The 2015 Saratoga America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin will be the last of five strikes in that year to be part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program. The coin also numbers thirty out of fifty-six new strikes created by the program which debuted in 2010 and runs through 2021.
These bullion coins will be different from the typical US Mint bullion offerings not only because of their unique designs, but also their weight and size. The America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which authorized the series dictates that the bullion pieces be struck from a hefty five ounces of .999 fine silver to an astonishing three inch diameter. Also, as the coins feature obverse and reverse designs similar to the circulating quarter dollars released at approximately the same time, the bullion coins fineness and weight will be inscribed on the edge.
As previously stated, the obverse will be like the quarter dollars and will show a portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
On the reverse of this strike, a portion of Saratoga National Historical Park will be showcased. Design candidates for the Saratoga strike should appear in early 2014 for review by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts. Then, in 2015 before the first strike is released that year, an unveiling of all five America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins to be struck in 2015 should occur.
The terms of the program dictate that the reverses all contain a site of national interest such as a national park or national refuge. One site is to be chosen from each state in the union, the District of Columbia and the five US territories – Guam, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.
For all bullion coins, the US Mint uses a network of authorized purchasers. These purchases buy the coins in bulk from the Mint and then resell them in smaller quantities to coin dealers and individuals for a small premium over the spot price of the silver contained within them.
Since this is the final America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin to be struck in 2015, it will actually be preceded that year by four other strikes honoring Homestead National Monument of America of Nebraska, Kisatchie National Forest of Louisiana, Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina and Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge of Delaware.
Saratoga National Historical Park in New York
Located forty miles north of Albany, New York, the Saratoga National Historical Park preserves the site of the American Revolutionary War Battle of Saratoga. It was at this location that American forces met, fought and defeated British forces resulting in the infant country’s first major military victory.
The war was not going particularly well for the American side when General John Burgoyne’s British Army decided to cut of New England from the rest of the colonies in September of 1777. It was on these grounds that he first met and won victory over the Americans on September 19th of that year. Not completely crushed, the Americans re-grouped and forced another battle on October 7th wherein they were able to capture a portion of the British defenses.
This defeat forced Burgoyne to retreat where he found himself surrounded at Saratoga by the Continental Army. With few options left, Burgoyne and his forces surrendered. While seemingly a small victory, this event led to the country of France formally allying themselves with the United States and offering weapons and supplies in its effort to bring independence to the country.
Today, almost 100,000 visitors make their way to the Saratoga National Historical Park every year where they can stop at the Visitor’s Center to see a short film on the battles. From there they can continue their exploration of the history in all three of the different sites which comprise the complete historical park.