This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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The U.S. Mint has begun producing 2011 5-ounce silver America the Beautiful coins, but it still hasn’t decided when to release the 2010 numismatic versions of the coins.
But be assured, both coins will be 3 inches in diameter.
The Mint was given legislative leeway to alter the size of the coins, but that won’t happen, said Tom Jurkowsky, Mint director of public information.
“We, as well as our suppliers, have invested money in the tooling based on the 3-inch size,” Jurkowsky said. “To change that at this point would quite honestly only cause additional delays and require us to spend additional funds that would have to be recovered.
“For these reasons, and to ensure consistency, the current plans are to maintain the size of the coins that were struck for 2010 throughout the life of the program.”
No decision has been made on the sale or fulfillment dates of the 2010 numismatics coins, he said, nor how they will be sold or distributed.
“We’re exploring options,” he said. “Our goal is to ensure the widest and fairest distribution of those coins as possible.”
Meanwhile, none of the nine Authorized Purchasers that received 2010 5-ounce coins are actively selling the coins on their websites. Some don’t even list the coins, while others ask potential customers to sign up for a waiting list.
Although the Mint had originally planned a mintage of 100,000 of the coins, only 33,000 were minted. Another 27,000 were produced and retained by the Mint, which will alter their surface to create the numismatic version.