The 2014 Shenandoah America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin is the second release of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program to appear in that year. It also makes the twenty-second coin in the fifty-six coin series which debuted in 2010 and closes out in 2021.
The series was authorized as part of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 and will feature the same basic imagery as found on the circulating quarters issued at the same time. Different from those quarters, however, will be the size and composition of the bullion pieces. The Act dictated that each piece will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. This weight and fineness will be edge inscribed on the coin.
As on the quarter dollars, an image of George Washington will be featured on the obverse of the bullion coins.
On the reverse of this particular strike is an artists rendition of a portion of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The final design will not be known until probably early in 2014, but design candidates should be unveiled by the Mint in early 2013 to allow time for groups like the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts to review them.
The program of which this coin is a part of dictates that one site of national interest be chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US territories – Guam, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. The site could be a national park like this coin, or could be a national forest, national monument, etc.
The US Mint will only sell these bullion coins to a network of authorized purchases who in turn will resell them to coin dealers and individuals for a small premium over the spot price of the five ounces of silver contained within them.
A coin honoring Great Smoky Mountains National Park will precede the Shenandoah strike in 2014. Following it will be coins showcasing Arches National Park in Utah, Great Sand Dunes National Park of Colorado and Everglades National Park in Florida.
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
Probably best known for its scenic 105-mile Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia has so much more to offer its visitors.
Construction of Shenandoah began in 1926 as the state of Virginia started to slowly acquire land for use as a park through the legal process known as eminent domain. In the process, many families were forced to relocate and even several communities ceased to exist. By 1935, the state turned over this land to the federal government for the creation of Shenandoah National Park.
By far, the most popular attraction in the park is the aforementioned Skyline Drive. The scenic road bisects the park and runs along the ridge of the mountains. Most visitors find the fall the best time to visit as the leaves on the trees start to turn colors.
Many also visit during the other times of the year as well. Five major campgrounds operate in the park from spring until fall and they are joined by three lodges or cabin groups to offer visitors many different overnight accommodations.
Those who do visit are offered many different recreational opportunities aside from sightseeing. One of the most popular is hiking on the more than 500 miles of trails located within the parks boundaries.