El Yunque National Forest Silver Bullion Coin

in 2012 National Park Coins

The El Yunque National Forest Silver Bullion Coin will be the first of five strikes created in 2012 as part of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™ series. The coin will honor El Yunque National Forest of Puerto Rico with a design showcased on its reverse. As of this posting, the US Mint has not announced a release date for the El Yunque Coin.

Coins in this silver bullion series are each struck from five ounces of .999 fine silver to a diameter of three inches. They feature a reverse design dedicated to a site of national interest from around the United States and its territories.

A total of fifty-six sites will have been honored by the program by the time it is completed in 2021. One site from each state as well as the District of Columbia and the five US Territories was chosen to be included in the program which debuted in 2010 and features five strikes released annually as part of it.

The coins were authorized as part of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 – Public Law 110-456 as large versions of the associated circulating quarters program. This includes an obverse portrait of George Washington just as is featured on the quarters.

The obverse portrait was originally created by John Flanagan for the 1932 circulating quarter and has been in use on the quarter in one form or another ever since. The portrait is surrounded by the inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.

Shown on the reverse of the silver bullion coin will be the design dedicated to El Yunque National Forest. Also included will be the inscriptions of EL YUNQUE, PUERTO RICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico

El Yunque National Forest was originally created as Luquillo Forest Reserve in 1903 after the United States assumed control over Puerto Rico. The forest was actually preserved under royal order from King Alfonso XII of Spain a quarter of a century earlier when that country controlled the island.

In 1935, the area was renamed the Caribbean National Forest which remained as its title until 2007. In that year, President George W. Bush signed an executive order re-naming it to its current El Yunque National Forest to better reflect the wishes of the local citizens.

The forest receives as much as 240 inches of rain annually which supports the lush vegetation. In fact, that rainfall and the location of the forest qualifies it as the only tropical rainforest in the national forest system.

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