Shawnee National Forest Silver Bullion Coin

in 2016 National Park Coins

The Shawnee National Forest Silver Bullion Coin will be struck by the US Mint as the first 2016 release of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ Program. This coin will feature obverse and reverse imagery similar to the Shawnee Quarter including a reverse emblematic of Shawnee National Forest of Illinois. A release date for the coin was not known at the time of this posting.

Congress created this series of bullion coins under the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which became Public Law 110-456. Along with the associated quarters, these bullion coins honor a total of fifty-six different sites of national interest from around the United States and its territories.

Both programs also call for a release schedule of five coins per year per series. The schedule commenced with the inaugural year of 2010 and will be completed when the last strike of both series appears in 2021.

Shown on the obverse of all of the America the Beautiful related coins is a portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. This portrait was designed by John Flanagan and first seen on the obverse of the 1932 circulating quarter dollars. Inscriptions around the portrait will include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.

The reverse of the coins will be reserved for the designs emblematic of the selected sites – in this case Shawnee National Forest. The forest design will be surrounded by the inscriptions of SHAWNEE, ILLINOIS,  2016 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Shawnee National Forest in Illinois

The process of creating Shawnee National Forest in Illinois commenced in 1933 as the federal government started to slowly acquire the land. It was not until September of 1939 that the site was declared a national forest by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Most of the land acquired for the forest was considered exhausted farmland and was replanted with pine trees to prevent erosion. Along with many hardwood trees already present in the region, the pine trees now make up the forest we know today.

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