ATB – America the Beautiful 5 oz. Silver Coins
Ian Russell on Sat, Jun 18, 2011 10:41:30 PM
In late 2010, the U.S. Mint announced the release of a 5 oz. version of the America the Beautiful series, which were “bullion” issues to be sold through their network of Authorized Purchasers. The mintage was to be 33,000 per coin.
Since most of the nine Authorized Purchases are wholesale bullion dealers and rarely (if ever!) sell to the public, it turns into chaos with some of the companies requesting customers not to even call them about the ATB coins.
There were tight restrictions on the sale of the coins, including that only one set can be sold per address in the United States (although customers were able to try and order from each of the Authorized Purchasers – in practice this was almost impossible, since they were sold over different time periods, and usually without warning).
Since they are bullion coins, and also quite large, the coins range in grade from MS-60 through MS-69. Additionally, PL and DPL designations are noted by PCGS and NGC and the coins are graded in oversized holders. The highest grades are currently MS-69 DPL, and matching sets are desirable, including those that are designated First Strike or Early Releases.
After the confusion over the “bullion” ATB 5 oz. coins, the U.S. Mint decided to issue a version for collectors, with an added Philadelphia mint mark. These were sold one per household, and also one coin issue at a time (as we write this the U.S. Mint has just sold coin #3). The condition of these P-mint 5 oz. coins is generally much nicer and SP-70 grades exist from by PCGS and NGC.
It is interesting to note that the U.S. Mint is selling these 5 oz. P-mint ATB coins many months into 2011, even though they are dated 2010.