Since the last report published about a month ago, the United States Mint has recorded sales of just 4,100 of the 2011 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. This is a dramatic change compared to earlier in the year, when the first two designs had sold out of a combined 253,400 coins in less than one month.
The series of over-sized silver bullion coins was authorized under Public Law 110-456 America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. The law created both a new series of circulating quarter dollars and a silver bullion investment product, which feature representations of a national park or site in each of the 50 States, 5 U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. Five different designs are scheduled to be released each year from 2010 to 2020, with a single design for 2021.
The America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins were first released in December 2010, with only 33,000 coins produced for each of the five designs. The low mintages and initial high premiums charged by some dealers led the United States Mint to implement special terms and conditions for the authorized purchasers responsible for distributing the coins. The terms included a limit of one coin per design per household and a cap on the premium that could be charged to consumers.
For the 2011 designs, the US Mint dramatically increased the mintage levels to avoid a similar situation. The Gettysburg National Military Park and Glacier National Park designs were released on April 25, 2011, with an initial mintage of 126,700 pieces each. At the time, the Mint indicated that additional quantities may be produced based on market demand and blank availability. By May 16, 2011, the entire initial mintage for the Gettysburg and Glacier designs had been ordered by authorized purchasers.
The next design featuring Olympic National Park was released on May 23, and managed to sell 73,400 by the end of the month.
During June, the coins featuring Vicksburg National Military Park were released, as the Olympic coins continued to remain available. Total sales across the two available designs was 26,300.
In July, a third design was made available featuring Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Sales from July 1 to August 2, reached 23,700 coins, across the three designs.
For the period covering August 3 to August 30, the Olympic National Park design has added sales of 500 coins, the Vicksburg National Military Park design has added 1,300 coins, and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area has added 2,300 coins. This makes for a combined total of only 4,100 coins, or 20,600 ounces of silver bullion.
By contrast, the one ounce American Silver Eagle bullion coins continue to sell at a record breaking pace. During the month of August, total sales were 3,679,500.
Cumulative sales totals for each of the 2011 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins appears below.
Release Date Coins Ounces
Gettysburg April 25, 2011 126,700 633,500
Glacier April 25, 2011 126,700 633,500
Olympic May 23, 2011 81,200 406,000
Vicksburg June 20, 2011 28,800 144,000
Chickasaw July 18, 2011 17,500
Total 380,900 1,884,000
For each of the three designs that still remain available for sale, the US Mint has indicated an initial mintage quantity of 126,700 coins. If any unsold quantities remain at the end of the year, it seems likely that these would be melted.
The authorizing legislation for the program only allows the five ounce silver bullion coins to be sold during the year that the corresponding circulating quarter dollar is released.