The first 5-ounce coin to be released by the United States Mint in 2012 is the 2011-P Vicksburg National Military Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin. It went on sale Thursday, January 12, 2012, at noon Eastern Time for $204.95.
As the fourth 2011-dated uncirculated coin and the ninth overall in the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series, the Vicksburg coin was delayed as the Mint only started releasing the 2010 and 2011-dated collector coins last year as production hurdles had to be overcome in producing the massive five ounce, 3.0 diameter pieces.
The Vicksburg silver uncirculated coin commemorates the national military park located in the state of Mississippi, which is just one of the fifty-six national sites honored in the America the Beautiful coin series between 2010 and 2021.
The 2011-P Vicksburg National Military Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin may be ordered directly from the United States Mint website at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog or by calling the bureau directly at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
Similar to the previous strikes, there is an initial limit of five coins per household, until the United States Mint re-evaluates the limit. As with all domestic orders, a shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be charged.
Uncirculated Coin Specifications and Designs
The 3.0 inch diameter and five ounce weight of these .999 fine silver coins command attention, and their 0.16 inch thickness with edge letterings that includes .999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE are a numismatic feat that required special machinery. The designs on the obverse and reverse are the same as the circulating Vicksburg National Military Park Quarter, including the QUARTER DOLLAR inscription, but the quarters that were released in August have reeded edges.
Designed by the United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Thomas Cleveland and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna, the uncirculated coin has a reverse or tails side featuring the U.S.S. Cairo warship on the Yazoo River as it would have appeared during the Civil War. The obverse design bears John Flanagan’s 1932 portrait of George Washington.
Special touches make this numismatic piece a collectible. Each coin in the series is given an uncirculated finish and a ‘P’ mint mark of the United States Mint facility in Philadelphia. The black outer packaging holds the encapsulated coin within and an accompanied Certificate of Authenticity.
Mintage and Sales Expectations
The maximum mintage of the Vicksburg uncirculated coin is 35,000. It is the same for other 2011-P five ounce pieces. The 2010-dated issues were each limited to 27,000.
Sales are predicted to start quickly and than taper off significantly, based on trends of previous releases. The first week of sales will likely reach around 12,000, give or take a few thousand, and then orders will gradually slow to a few hundred a week.
To date, the first five of the eight released by the United States Mint have sold out. One thing that may add potential numismatic value to the Vicksburg coin, however, is the upcoming 150th anniversary next year of the Civil War battle in Vicksburg.
2010 and 2011 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin Issues
The first five uncirculated coins honored:
- Hot Springs National Park, AR (Sold Out)
- Yellowstone National Park, WY (Sold Out)
- Yosemite National Park, CA (Sold Out)
- Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (Sold Out)
- Mount Hood National Forest (sold out on January 11, 2012)
Three of five 2011-dated uncirculated coins has already launched, and the Chickasaw five ounce uncirculated coin will follow the Vicksburg release on February 9, 2012. The 2011 uncirculated coins honor:
- Gettysburg National Military Park, PA (17,145 of 35,000*)
- Glacier National Park, MT (14,407 of 35,000*)
- Olympic National Park, WA (11,260 of 35,000*)
- Vicksburg National Military Park, MS (newest release)
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area, OK (coming in February)
*The sales figures listed above are current as of Monday, January 9.
A five ounce bullion version of each of the sites listed above have already been released by the United States Mint, including Vicksburg’s bullion coin. The Olympic, Vicksburg, and Chickasaw coins are still being offered to the U.S. Mint’s Authorized Purchasers.
Those bullion coins are intended for investors and differ from the collector strike launched today. The bullion issues do not have the special finish of the uncirculated coin and are mint mark-free.
Vicksburg National Military Park Background
During the time of the Civil War, the Mississippi River was the most important economic artery in America. When the southern states withdrew from the Union, Confederate forces took control of the lower Mississippi River. President Lincoln ordered the Union Army to regain control at Vicksburg. The campaign to Vicksburg began in March 1863 and the siege of the city started in May. It lasted 47 days, officially ending on July 4, 1863 when the Confederate forces surrendered. The battle was a pivotal point in the war.
The preservation of the battlefield includes over 1,370 monuments, a cemetery covering more than 100 acres, and the U.S.S. Cairo – a restored Union ironclad gunboat. Vicksburg was first established as a national site on February 21, 1899, set aside to preserve and interpret the significance of the siege and defense lines.
Visit http://www.nps.gov/vick/ for more information on the military park.
Does anyone know if the entire authorization of 35,000 coins for Vicksburg and/or Chickasaw have been minted yet? If not, is there a possibility, even remote, that the balance not yet minted may be canceled due to delays in starting this series, slow sales, so many of these coins hitting the market in 2011? There has been so much confusion surrounding collector edition and silver bullion. A shorter than expected mintage would certainly stimulate interest in this series and bring attention in short order.