The United States Mint expects that it will begin producing 2010 National Park and Site Silver Bullion Coins later this fall. The U.S. Mint had never announced launch dates for each coin, but earlier in the year expectations were more in line with a late summer release for the first issue, with the others staggered later.
The five silver pieces for 2010 are part of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program, which goes hand-in-hand with America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program that honors national parks and other national sites throughout the U.S. and its territories. In fact, both sets of 2010 coins share the same obverse and reverse designs.
However, unlike the new circulating quarters, the site and park silver coins will be composed of .999 fine silver, weigh five ounces, have a diameter of 3 inches, and include edge letterings or inscriptions noting their fineness and weight. Standard quarters are composed of cupro-nickel, weigh 5.67 grams, have a diameter of 0.955 inches, and have reeded edges.
Also in the news are the expected mintage figures for this year’s coins. U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White on August 11 said that the final call is up to the Secretary of the Treasury, but that the Mint anticipates producing 500,000 of them in 2010. If that is spread out between each silver quarter-dollar, there will be 100,000 honoring:
- Hot Springs National Park,
- Yellowstone National Park,
- Yosemite National Park,
- Grand Canyon National Park, and
- Mount Hood National Forest.
The order for coin blanks — the discs on which the coins are struck — has been placed with Sunshine Minting, Inc. The U.S. Mint just recently completed the development work for the coins, and delivered the necessary technical specifications to the company, according to White.
Premiums for the bullion coins are not set. They will be distributed through the Mint’s network of authorized dealers and the National Park Service — if the NPS decides to sell them. As such, their prices should not greatly exceed their production costs and the expense of the five ounces of silver within each. The Mint has indicated the possibility of directly selling proof and uncirculated versions for collectors, but an announcement has not been made.