The final 2011 five ounce silver collector issue is the Chickasaw National Recreation Area Silver Uncirculated Coin. This coin honors Chickasaw National Recreation Area of Oklahoma and also marks the tenth strike of the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Five Ounce Uncirculated Coin series.
These coins are created to be the numismatic versions of the Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™, which themselves are struck to be similar to another series of coins from the US Mint — the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. All three series feature reverse designs emblematic of selected sites of national interest from around the United States, the District of Columbia and the five US territories.
Each uncirculated coin is struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver. The original debut coins in the silver programs, which were dated 2010, feature a diameter of three inches as was required by law for the bullion coins at the time. That requirement has changed, however, to allow the US Mint to strike the silver coins in a 2.5 to 3.0 inch diameter. But in January 2011, the US Mint announced that their size would remain at 3.0 inches.
All three programs feature a portrait of George Washington on their obverse. The image of the first President of the United States was first seen on the 1932 circulating quarter dollar and designed by John Flanagan. Surrounding Washington are the inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.
AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver designed the reverse of the Chickasaw coins which were sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz. They show an image of the Lincoln Bridge, found in Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Surrounding the bridge are the inscriptions of CHICKASAW, OKLAHOMA, 2011 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area of Oklahoma
Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma was originally created as Sulphur Springs Reservation from 640 acres of land sold to the federal government by the Chickasaw Indian Nation. It became the 7th national park in the United States on June 29, 1906 and was called Platt National Park. Finally, in 1976 it joined another federal area and became the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Today, the park consists of almost 10,000 acres, with almost a quarter of that underwater. This offers visitors many unique recreation opportunities like boating, canoeing, fishing, etc. Those who do visit are not charged an entrance fee by the National Park Service owing to an agreement the government made with the Chickasaw Nation.