The 2020 Salt River Bay America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin will be the third strike of 2020 to appear as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program. The coin also marks the fifty-third strike out of fifty-six that are due to be included as part of the program which debuted in 2010 and runs through 2021 at a rate of five per year.
A portion of Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve located in the U.S. Virgin Islands will be showcased on the reverse (tails side) of this coin. The final design for it should be unveiled in early 2020 along with the designs of the other America the Beautiful strikes due to appear that year. Design candidates should be released early in the previous year to allow time for the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts to review and comment on them before the Mint Director sends their suggestions along with his/her own to the Treasury Secretary who will make the final selection.
All of these bullion coins were authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 along with the circulating quarter dollars. The act requires both of them to feature identical designs. As such, the obverse (heads side) of the bullion coins will feature a portrait of the First President of the United States George Washington on them. Washington has been seen on the quarters since 1932.
The Mint will only sell the bullion coins to its network of authorized purchasers. The network will then resell them to coin dealers and individuals for a small premium over the spot price of the silver contained within them.
The bullion coins will all be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. The authorizing legislation requires an edge inscription on each bullion piece showing its content.
In total, fifty-six new coins will be produced in this series with one representing each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States (US Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands). The selected reverse designs will all signify a location of national interest within the previously mentioned jurisdictions such as a national park, national forest, etc.
Two coins will appear in 2020 as part of the America the Beautiful program before the Salt River Bay Strike strike. These coins will honor the National Park of American Samoa and Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut. Two coins will follow showcasing portions of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park of Vermont and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve of Kansas.
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve in the U.S. Virgin Islands
The Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve located in the U.S. Virgin Islands preserves not only some of the best natural resources found in the region, but also some of the most historical locations of the islands.
For instance, the park hosts the only known location where members of the Columbus expedition ever set foot on land now a part of a United States territory. In fact, his visit to the island of St. Croix also marked the first violence between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of the New World ever recorded.
The islands have been under the control of several foreign nations throughout their history including France, Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Knights of Malta, Denmark and finally the United States. All of these countries seemed to have left some mark on the islands from fortifications to the only known example of a ball court in the Caribbean still visible today.
The park preserves the largest mangrove forest still in existence on the islands today along with upland watersheds and marine environments unique to the islands. One of these is the 350 foot submarine canyon at the entrance to Salt River Bay with its caverns, grottoes, ledges, and caves – features making the canyon one of the few to contain such examples in the world.
Salt River Bay was established in 1992.