The first of five 2018-dated releases of the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series will be the 2018 Pictured Rocks America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin. A design located on the reverse of the strike will be emblematic of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore located in the state of Michigan.
Each of these coins will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver. This content will be indicated on the edge of each strike with the inscription of "999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE." The coins will also feature the extremely large diameter of three inches.
The specifications used for this series of coins are also the same as used for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™ Program. That is because the US Mint created this series of uncirculated coins as the numismatic versions of the bullion coins. It did so under the authority granted the Secretary of the Treasury (who oversees the US Mint) in 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3) to "prepare and distribute numismatic items."
As for the related bullion coins, they were authorized directly by Congress with the passage of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which became Public Law 110-456. Along with the bullion coins, this same act also authorized a series of circulating quarter dollars which actually serves as the design basis for all three America the Beautiful related coins.
The America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, thus also affecting the related bullion and uncirculated series, are required to have an obverse portrait of George Washington. This portrait was originally designed by John Flanagan and first seen on the 1932 circulating quarter dollar. It has been in use, with minor variations, on the quarter dollar ever since.
Shown on the reverse of the coins is the design emblematic of the selected site of national interest, in this case Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore of Michigan.
Design candidates for this reverse should be unveiled by the US Mint for review sometime in mid-2017. The final design will be chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury based on comments from the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee, the Commission of Fine Arts and the Director of the United States Mint.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore of Michigan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located along the shores of Lake Superior in the state of Michigan. The national lakeshore stretches for 42 miles along the coast, however, it takes its name from a stretch of just 15 miles of colorful sandstone cliffs.
These cliffs rise up to 200 feet above the lakeshore and have been carved out over the years by nature to create many interesting profiles and caverns. Coloring of the cliffs comes from the many minerals found in the rock.
The national lakeshore was officially established on October 15, 1966.
The National Park Service uses this paragraph to describe the national lakeshore:
"Wild Beauty on the Lake Superior Shore"
"Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, forest, and shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Hiking, camping, sightseeing, and four season outdoor opportunities abound. The Lakeshore hugs the Lake Superior shoreline for more than 40 miles. Lake Superior is the largest, deepest, coldest, and most pristine of all the Great Lakes."