June 30

America the Beautiful (ATB) Silver Coins


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The America the Beautiful Silver Coin Program is rooted in the earlier 50 State Quarters program, first authorized in 1997, which released a separate quarter-dollar coin for every state in the union beginning in 1999. These coins proved highly popular, and so Congress authorized additional quarter-dollar coins to represent five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

Recognizing the popularity of the 50 State Quarter series, Congress decided to expand the quarter dollar manufacturing program with a similar series of silver bullion coins. The term “bullion” refers to precious metal products manufactured primarily to provide investors with a consistent measure of precious metal, with appearance and value to collectors and investors a secondary consideration.

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America the Beautiful Silver Coins

The official authorization for the America The Beautiful (ATB) Silver Coin program came in 2008, with the passage of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act. Under the program, Congress authorized the Department of the Treasury and U.S. Mint to create and manufacture coins commemorating each of the 50 states, the five territories and the District of Columbia, striking five coins each year from 2010 through 2021. Congress also authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to extend the program as needed through 2033.

The combination of the high .999 purity level, U.S. Treasury guarantee, the collectors’ (numismatic) value, and the beauty of these coins’ design and manufacture, make America The Beautiful coins widely recognized by coin dealers and collectors worldwide. ATB silver coins are in demand among both collectors and investors.

ATB Coin Description, Engraving and Appearance

Each America The Beautiful silver coin bears the well-known portrait engraving of President George Washington, a smaller version of which is found on standard circulation quarters.

Related: Free Guide - Diversify and Protect Your 401(k) with Silver Bullion Coins

On the same side as the Washington engraving, each America The Beautiful coin has the motto “In God we trust” and “Liberty” engraved on the face, as well as the quarter dollar face value of the coin

The standard left-profile portrait image of President George Washington was created in 1932 by artist John Flanagan, but was based upon an original bust of President Washington created in 1786 by William Cousins. Standard phrases such as “United States of America” and “In God We Trust” are featured on this side, along with the face value of the coin.

However, each state and territory has a different design on the obverse side of the coin. Each design depicts a natural or historic monument or landmark, national park, or natural forest within its boundaries.

Metal Properties of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin

Each America The Beautiful silver bullion coin weighs 5.00 troy ounces, or 155.5 grams, and is minted with not less than 99.9% pure silver. They are 3 inches (76.2mm) in diameter, and have a thickness of 3.25mm.

As products of the U.S. Mint, the purity and weight of each America The Beautiful silver bullion coin is guaranteed by the U.S. Government. Purchases of new coins from an authorized U.S. mint distributor come with a certificate of authenticity from the mint. The coins are encased in a protective capsule to preserve them from scratching and wear and tear. They also come in a commemorative gift box.

Each coin is inscribed with the words “quarter dollar.” But this value is purely notional. These coins are much, much more valuable than their face value indicates. All these coins derive nearly all their value from the metal content of the coin itself. At press time in late June 2021, the current global spot price for silver is just below $26 per ounce.

Related: American Silver Eagle Coins - Ultimate Investor Guide 

Proof vs. Uncirculated America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins

The proof versions have a shinier, more reflective finish, and sell at a premium. The uncirculated versions of these coins undergo a vapor-blasting process after minting, giving them a more matte finish. 

The uncirculated coins all have a “P” mint mark, denoting manufacture at the U.S. Mint facility in Philadelphia. The proof versions of ATB silver bullion coins do not have a mint mark.

Also, the U.S. Mint ships the uncirculated versions of America The Beautiful silver coins in individual plastic capsules, encased in a commemorative gift box. The capsules help protect these coins against scratching and wear and tear.

For the straight bullion version of the coin, the Mint ships them in individual capsules, tubes of 10 capsules, and in “monster boxes” containing 100 capsules and coins.

Because the proof versions typically sell at a premium for collectors, they may not be suitable for investors whose primary intent is to own the metals for purely investment purposes. This is true for coins held in IRA accounts, as well, unless you or your IRA can buy the coins for less than the current market spot price of silver or the market price of similar coins with the equivalent metal content.

Related; Free Guide Reveals IRS "Loophole" to Buy Silver Coins (Tax Free)

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ATB Silver Coin Production History

  • In 2010, production of the America The Beautiful coin series commenced with the Arkansas, Wyoming, California, Arizona, and Oregon coins. 
  • In 2011, the Mint released the Pennsylvania, Montana, Washington, Mississippi.  and Oklahoma coins.
  • In 2012, the Mint rolled out America The Beautiful Coins commemorating Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.
  • In 2013, the Mint introduced commemorative silver coins for Nevada, Maryland, New Hampshire, Ohio, and South Dakota.
  • In 2014, the Mint struck coins for Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Colorado, and Florida.
  • In 2015, the U.S. Mint manufactured commemorative silver coins for Delaware, Nebraska, North Carolina, Louisiana, and New York.
  • In 2016, America the Beautiful silver coins were introduced for Illinois, Kentucky, North Dakota, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
  • In 2017, the Mint struck the Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. coins.
  • In 2018, The Mint manufactured America the Beautiful coins for Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, and Georgia.
  • In 2019, Massachusetts, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Idaho, and Texas received their commemorative ATB coins.
  • In 2020, the U.S. Mint created coins for Connecticut, Vermont, Kansas, the South Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
  • In 2021, the final year of the America The Beautiful series, the Mint released just a single coin design for Alabama.

America the Beautiful (ATB) silver bullion coins - what you need to know before investing

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Use in Retirement Accounts

Because the America The Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin has a high purity rating of 0.999, it is authorized for use in IRAs and other tax-advantaged retirement accounts in the United States. 0.999, or 99.9% purity, is the minimum acceptable standard of purity for silver bullion coins for IRAs, absent a statutory exception. However, Congress has made a statutory exception for American Eagle gold and silver coins. No statutory exemption is needed for ATB Silvers.

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How to Buy America the Beautiful Silver Coins

You can buy America the Beautiful Silver Coins through authorized U.S. Mint dealers across the country. Each coin bought new through these dealers will come with a certificate of authenticity and U.S. Treasury guarantee.

You can also purchase them for your own collection or for investment in your own personal name from any coin dealer or private seller. However, if you want to hold these coins in your IRA or other retirement account, you should not purchase them or take direct possession of them. Instead, IRA prohibited transaction rules require you to have your IRA custodian or third party administrator handle the purchase, storage and sale of them on your IRA’s behalf.

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About the author 

Ilir Salihi

Ilir Salihi is the founder and senior editor at GoldIRASecrets.com. He oversees all content for GoldIRASecrets and its partner sites. His articles and insights have been featured on Barchart, Benzinga, and Investing.com, among other prominent media channels.

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