Fans of very large coins received another opportunity to add to their collections. The 2011-P Olympic National Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin launched at noon Eastern Time, Tuesday, November 29, 2011, from the United States Mint.
With a price of $229.95, the three-inch diameter Olympic silver coin is estimated to rack up approximately over $2 million in sales during its first few days of availability. It is the third 2011-dated five ounce collector strike and the eighth overall in the super-sized America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series that honors fifty-six national sites throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.
The latest release celebrates Olympic National Park located in the state of Washington. The national park, which is designated as 95% wilderness, was chosen for the America the Beautiful coin series after consultation between the Department of the Treasury, the Governor of Washington, and the Secretary of the Interior.
Interested collectors and park enthusiasts may place an order of up to five coins per household by contacting the United States Mint either via the bureau’s website at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog or by calling directly at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). A standard shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to each order.
Buyers expecting any in-stock United States Mint product to be delivered before December 25 should order before December 5 if relying on standard delivery. Expedited delivery has an additional cost and can be utilized through December 12 for a holiday arrival.
The ordering limit of five coins will last at least one week, according to the Mint, but it could remain in effect for much longer. The previous Glacier coin, launched in October, still has the five coin limit, although the Gettysburg and Mount Hood coins that have been on the market longer do not have such limits.
Uncirculated Coin Specifications and Designs
As mentioned earlier, the Olympic National Park uncirculated coin sports a 3.0 inch diameter and weighs five ounces. It is composed of .999 fine silver and was treated to the Mint’s uncirculated finish. With a thickness of only 0.16 inches, the edge still includes the inscription, ".999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE."
The obverse and reverse designs mimic the circulating Olympic National Park quarter, including the obverse’s inscription, "QUARTER DOLLAR." The quarters were released in June and have reeded edges.
On the reverse, a Roosevelt elk is featured on the bar of the Hoh River with a classic view of Mount Olympus in the background. It was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. The obverse design bears John Flanagan’s 1932 portrait of President George Washington.
Each uncirculated coin in the series was produced at the United States Mint in Philadelphia, and the collectible uncirculated strikes were given a special matte finish and the ‘P’ mint mark. Untied Sttes Mint special packaging includes the coin’s encapsulation within a clear protective holder, a black box with the Mint’s logo and inner black felt lining, accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Mintage and Sales Expectations
Like the other 2011 strikes, the Olympic uncirculated coin will have a maximum mintage of 35,000. To date, sales of the previous two issues released earlier this fall have been waning after reaching the 12,000 marker.
Sales of the first four issues were strong and sold out with a mintage that was slightly smaller at 27,000. The fifth coin is close to a sellout. A listing of the previous releases is below with their latest United States Mint sales figures as of November 21.
2010 and 2011 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin Issues
The first five uncirculated coins, dated 2010, honored:
- Hot Springs National Park, AR (Sold Out – 27,000)
- Yellowstone National Park, WY (Sold Out – 27,000)
- Yosemite National Park, CA (Sold Out – 27,000)
- Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (Sold Out – 26,019)
- Mount Hood National Forest (25,471 of 27,000)
The first two 2011-dated five ounce uncirculated coin issues launched on September 22 and October 25. At the time of this writing, the last two launch dates of the year have yet to be announced. The 2011-dated coins honor:
- Gettysburg National Military Park, PA (15,463 of 35,000)
- Glacier National Park, MT (12,574 of 35,000)
- Olympic National Park, WA (launches today)
- Vicksburg National Military Park, MS (coming soon)
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area, OK (coming soon)
The United States Mint has already released five ounce bullion versions of each of the sites listed above, including Olympic’s that kicked off in May. The bullion coins do not have a special finish like the uncirculated coin and lack the ‘P’ mintmark, as they are intended for investors.
Olympic National Park Background
Following Washington’s statehood in 1889, explorers of the Olympic peninsula sought to preserve the beautiful and resource-rich lands from an influx of settlers and over-harvesting of the forest for the logging industry.
Protection came when President Grover Cleveland designated most of the peninsula’s wooded area as Olympic Forest Reserve in 1897. Later, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the region Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909 in an effort to protect the elk herds and their breeding grounds. Finally, in 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt established Olympic National Park and also extended its protective borders. Presently, the park covers just less than one million acres.
As modes of transportation improved, more and more people visited the park to enjoy its wilderness, coastline, and glacier-capped mountain range. Popular activities include hiking, camping, and fishing. In 2010, the park received over 2.8 million visitors.
Visit http://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm for more information on the park.