The Blue Ridge Parkway makes one of its last appearances on a United States Mint collectible product with today’s release of the three-inch, five ounce silver coin that depicts the popular roadway in North Carolina.
This latest release marks the 28th overall in the series of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins, and the third of five designs for this year.
Blue Ridge Parkway Silver Coin Design
Designs on this coin match those found on the Blue Ridge Parkway quarter. It launched into circulation last month and large quantities of them are available in U.S. Mint-branded rolls and bags.
The reverse, or tails side design, was crafted by Frank Morris and sculpted by Joseph Menna. The image depicts a scenic view of the mountainous roadway as it gracefully curves into a tunnel. North Carolina’s state flower, the Cornus florida, is presented in the foreground as it might appear alongside the road. The heads side, like all other America the Beautiful Quarters and companion silver coins, offers John Flanagan’s famous effigy of George Washington.
Edges on America the Beautiful Quarters are different than edges seen on the three-inch silver coins. Quarters have common reeded edges while those on these silver coins are flat and carefully incused with ".999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE."
Pricing and Premium
Pricing for the uncirculated coin is $149.95. With its 99.9% pure silver composition and at Tuesday’s London silver price of $15.61 an ounce, each has a melt value of $71.90. That makes the U.S. Mint premium per ounce at $14.38.
That is actually low when compared to other U.S. Mint collector silver products. For example, current premiums for the Mint’s one-ounce proof and uncirculated American Silver Eagles are $33.34 and $24.34. It is toward the upper end compared to recent releases. Prior 2015-dated Kisatchie National Forest and Homestead National Monument coins launched at a per ounce premium of $13.67 and $13.80, respectively, while last year’s issues came in at $15.71; $12.35; $11.60; $11.33; and $11.18.
2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins are available from the U.S. Mint website by visiting its product page, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Its stated mintage limit is 30,000.
The U.S. Mint in Philadelphia also produces bullion five ounce silver coins intended for investors. Blue Ridge Parkway Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins debuted June 22. The Mint suspended sales on the same day after orders reached 35,000. More have been made, and they will go on sale next Monday, July 13.
Both the bullion and uncirculated coins share the same designs and have common specifications. In key differences, the bullion versions:
- have a brilliant instead of matte finish,
- lack the Philadelphia Mint’s "P" mint mark, and
- do not ship in special U.S. Mint packaging.
The U.S. Mint only sells the five ounce bullion coins to authorized distributors, who buy them in bulk at $9.75 per coin plus spot and resell them in smaller quantities to dealers or straight to the public. Bullion coins are normally available from precious metals and coin dealers for a few dollars per ounce over their melt value.