The final coin honouring the Effigy Mounds National Site, in the America the Beautiful coin series, has now been released by the US Mint. The coin in question is naturally the Effigy Mounds National Monument 2017 Uncirculated Five Ounce Silver Coin.
In terms of design the coin is virtually identical to the regular quarter dollar coin, only significantly larger and struck from 5oz of pure silver. Featuring a section of the Marching Bears group of effigy mounds from Iowa's Effigy Mounds National Monument on the reverse of the collectors coin. The words “EFFIGY MOUNDS”, “IOWA”, “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and “2017” are found inscribed around the rim to complete the reverse design.
Effigy Mounds National Monument was first established as a national site in 1949. The park protects one of the largest remaining concentrations of ancient American Indian earthworks in the United States. It is considered a sacred landscape by members of many modern–day tribes whose ancestors once lived here.
The majority of the mounds were constructed between one thousand and two thousand years ago — often to inter the dead, but sometimes for ceremonial purposes, or to tell important stories.
The park is home to more than 200 mounds in a wide variety of forms, including more than 30 animal or bird–shaped “effigy” mounds for which the park is named. Often more than 100 feet long individually, many of these animal and bird shaped mounds are perched high atop rugged bluffs overlooking the adjacent Mississippi River. Aside from preserving these tangible links to an ancient and highly creative people, the park features outstanding views of the Mississippi River Valley, and hosts many of the native plant and animal communities that sustained people in this area for millennia.
The obverse of the coin depicts the 1932 effigy of George Washington as designed by John Flanagan, having featured on quarter dollar coins ever since. The “P” mintmark appears here to indicate the coin's origin from the Philadelphia mint.
The coin is struck from 5 ounces(155.5 gram) of pure .999 Fineness silver and measures no less than 76.2mm(3 inches) in diameter. Currently the maximum mintage limit for the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Effigy Mounds National Monument Coin is set at 25 000 coins. However the mint reserve the right to produce more than that, up to an absolute maximum of 150 000 coins, based off of market demand. The chances of that happening though are slim at best as the mintage figures for similar coins from 2015 and 2016 barely exceeded 20 000 coins per issue.
Apart from the metal purity and size of the coin, it also posesses edge lettering that sets it apart from the other Effigy Mounds coins available. The edge lettering reads : “.999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE”.
Each coin is shipped encapsulated and housed in a black standard US Mint presentation case. No order limit has been imposed and the coins can be ordered directly from the US Mint website for $149.95 each. However, it should be noted that as with all products sold by the United States Mint containing precious metals, this price is subject to change.
In terms of pure looks, this is the best version of the Effigy Mounds Quarter design. The pure size of the coin helps to show off the details so much better, where they tend to get lost a bit on the regular sized coins. With mintage figures for these coins dropping almost consistently since 2014, as a result of low demand, it would be interesting to keep an eye on the final numbers to see if this trend persists.
Either way that is is for the Effigy Mounds coins, next up will be the 37th coin in the America the Beautiful series honouring the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the District of Columbia.