Cumberland Gap National Historical Park of Kentucky is the latest national site to be honored on a large format coin. Released by the United States Mint at noon ET today as part of the series of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins, it is composed from .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established in 1940 and lies at the border between Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. Throughout history, the gap served as a natural passage through the Appalachian Mountains. Today, the park offers visitors the chance to walk the historic Hensley Settlement, partake in Gap Cave tours and witness some of the incredible scenery of the region.
Developed in consultation with representatives of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the coin’s reverse of a frontiersman gazing across the mountains is representative of the Gap’s status as the first great gateway to the West. The scene was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Barbara Fox and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
Inscriptions around the image read CUMBERLAND GAP, FIRST DOORWAY TO THE WEST, KENTUCKY, 2016 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. This same image also appears on the smaller Cumberland Gap quarters released as part of the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
Like those quarters, the obverse offers a portrait of George Washington. The image of the first President of the United States was originally designed by John Flanagan and has appeared on quarter-dollars since 1932.
Obverse inscriptions read UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and QUARTER DOLLAR. In addition, a ‘P’ mint mark is found to the right of the effigy. This indicates that the coins are produced at the U.S. Mint’s facility in Philadelphia.
An edge inscription reads ".999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE" to disclose the content of each three-inch coin.
Ordering and Mintage
Priced at $149.95, the 2016-P Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin is available from the U.S. Mint on this product page or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
This coin’s maximum potential mintage limit is 30,000, although that can be adjusted lower if demand is high for the related bullion version.
Bullion Five Ounce Silver Version
Intended for investors, a bullion edition is also produced by the U.S. Mint. Specifications for it and the collector uncirculated coin described above are almost identical with their finish, mint mark and packaging being the main differences. The uncirculated coin has a matte finish instead of the bullion’s brilliant appearance. The bullion coin also lacks the ‘P’ mint mark despite all five ounce coins originating from the Philadelphia Mint.
Bullion coins are also not sold directly to the public. The U.S. Mint reserves the selling of them to authorized distributors who buy in bulk at $9.75 per coin plus silver spot. They are then resold to coin and precious metal dealers and/or the public for a small premium above their melt value.