The fourth strike of 2019 to appear as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program will be the 2019 San Antonio Missions America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin. Marking forty-ninth in the fifty-six coin series, the strike will be composed of five ounces of .999 fine silver just as all of the other America the Beautiful Bullion pieces.
An image representing the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park of Texas will be found on the reverse (tails side) of this coin. The final design should be unveiled in early 2019 along with the other four America the Beautiful strikes to appear that year. Design candidates for the strike, however, should be revealed the previous year so that they may be reviewed and commented on by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts.
The obverse (heads side) will have a portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States, on it. This is in keeping with the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which authorized the series and dictates that the bullion coins have the same designs as seen on the quarter dollars also created by the act (George Washington has been on the quarters since 1932).
An edge inscription will be placed on each bullion coin showing its weight of five ounces and fineness of .999 fine silver. The coin will have a diameter of three inches.
All of the reverses in the series honor sites of national interest located throughout the country with one coin representing each state, the District of Columbia and the five US Territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands). Chosen sites include national parks, national forests, etc.
The Mint will sell these bullion pieces only to its network of authorized purchasers. This network, in turn, resells them to coin dealers and individuals for a small premium over the spot price of the precious metal contained within them.
Three other America the Beautiful coins will precede the San Antonio Missions strike in 2019 – Lowell National Historical Park of Massachusetts, American Memorial Park of the Northern Mariana Islands and War in the Pacific National Historical Park of Guam. One coin will follow it honoring Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas recalls an earlier time when the area now known as Texas was still a part of Spain’s colonization of the New World. In a quest to bring Christianity to the Native Americans of the region, members of the Catholic religious orders started to create missions along the San Antonio River.
The first of these missions was established in 1718 and in less than two decades four more would appear in the region. In no particular order, the missions that are part of the National Historical Park today include the Mission San José, the Mission Concepción, the Mission San Juan and the Mission Espada.
The last of the five original missions was known originally as the Mission San Antonio de Valero. Most know it better by its current name, the Alamo, site of a famous battle between the forces of the Texian Army and Mexican soldiers. However, the Alamo is not part of the Historical Park but is instead owned by the State of Texas.
Visitors to the missions can take part in tours led by Park Rangers and Docents which walk guests through the various structures of the missions and recounts the lives of some of those who lived there. Visitors are also treated to views of the fresco’s found throughout.
Located at each of the four missions are active churches owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio. Services are still held regularly at each location.