The America the Beautiful collection from the United States Mint is one of the most popular collectible American coin series. Introduced in 2010, the ATB Coins are based upon the circulation State Quarters program launched by the US Mint in the 1990s. There are a total of 56 designs planned for the ATB Series, which is slated to run through at least 2021 when the final design is released. The ATB Coins are available in two different versions. The bullion option is well known among investors and boasts high mintage figures with bulk purchase options available. Collectors who want something a little different than the silver bullion issue have a unique choice. The Burnished ATB Coins are available from JM Bullion and offer a distinctly different option.
There is no difference in the primary design elements of the bullion and Burnished ATB Coins from the United States Mint. The representative national park, lakeshore, historic monument, or other featured design on the reverse of the ATB Coins is the same for both the bullion and burnished coins in the series. The obverse portrait of President George Washington in left-profile relief is the same as well. The only difference you’ll notice in the design elements is the presence of a “P” mint mark on the obverse side near the national motto “In God We Trust.” All Burnished ATB Coins are produced by the Philadelphia Mint.
The bullion and Burnished ATB Coins have a very similar appearance. Burnished coins at the United States Mint are typically treated to a polishing process before the blanks are even struck with a design. Blanks are placed in spinning drums that contains a polishing media. Historically, wet sand would be used as the polishing media to burnish the blanks. Today though, the US Mint will typically use 6mm balls to create friction and give the blanks a smooth, matte-like surface.
From the drum, blanks are removed by gloved hands and individually loaded into the coining presses for striking. Once the blanks are struck with the design and engravings, gloved hands again remove the coins from the press and place them directly inside of protective packaging. To complete the Burnished ATB Coins, the US Mint vapor blasts the finished coins. Visually speaking, Burnished ATB Coins have a frosted, matte-like appearance compared to the shinier finish of the bullion version of the coins.
Another major difference between the bullion and Burnished ATB Coins is the packaging. You can buy the bullion version of the coin in a variety of options. Bullion ATB Coins are available for individual purchase inside plastic packaging, in mint tubes of 10 coins, Monster Boxes of 250 coins (25 tubes of 10 coins), and even in 100-coin bags. The Burnished ATB Coins are individually encapsulated and housed within blue US Mint commemorative boxes for display. Additionally, the Burnished ATB Coins come with a Certificate of Authenticity.
The United States Mint strikes both the bullion and burnished versions of the America the Beautiful coins to meet demand. However, the Burnished ATB Coins have a much lower mintage figure on average compared to the bullion coins. For example, during the 2011 release demand for bullion silver coins remained high and those options in 2011 started with an average around 120,000 per design through the first three releases and dropped to 58,000 and 48,000 for the final two, respectively. Throughout 2011 though, the Burnished ATB Coins had an average mintage around 19,860 coins.
If you have any questions about buying silver in the Burnished ATB options, don’t hesitate to contact JM Bullion. Our customer service team is available to assist you at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address.