The United States Mint this week told its bullion product buyers that it will begin accepting orders for the Olympic National Park 5-Ounce Silver Bullion Coin on Monday, May 23.
The Olympic coin is the third 2011-dated America the Beautiful 5-Ounce Silver Bullion Coin and the eighth since the series kicked-off in December 2010.
The United States Mint also indicated that its first two 5-ounce bullion issues for this year, the Gettysburg silver coin and Glacier silver coin, sold out on Monday, May 16. Both went on sale April 25 with an allotted per coin mintage of 126,700.
The Olympic National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coin has the same 126,700 mintage, although the Mint again stated that it may "increase the mintage limit beyond the initial release quantities based on market demand and blank availability." Blanks are the silver discs used when producing the coins.
The 5-ounce Olympic coin shares the designs of the yet to be released Olympic National Park Quarter from the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. The quarter is set to enter circulation beginning on June 13, 2011. The reverse of the coins, designed by Susan Gamble, showcase a Roosevelt elk on a gravel river bar of the Hoh River. A view of Washington’s Mount Olympus is seen in the background. It is the most prominent feature in the Olympic Mountains of the park. The obverse designs depict the familiar portrait of George Washington.
The United States Mint will also issue a collector 5-ounce uncirculated version of the coin later this year. A specific release date is yet to be announced. The Gettysburg and Glacier uncirculated issues have also not been released yet.
In addition to their .999 fine silver compositions, weight and 3-inch diameters, the 5-ounce coins are also different than any quarter in that they have edge letters of .999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE. Quarters have a reeded edge.
Other silver bullion coins up for release this year include the 2011 Vicksburg National Military Park Silver Bullion Coin and the 2011 Chickasaw National Recreational Area Silver Bullion coin. These honor the respective sites located within the states of Mississippi and Oklahoma. The sold out Gettysburg and Glacier coins honored sites located in Pennsylvania and Montana, respectively.
The America the Beautiful coin programs are scheduled to last from 2010 to at least 2021, when the last of the 56 American national parks or national sites is honored.
Bullion Coin Distribution
Authorized Purchasers (AP’s) are the only entities that may buy the investment-grade bullion coin from the United States Mint. The AP’s pay a premium of $9.75 per coin over the cost of silver it contains. They must order a minimum of 10,000 ounces or 2,000 coins, in 500 oz. or 100 coin increments. The AP’s then resell their inventory to other precious metals providers, coin dealers, or directly to the public after adding in their own small premium. This is the same method practiced by the Mint with its other bullion products, like the popular American Silver Eagles.
Coins that are intended for collectors, such as those described as "uncirculated" or "proof," feature a unique finish, bear a mint mark, and are sold directly from the Mint to the public at higher premiums.