and clear they are a delight to canoe, swim, boat or fish. Besides these two famous rivers, the park is home to hundreds of freshwater springs, caves, trails and historic sites such as Alley Mill."