The US Mint announced that collectors may begin ordering the 2011 United States Mint Silver Proof Set at noon Eastern Time (ET) on January 25. The dime, half-dollar and quarter-dollar coins in the set are all struck in lustrous 90 percent silver, commonly referred to as "coin silver."
This year's set includes the second group of commemorative quarter-dollars in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program honoring Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania; Glacier National Park in Montana; Olympic National Park in Washington; Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi; and Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma. The set also includes the fifth set of coins in the Presidential $1 Coin Program honoring Presidents Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes and James Garfield; one Native American $1 Coin; one Kennedy half-dollar; one Jefferson five-cent coin; one Roosevelt dime; and one Lincoln cent.
All coins bear the "S" mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco. A Certificate of Authenticity signed by the Director of the United States Mint is included with each set.
The 2011 United States Mint Silver Proof Set is priced at $67.95.
In addition the Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter Products will be Available January 27. The Mint will begin accepting orders for bags and two-roll sets containing the new Gettysburg National Military Park quarter at noon Eastern Time (ET) on January 27. The two-roll sets are priced at $39.95 each and the bags at $49.95 each.
The coins in the bags and rolls were minted on the main production floors of the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia for use in general circulation. The two-roll sets (40 coins per roll) include one roll each of coins bearing the "P" and "D" mint marks. The coins are wrapped in distinctive packaging displaying the name "Gettysburg National Military Park," abbreviation "PA" for Pennsylvania, mint of origin, and "$10," the face value of its contents. Each canvas bag has a tag with "Gettysburg National Military Park," "PA," mint of origin, and "$25," the face value of its contents.
The Gettysburg National Military Park quarter is the sixth coin in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, a multi-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites in each state, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. The coin's reverse design depicts the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument, located on the battle line of the Union Army at Cemetery Ridge. Inscriptions are GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, 2011 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The coin's reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
Finally the Mint announced that three new artists have been selected to participate in the Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) as associate designers. They are William C. Burgard of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Bill Gibbons of Bronx, N.Y.; and Ron Sanders of North Port, Fla.
The United States Mint issued a call for artists in August 2009, seeking up to ten associate designers to supplement the current pool of artists under contract in the AIP. The bureau accepted applications on a rolling basis with three deadlines. Nearly 250 professional visual artists nationwide submitted applications. Four new AIP artists were selected after the November 2009 deadline and three after the March 2010 deadline. Burgard, Gibbons and Sanders were selected after the July 2010 deadline.
After all three application deadlines, official panels were convened at United States Mint Headquarters to review the qualifying applications. The panels were composed of representatives from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian and National Gallery of Art, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
The Artistic Infusion Program, established in 2003, is specifically designed to develop and train a pool of talented external artists ready to work with the United States Mint's in-house staff of sculptor-engravers to create new coin and medal designs. United States Mint Sculptor-Engravers model the designs submitted by the AIP artists.
There are two levels of artists who may participate in the AIP—master designers and associate designers. Associate designers are eligible for direct promotion to the master designer level after two years in the program. Under AIP provisions, master designers receive $2,500 for each design submitted for consideration and associate designers $2,000. Each artist receives an additional $5,000 per design if that design is selected for a coin or medal. All AIP artists are invited to create and submit at least one candidate design annually for a coin or medal program.
In the past, AIP artists have submitted successful designs for several United States Mint programs, including the 50 State Quarters® Program, American Eagle Platinum Coin Program, Presidential $1 Coin Program, First Spouse Gold Coin and Medal Program, and America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
Additional information about the United States Mint and the ew coin releases is available at http://www.usmint.gov.