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2016 Silver 5oz. Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) America The Beautiful Series

December 8, 2016 0 Comments

As number thirty-five in the America the Beautiful series of silver bullion quarter dollars, the Silver 5oz. Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) mint coin is the latest addition to the series. It was released at noon on December 8, 2016, and it is the last coin of the series to be released in 2016. It is limited to an initial release of just 30,000, and this initial bullion release is marked with the letter ‘P’, indicating that it was produced at the United States Mint in Philadelphia. If additional uncirculated or bullion coins are later produced, total production cannot exceed 150,000.

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This coin contains 5 oz. of 99.9% pure silver, and although denominated as a quarter dollar, it is a large coin, 3 inches across and 0.165 of an inch thick. This is three times the diameter of a regular quarter, and the same size of a hockey puck, but much thinner. It comes in a plastic flip case to protect its mint condition.

The ‘head’ side is the same as a standard circulating quarter, showing the profile head of George Washington and the words ‘Liberty’ and ‘In God we trust’. The image of Washington is a restored version of John Flanagan’s original engraving used on the original 1932 Washington Quarters.

The ‘tail’ side shows a striking image of Sergeant William Jasper carrying the flag of his regiment to the ramparts of Fort Moultrie, while under attack from British ships. Around the edge of the engraving are the inscriptions ‘Fort Moultrie’, ‘South Carolina’, ‘2016’, and ‘E Pluribus Unum’. The design is by Richard Scott and sculpted by Joseph Menna.

On June 28, 1776, a fleet of British warships under the command of Commodore Sir Peter Parker attacked Sullivan’s Island, at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The goal was to capture Charleston, a key battle in the American War of Independence. The American forces under Colonel William Moultrie resisted the attack, and the fort, which was not yet completed, resisted the cannon balls of the warships. The victory of the American forces protected Charleston from British occupation until 1780, when it was captured by the British and held until the end of the war.

During the battle, a flag designed by Colonel Moultrie flew above the fort. It was a dark blue ground with a crescent moon on it, and the word ‘liberty’. A British cannon-ball brought down the flag, and Sergeant Jasper picked it up and held it high to rally the troops, until another support was prepared for it.

This decisive battle is still commemorated every June 28, as Carolina Day. Such a decisive and important battle is certainly an appropriate subject for a coin in the America The Beautiful series, since Liberty and Freedom do indeed make America beautiful.

The Fort Moultrie of the battle was neglected and rebuilt three times, until the construction of the present fort in 1948. With changes in warfare, the Department of Defense decided in 1960 that Fort Moultrie was no longer needed for defense and it was transferred to National Park Services. Today it is part of the Fort Sumter National Monument.

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