The third strike of 2019 to appear as part of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program will be the 2019 War in the Pacific America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin. The coin also marks the forty-eighth strike in the program which will include a total of fifty-six when it is completed in 2021 after an eleven year run.
A portion of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park located in Guam will be featured on the reverse (tails side) of this coin. Design candidates for the coin should appear from the US Mint in early 2018 to allow time for them to be reviewed and commented on by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts. Their recommendations, along with several others, will be forwarded to the Treasury Secretary who will make the final selection. Then, the final design should be unveiled in early 2019 along with the other America the Beautiful strikes due out that year.
As these bullion coins are to feature identical designs to those found on the circulating quarter dollars issued at approximately the same time, an image of George Washington will be found on the obverse (heads side). His likeness has been featured on the quarter dollar since 1932.
Both these bullion coins as well as the quarters were authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. That same legislation requires the bullion coins to be edge inscribed with the weight and fineness of each piece which is five ounces and .999 fine silver respectively. The bullion coins will have a diameter of three inches making them the largest produced by the Mint.
Fifty-six new coins will be struck in the series with one coin representing each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States (Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa). A site of national interest was chosen from within each of those jurisdictions and could include a national monument, national forest, national park, etc.
A network of authorized purchasers will be the only ones able to buy these bullion pieces directly from the Mint. This is standard procedure for all bullion from the Mint. The network resells the coins to coin dealers and individuals for a slight premium over the spot price of the precious metal contained within them.
As the third America the Beautiful coin to appear in 2019 it will be preceded by two others and followed by two. Those coming before it that year honor Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts and American Memorial Park in the Northern Mariana Islands. The two following showcase San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.
War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam
Established in 1978, the War in the Pacific National Historical Park of Guam is meant to honor all of those who participated in the Pacific Theater of World War II. This includes people from the nations of the United States of America, Japan, France, China, Canada, Australia, Soviet Union, Great Britain, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
The Memorial Wall located within the park, however, remembers only the American and Chamorro (indigenous people) casualties of the 1944 landing on Guam which liberated the island. 16,142 names are inscribed on the wall for all of those who suffered or died in the related battles.
Guam had been under the control of the United States since the 1898 Treaty of Paris which ended the Spanish-American War. It remained a valuable shipping stop on the route to and from the Philippines until the onset of World War II when it was felt that an attack by Japan would shortly follow. That prediction was accurate with Japanese forces landing the day after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941.
Guam would remain under Japanese control until 1944 when Allied forces joined the United States to retake the island.
While the park is meant as a historical reference to the war, its natural resources call many to visit the area. From sandy beaches to calm waters, all who visit are sure to enjoy the scenery.