The 2018 Pictured Rocks America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin will be the first strike of 2018 to appear as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program. This strike also numbers forty-one out of fifty-six new coins to be created in the series which debuted in 2010 and runs until 2021.
As these bullion coins are issued as a companion series to the circulating quarter dollars released at approximately the same time (both of which were authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008) , the obverse (heads side) of both programs will feature an image of the first President of the United States George Washington.
On the reverse of this particular strike, a representation of a portion of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan will be featured. It is just one design to be included in the fifty-six coin series dedicated to the beauty of America by showcasing a site of national interest located in each state, the District of Columbia and the five US Territories. Sites of national interest include national parks, national wildlife refuges, etc.
The final design for the Pictured Rocks coin will probably not be known until shortly before the coin is released in 2018. However, design candidates should appear for comment early in the previous year. At that time, groups like the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts will also make their recommendations in regards to the design candidates that are presented to them. It is up to the Treasury Secretary to make the final decision.
An edge inscription will be placed on each bullion coin showing its weight of five ounces and its purity of .999 fine silver. The coins diameter will be a massive three inches making them the largest bullion pieces produced by the Mint.
The Mint only sells its bullion products to a network of authorized purchasers. The network then resells the coins to coin dealers and individuals for a small mark-up over the spot price of the silver contained within them making them excellent precious metal investments.
As the Pictured Rocks coin is the first to appear in 2018, it will be followed by four other America the Beautiful Bullion coins that same year. These coins will showcase Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan
Stretching along 42 miles on the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore preserves some of the most scenic landscape found in the region. Aside from the colorful sandstone cliffs from which the refuge takes its name, visitors will also find waterfalls, natural archways, sand-dunes and abundant trees which draw many visitors themselves.
The sandstone cliffs known as Pictured Rocks stand anywhere from 50 to 200 feet above the level of Lake Superior. They get their intense colors from mineral seepage through the cliffs. Iron in the rock creates the reds and oranges, copper creates greens and blues , manganese creates the black coloring and lime results in white. The cliffs themselves stretch for 15 miles and start just East of Sand Point.
The Lakeshore offers visitors many chances to view the Pictured Rocks formations including the handicap accessible Miners Castle. Those interested in a little walking can take day-hikes on trails like the Chapel-Mosquito trail. Some of the best viewing opportunities may be provided by private boat cruises operating in the area.
Three drive-in campgrounds offer over-night visits for those interested in spending more time on the Lakeshore. They include Little Beaver Lake Campground, Twelvemile Beach Campground and Hurricane River Campground. Reservations are not accepted and the sites are on a first come – first served basis. Those interested in a little more rugged overnight stay can utilize the backcountry camping offered.
Pictured Rocks was created in 1966 and has the distinction of being the first national lakeshore in the history of the United States.