On May 16, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales for the 2013-P White Mountain National Forest Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin. Significantly reduced pricing may serve to drive some renewed interest to the numismatic series, now in its sixteenth overall release.
The reverse design by Phebe Hemphill features a view of Mt. Chocorua, the easternmost peak of the Sandwich Ridge, framed by birch trees. This was design was selected as an iconic view of the lands of the White Mountain National Forest. On the obverse is the 1932 portrait of George Washington designed by John Flanagan.
Each coin is struck in 5 troy ounces of 99.9% fine silver with a diameter of 3 inches. The United States Mint indicates that the coins carry an uncirculated finish. Previous issues of the numismatic series have featured a finish created through a vapor blasting technique applied after striking. The product images suggest this release will carry a similar finish. The coin carries the “P” mint mark for Philadelphia.
A maximum mintage of 25,000 pieces has been indicated. This is the same level that was established for the 2012-dated releases of the series, although all issues sold out with final sales at levels ranging from approximately 15,000 to 17,500. Although the US Mint specifies a maximum mintage, ultimately decisions for actual production are made based on ordering trends and estimates for demand over the product availability period.
The 2013-P White Mountain Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins are priced at $179.95 each. This will represent the lowest price charged for any new release of this product type. In December, pricing for the 2013-dated releases had actually been published at $244.95, but new lower pricing was published earlier this month.
Over the period of availability for the first fifteen releases of the series, prices have been $279.95, $229.95, and $204.95. The Chaco Culture design was briefly available for $179.95 after a price reduction. This lower price seemed to spur a burst of demand resulting in a quick sell out of the final remaining inventory.
On May 13, 2013, the United States Mint began sales of the bullion version of the 2013 White Mountain Five Ounce Silver Coin. This version does not carry a mint mark and features a brilliant finish, often appearing as proof like. The bullion coins are distributed through a network of authorized purchasers based on the market price of silver plus a fixed mark up of $9.75 per coin.
Prior to the release, the US Mint announced that the available supply would be rationed amongst the authorized purchasers, as it was presumably anticipated that demand would exceed the available supply.
Total sales for the bullion version have reached 8,900 coins as of May 14, 2013. The US Mint has not indicated the initial or anticipated production level for this year’s bullion releases. The 2012-dated releases had production ranging from 20,000 to 25,400.