A few news items are worth talking about for coins honoring Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, the first of the 2014 America the Beautiful Quarters and 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins.
First, United States Mint mintages for the Great Smoky Mountains Quarter have been published. Second, the U.S. Mint has announced release dates for the bullion and collector Great Smoky Mountains silver coins.
Circulation mintages for the quarter total 172.6 million, placing it as the 15th highest of the 21 America the Beautiful Quarters released so far. (See all quarter mintages.) United States Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia are tasked with striking U.S. coins for circulation. Of the 172.6 million total, 99.4 million are from Denver and 73.2 million are from Philadelphia. Quarters depicting Great Smoky Mountains National Park were released into circulation on January 29.
For the first available 2014 five-ounce, 99.9% pure silver coin, the U.S. Mint will offer its distributors the Great Smoky Mountains America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin on Monday, March 14. Some coin dealers and precious metals dealers are advertising prices in the $130 area. Its price will move with silver prices.
The collector version, the Great Smoky Mountains America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin, is scheduled for release on April 7. The U.S. Mint will sell it directly from www.usmint.gov for a price of $154.95. That price will not change unless silver prices fall or climb significantly.
Both silver coins and quarter share exactly the same designs and inscriptions on both sides. The silver coins, obviously larger in size and made in silver, have a flat edge compared to the reeded edge of quarters which have a composition 8.33% nickel with the remaining balance copper. The silver coins do have letters stamped into their edge saying, ".999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE." The difference between the two silver coins is their finish — brilliant for the bullion coin and satin for the uncirculated coin, and a mint mark — the bullion coin does not have one while the uncirculated coin has a "P" mint mark.
Found of the coins’ reverses is a design of a historic log cabin in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Obverses bear the portrait of George Washington.