At noon Eastern Time today, May 29, the United States Mint began offering the 2012-P El Yunque National Forest Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin for $204.95, the same price as the 2011-dated issues that are still available. This latest collector piece honors the national forest located in Puerto Rico.
The new strike marks the eleventh in the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin series and the first 2012-dated one this year. It was preceded by the 2011-P Chickasaw coin in February and will be followed by the Chaco Culture National Historical Park coin scheduled for July. In all, there will be up to fifty-six specially designed numismatic offerings between 2010 and 2021.
El Yunque Coin Order Details – Mintage Limits
Buyers may place an order for the uncirculated coin directly from the United States Mint via the series online ordering page or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders.
A new mintage limit of 25,000 will be enforced for the 2012-P issues during this third year of the series, but there are no household ordering limits. Previous mintages were limited to 27,000 for the first five in the program, and then it was raised to 35,000 for the sixth through the tenth issues.
Uncirculated Coin Specifications and Designs
The designs are the same as those portrayed on the corresponding America the Beautiful Quarter, released into circulation on January 23. The reverse features two iconic species of the Puerto Rican rainforest, a Coqui tree frog and a Puerto Rican parrot. The design also includes native plants and tropical flora. Gary Whitley was the designer and Michael Gaudioso the engraver.
On their obverse is John Flanagan’s 1932 portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States, along with the "P" mint mark indicating its production in Philadelphia.
The new collector El Yunque silver uncirculated coin is massive compared to the circulating quarters. A three inch diameter with a thickness of 0.16 inches dwarfs the 0.955 inch diameter and 0.0689 inch thickness of the regular coin.
The collectibles are also composed of five ounces of .999 fine silver and are marked on their edges with their fineness and weight. Circulating quarters have reeded edges.
Demand has eased over the course of the program, although several thousand are expected to sell in the first week. The first few to launch sold out within a couple of months, but the trend did not last. The latest five released are still available.
Competing with the collectibles are the investor-version five ounce coins. It was reported that the United States Mint began taking orders for the National Forest Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin to its network of Authorized Purchasers last week. The bullion versions lack the uncirculated finish and Philadelphia Mint "P" mint mark. They also do not come with the United States Mint packaging and Certificate of Authenticity.
Previous 5 Oz Silver Uncirculated Coin Issues
While the first five of the uncirculated coins are no longer available, the five that were produced in 2011 are still for sale. They showcase:
- Gettysburg National Military Park, PA
- Glacier National Park, MT
- Olympic National Park, WA
- Vicksburg National Military Park, MS
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area, OK
The other coins dated 2012 will feature:
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park, NM
- Acadia National Park, ME
- Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, HI
- Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
El Yunque National Forest Background
El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Forest System. It entered the nation’s protection on January 17, 1903, although it had been under protection of Spain since 1876.
The 28,000 acre park receives more than one million visitors annually. They come to explore the forest via its scenic roadways and numerous nature trails and to marvel at its tropical vegetation and inhabitants. Many come to learn about the importance of rain forests and how they can help protect them.
Visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/elyunque/ for more information about the forest.