US Coins

Uncirculated Shawnee National Forest 5-ounce coin

The Uncirculated 2016-P Shawnee National Forest 5-ounce silver quarter dollar went on sale from the U.S. Mint at noon Eastern Time Feb. 25.

The issue is limited to a maximum release of 30,000, each at $149.95. The price is subject to change based on fluctuations in the spot price of silver.

The current authorized mintage limit for both numismatic and bullion 2016 America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver quarter dollars for Shawnee National Forest in Illinois is 150,000 coins. A potential mintage of 30,000 coins has been announced for the Uncirculated numismatic version with P Mint mark.

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However, based on demand, the U.S. Mint may mint and issue more than 120,000 of the bullion versions. An increase in the bullion version's mintage would seem to require, to avoid exceeding the combined mintage limit of 150,000 coins, a decrease in the mintage limit for the Uncirculated version.

Both the Uncirculated and bullion versions of the 5-ounce silver coins are struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Only the Uncirculated version bears the Mint mark.

The Uncirculated version also receives a post-strike finish.

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The same ready-to-strike 5-ounce planchets received from supplier Sunshine Minting from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, are used for both versions. However, the numismatic coins undergo a “vapor blasting” technique after striking, resulting in a finish replicating that used on 3-inch bronze Mint medals, according to U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White.

“The machine uses a water vapor and ceramic media mix,” according to White. “It is similar to sand blasting, but instead of using dry compressed air [propelled at high speed], it uses a compressed wet vapor. The finish is applied to the coin after striking and not to the die. This will provide a consistent coin-to-coin finish.”

Before striking, the ready-to-strike planchets exhibit prooflike surfaces.

Only the Uncirculated version is offered directly to collectors. The bullion version is distributed through the Mint's network of authorized purchasers who offer a two-way market in the bullion coins.

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