The 2017 Frederick Douglass National Historic Site 5-ounce silver
bullion quarter dollar was offered for sale by the U.S. Mint to its authorized purchasers for the first time on
Initial orders were placed for 12,000 coins, for a total of 60,000
ounces of .999 fine silver.
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The authorized purchasers are from the same network of buyers
approved to purchase American Eagle and American Buffalo bullion coins.
Another botched release from the United States
Mint: Inside Coin World:
The release of the Congratulations set adds to the narrative that
the U.S. Mint needs to overhaul its approach to limited-edition releases.
The 5-ounce silver bullion quarter dollars are not sold directly to
the general public. Instead, they are sold through a network of
authorized purchasers who buy the coins from the U.S. Mint based on
the closing London PM spot price per troy ounce of silver on a given
day, plus a $9.75 per coin premium. The coins may then be sold at a
markup to collectors, investors, and other dealers.
For the 2017 Frederick Douglass National Historic Site 5-ounce
silver bullion quarter dollar, the issue has a maximum authorization
of 150,000 combined in bullion and Uncirculated versions. U.S. Mint
officials have not yet disclosed the split, but previous 5-ounce
silver bullion releases have had 120,000 coins reserved for the
bullion market, with the provision that should bullion coin demand
exceed 120,000 pieces, an additional amount could be reallocated to
bullion production from the Uncirculated coin allotment.
The bullion and Uncirculated versions are both struck on the same
dedicated press for producing the series at the Philadelphia Mint. The
Uncirculated version bears the facility's P Mint mark while the
bullion version does not. The Uncirculated version, which is sold to
the public as a numismatic product, receives a post-strike finish.
The coin's reverse was designed by Thomas Hipschen, an artist with the U.S. Mint's
Artistic Infusion Program, and a former engraver
for U.S. paper money with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The design was
sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
The reverse depicts Frederick Douglass seated at a writing desk with
his home in Washington, D.C., in the background.
The obverse bears then U.S. Mint Sculptor Engraver William Cousins’ rendering of George Washington,
first used for the State quarter dollar series of 1999 to 2008.
Cousin’s work is based on sculptor John Flanagan's original portrait of Washington
as executed for the Washington quarter dollar, introduced in 1932.
Flanagan’s portrait of Washington was based on a bust of the nation’s
first president by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.