Today September 22, 2011 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2011-P Gettysburg National Military Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin. This will be the sixth numismatic release for the series. The previous five coins were released periodically over the course of the past five months.
The reverse design of the coin features the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument, located on the battle line of the Union Army at Cemetery Ridge. This was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The obverse of the coin features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan.
Each coin contains five troy ounces of .999 fine silver and has a curious legal tender face value of 25 cents. The coins have special finish created through a vapor blasting technique and carry the “P” mintmark.
For this release, the US Mint has set the maximum authorized mintage at 35,000 coins. This compares to a maximum mintage of 27,000 for each of the five 2010-dated coins. An ordering limit of five coins per household will be imposed for at least the first week of sales. The previous releases had an initial limit of one per household. This limit was eventually removed for the third, fourth, and fifth releases.
The Gettysburg National Military Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins are priced at $279.95 each. This is the same price used for the previous releases. The pricing notification for the product was published in the Federal Register and dated April 11, 2011. On that date, the market price of silver was $41.37.
Today’s release will likely be much different than the first numismatic release featuring Hot Springs National Park. An initial rush of orders took down the US Mint’s website for 45 minutes and by the end of the day, orders had been placed for more than 19,000 coins. Subsequent releases experienced slower sales, a trend which may be perpetuated by the higher maximum mintage for the current release and today’s drop in the market price of silver. Some collectors may also decide to drop out of the series at this point, after having purchased each design for the first year of release. Finally, the rapid fire release of so many issues has to be weighing on collectors.
A bullion version of the the Gettysburg Five Ounce Silver Coin was released earlier this year on April 25, 2011. The bullion versions of the coin carry a brilliant finish, which can sometimes be proof like, and are distributed through the US Mint’s authorized purchaser network.
The Gettysburg design managed to sell out at the authorized purchaser level with an initial mintage of 126,700 coins. Subsequent bullion releases have had considerably slower sales. By law, the US Mint can only sell the bullion versions of the coin during the year of release for the corresponding quarter dollar. This may set up for some lower mintage bullion versions.