The United States Mint has been busy preparing for late April releases of three new National Park 5 oz Silver Coins — two intended for investors and one for coin collectors.
All three 5 oz silver coins will feature the same designs as those shown on corresponding National Park Quarters, namely the quarters honoring Hot Springs in Arkansas, Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and Glacier in Montana.
These are just three of 168 quarters, 5 oz silver bullion coins and 5 oz silver uncirculated coins that will be issued between 2010 and 2021 to celebrate national parks and other national sites throughout the U.S. and its territories.
National Park 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins
On April 25, the US Mint will release the investor-grade 2011 Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz Silver Bullion Coin and 2011 Glacier National Park 5 oz Silver Bullion Coin. Last year’s 2010 bullion coins were sold to the US Mint’s network of Authorized Purchasers (APs) in December. Only now are some of those issues making their way into the buyer’s hands since their limited 33,000 mintage and new terms and conditions for resellers resulted in distribution bottlenecks.
The two new coins, however, should flow much quicker into the secondary market. First, the US Mint has eliminated the special terms and conditions that were in place in reselling the older 2010 coins. Second, the mintages for the 2011 issues are much larger with at least an "initial quantity of 126,500 coins for each of the first two issues," states the US Mint. The Mint also indicated that market demand and coin blank availability could result in increased mintages for these two and the other forthcoming Olympic, Vicksburg, and Chickasaw 5 oz Silver Coins.
As the silver pieces are issued through the Mint’s APs, buyers should find them available in late April through the same sources that resell the bullion versions of the American Eagle Gold and Silver coins.
National Park 5 oz Silver Uncirculated Coins
On April 28, the debuting 2010 Hot Springs National Park 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin will be available. This is the first issue in the new series which was created specifically for coin collectors. Unlike the bullion versions which share the same coin specifications — 5 oz weight, .999 fine silver composition, 3 inch diameter, etc., the uncirculated coins have a brilliant finish and bear a "P" mint mark denoting their production at the US Mint facility in Philadelphia.
Also different than the bullion versions, all the uncirculated coins will be sold directly by the US Mint to the public through its website (http://www.usmint.gov) and toll free number 1-800-USA-MINT.
The US Mint has not yet published what it will charge for the Hot Springs coin. At a weight of 5 ounces and with silver now over $40 an ounce, its seems likely that each will cost over $200 — although all the 2010-dated coins were actually minted last year.
Demand is expected to be high, as the US Mint has indicated that it only produced 27,000 of each design for last year.
The other 2010-dated and 2011-dated issues are also expected to be released this year.