The third strike to appear in 2018 as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program will be the 2018 Voyageurs America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin. This coin also marks the forty-third issue of the program which will include a total of fifty-six by the time it is completed in 2021.
Authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, the bullion coins will feature identical designs to those found on the circulating quarter dollars issued at approximately the same time. As such, George Washington, the first President of the United States will be seen on the obverse (heads side) of each strike. Washington has been featured on the quarters since 1932 making it no surprise that his image would still be found on the quarters and this sister series of bullion coins.
For the reverse of this particular strike, a portion of Voyageurs National Park located in Minnesota will be showcased. The final design for the strike will probably be unveiled in early 2018 along with the designs for the other America the Beautiful strikes to be released in that year. Design candidates, however, should make their way into the public forum in early 2017. At that time the Mint will be asking the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts for their input on the designs. Comment will also be sought out from the Governor of Minnesota for the Voyageur coin as well as the Interior Secretary. All of their opinions will be gathered along with the recommendation of the Mint Director and forwarded to the Treasury Secretary who has the final choice to make.
The completed America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin Program will see a total of fifty-six new strikes created as part of it. Each of these strikes will honor a different site of national interest, with one site selected from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US Territories (American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico). These "national interest sites" include places like national parks, national forests, etc.
Each of these bullion coins will have its content guaranteed by the US Government. To signify the coins weight of five ounces and purity of .999 fine silver, those specifications will be edge inscribed on each piece. The coin will also feature a diameter of three inches making them the largest bullion coin produced by the Mint.
Those interested in obtaining one of the America the Beautiful bullion coins will not be able to do so directly from the Mint. For all bullion coins, the Mint uses a network of authorized purchasers who buy the coins in bulk, then resell them in smaller quantities to coin dealers and individuals for a small premium over the value of the silver contained within them.
Coins honoring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin will precede the Voyageurs strike in 2018. It will be followed by two coins showcasing Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.
Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota
Atypical for national parks in the United States, Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota requires more of a unique visitor experience. That is because the park contains significant portions of water and includes over 500 islands, 655 miles of shoreline, four major lakes and twenty-six interior lakes for a total of 84,000 acres of water.
With that in mind, the only way to really experience the water-based national park during the spring, summer and fall months is via boat. Private boats may be launched at several ramps within the park and offer opportunities for visitors to reach the remote regions of the park.
Over 200 campsites are maintained within the park’s boundaries but each is only accessible via boat. Those wanting to visit the area but camp at a more typical campground will want to check out the two state operated campgrounds adjacent to the national park.
As a forested area, the national park hosts a variety of land and water-based creatures including several wolf packs and bears. Due more to the latter animals, those camping will need to take precautions with their food and sundries to insure the bears are not enticed to visit. Metal lockers are provided at most of the campsites within the park, but if not available, it is best to string your items from a tree limb far out from the trunk and the ground.
The park itself was only created in 1971 when the legislation authorizing it was signed by President Richard Nixon.