Though it is principally focused on striking medallions for sports teams – including baseball, football, hockey, and basketball – the Highland Mint, located in Melbourne, Florida, is another American private minting company that produces a limited range of high quality silver rounds and ingots. Production is irregular in the sense that there is no set time interval at which new products are added to the range, nor is there any indication of how long a given production run will last. Within these limits, however, the Highland Mint produces excellent bullion products out of .999 fine silver.
Highland Mint Silver Rounds Today
Since the Highland Mint is centered chiefly around sports medallions and custom medallion jobs, the range of Highland Mint silver rounds currently available is quite limited. In fact, there are just two readily purchasable rounds on the market. Both of these are composed of 1 troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver, and are the same size and configuration as a typical silver bullion coin.
The first of these silver rounds is a larger replica of the famous Buffalo nickel, with most of the accompanying verbiage removed (such as face value, the name of the country, and so on). The obverse shows the iconic Indian head, with the word “Liberty” hovering in front of the brave’s aquiline nose as the only inscription. The reverse shows the well-known buffalo design and reads “One Troy Ounce 999 Fine Silver”.
The second round is a curious design based on the Walking Liberty coins from the era of the World Wars. The obverse shows Liberty walking with a sunrise (or sunset) over mountains behind her. A wide band around the outside of the coin bears the legend “Walking Liberty 1916 – 1947”, while the smaller area within this where Liberty herself appears includes the words “Liberty In God We Trust 1916”.
The reverse features another wide band with the disclaiming statement “Commemorative Copy One Troy Ounce 999 Silver” while the inner “field” shows the eagle of the Republic with the words “United States of America E Pluribus Unum Half Dollar”.
This round design is interesting because it precisely replicates legal tender of the United States from 1916, including a face value, but manages to avoid the charge of counterfeiting by cleverly including a border which declares the round to be no more than a commemorative copy – an interesting method of reissuing a coin without falling foul of the law.
Background of the Highland Mint
This private minting company arose initially in the 1980s, the era when the government first began to sell off its stocks of silver in the form of modern bullion coins after it decided that the argent substance was no longer a vital strategic metal. The combination of economic uncertainty and sudden availability of silver coins during this period prompted a resurgence of interest in bullion coins after a long mid-century drought.
The Highland Mint was well positioned to take advantage of this renascent market, and also of the ready availability of silver during the period after the Hunt brothers’ adventures in market fixing. The medallions it struck were struck several times rather than just once, leading to an exceptionally deep, clear image reminiscent of proof coins (which are double struck).
The use of multiple strikings on sports medallions gave the Highland Mint an advantage in quality over its competitors, and this method of manufacture continues to this day for both its medallions and its silver rounds. The company is not a firm operating on the same scale as APMEX, but it remains a solid contestant in the international silver market and has fine products to offer to collectors and investors.