The 2016-P Shawnee National Forest coin was the first “specimen finish” release of 2016 in the U.S. Mint’s 5 ounce silver America the Beautiful series, and boasts a very limited mintage of only 18,781 pieces, 5 ounces of .999 fine silver and a wide and enthusiastic collector base. All coins from this wildly popular America the Beautiful 5 ounce silver series are avidly sought by both collectors and investors alike. The “specimen finish” coins feature a “P” mint mark, and are vapor blasted after minting, giving them a distinctive matte finish. These “specimen finish” coins are packaged individually by the US Mint, whereas the bullion version of these coins are shipped by the Mint in 10-coin tubes.
Consisting of about 280,000 acres of federally managed lands, the Shawnee National Forest is a United States National Forest located in the Ozark and Shawnee Hills of Southern Illinois, and is administered by the U.S.D.A Forest Service. It is also the largest publicly owned body of land in the state of Illinois.
During the Illinoian stage (between 352,000 and 132,000 years ago), the Laurentide ice sheet — a massive sheet of ice that covered millions of square miles, including most of Canada as well as a large portion of the northern United States — covered about 85% of what is today the state of Illinois. The southern margin of this massive ice sheet was located in what is now the area of the Shawnee National Forest. There are numerous points of interest marking the southern edge of the glacier, some of which are located within the Forest boundary, while others are on public land nearby.
Little Grand Canyon is located within the Shawnee National Forest in Jackson County, Illinois, south of Murphysboro. A small creek with a tiny watershed carved an impressive 200+ foot deep rock canyon that leads down to the Big Muddy River. The southern edge of the ice sheet was slightly to the north of Little Grand Canyon. Large chunks of ice slid off the face of the glacier, and carried by enormous volumes of melted water, carved out this small canyon.
Each 2016-P Shawnee National Forest 5 ounce silver America the Beautiful coin will be delivered to you in uncirculated condition, in its original mint packaging which consists of the coin inside a protective clear plastic capsule nestled inside an attractive black cardboard box with a Certificate of Authenticity from the United States Mint.