The .999 fine silver five ounce America the Beautiful coins were one of the most hotly anticipated numismatic issues when they were first released in December 2010. The Mint issues five each of the bullion and collector (Specimen) versions every year as part of the America the Beautiful quarter series. The five ounce silver coins feature the same design as the quarters. 56 different designs will be released from 2010 to 2021. The America’s Beautiful National Parks Act of 2008 not only authorized the Mint to produce 56 different quarter designs representing one National Park or National Site in each state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territory, but also to strike .999 fine silver bullion coins with the same designs. The coins’ designs are virtually identical to those of the circulating quarters except that the diameter is three inches and the edge is marked .999 FINE SILVER 5.0 OUNCE instead of the usual reeding. The series will run from 2010 to 2021. Both bullion and numismatic versions of the five ounce silver America the Beautiful are issued by the Mint. The numismatic (or “collector”) versions feature a “P” mintmark and are vapor blasted to give a matte finish. NGC designates these coins Specimens. The first bullion issues were released in December 2010 and were highly anticipated by the numismatic community. The five 2010 bullion issues had mintages of 33,000 coins each, but the mintage was increased dramatically in 2011 to meet demand. Each 2010 numismatic edition has had a mintage of 27,000 coins.