Vicksburg coins to be available for public by end of August

Published 11:35 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Vicksburg National Military Park bullion quarter is available for dealers and will become available to the public on Aug. 29.

The U.S. Mint America’s public affairs office said Tuesday the coins were made available to the 12 U.S. Mint Authorized Purchasers, a network of distributors who buy in large quantities and resell to coin dealers and precious metal providers.

There are 10 authorized purchasers in the country, one in Europe and one in the Far East, the public affairs office said.

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A total of 126,700 Vicksburg coins were minted and will be divided equally among participating authorized purchasers, said the spokesman who declined to give her name.

The 5-ounce silver bullion coins depict an image of the USS Cairo on the Yazoo River during the Civil War on the reverse side, or tail side, with inscriptions of Vicksburg, Mississippi, 2011, and E Pluribus Unum.

A 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan is depicted on the head side.

The coin was designed by AIP Master Designer Thomas Cleveland and sculpted by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Joseph Menna.

The Vicksburg coin is the fourth of five to be released this year.

Commemorative quarters also are being released for Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Gettysburg National Military Park, Glacier National Park and Olympic National Park.

America The Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 directed the U.S. Mint to create and issue 56 circulating quarters with reverse designs of a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories, which are the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The VNMP is scheduled to host on Aug. 30 a launch celebration for the release of the coin, in which a coin exchange is being planned.

“If you bring in a $20 bill, you can exchange it for $20 worth of coins,” park Superintendent Mike Madell said.

Plans for the event have not been released.