The 2020 Tallgrass Prairie America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin will be issued by the United States Mint as the last of five 2020-dated strikes of the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. Showcased on the reverse of the coin will be a design emblematic of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve located in the state of Kansas.
Each of these coins will be struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver. Each will also feature the extremely large diameter of three inches.
These are the same specifications used by the US Mint for a related series of bullion strikes known as the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™. In fact, the US Mint created this series of uncirculated coins as the numismatic versions of the bullion coins.
Authority to create the series was given to the Secretary of the Treasury in 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3) which allows that office to "prepare and distribute numismatic items." The United States Mint operates under the Treasury Department.
In comparison, the bullion coins were authorized directly by Congress with the passage of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. As indicated by the name of the act, a series of quarter dollars was also created now known as the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
In fact, the quarters program actually serves as the design basis for all of the related America the Beautiful coins. This includes an obverse portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan which is featured on the quarters, the bullion coins and these uncirculated coins.
The reverse design of the coins is emblematic of different sites of national interest from around the United States and its territories. The design for this coin should be unveiled by the US Mint in late 2019.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is located in the Flint Hills region of the state of Kansas. It was officially established on November 12, 1996.
The site preserves approximately 10,000+ acres of tallgrass prairie. Tallgrasses once covered an estimated 400,000 square miles of North America.
Because of farming and other development, less than 4% of that original amount remains today.
The National Park Service has this descriptive paragraph for the preserve:
"Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie"
"Where’s the tall grass?"
"Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America. Within a generation the vast majority was developed and plowed under. Today less than 4% remains, mostly here in the Kansas Flint Hills. The preserve protects a nationally significant remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie and its cultural resources. Here the tallgrass prairie takes its last stand."