In the fifth year of the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, five 2014 National Park Quarters will be issued.
These quarters showcase reverse (tails side) designs from United States national parks found in Tennessee, Virginia, Utah, Colorado and Florida.
Specifically, the 2014 National Park Quarters and their circulation release dates are:
|2014 Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter||TN||January 27, 2014|
|2014 Shenandoah National Park Quarter||VA||March 31, 2014|
|2014 Arches National Park Quarter||UT||June 9, 2014|
|2014 Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter||CO||August 25, 2014|
|2014 Everglades National Park Quarter||FL||November 3, 2014|
The above release dates also mark when the United Sates Mint introduces rolls and bags of the quarters. Finding new quarters in circulation can be difficult, so many collectors order them straight from the U.S. Mint.
More information on the sites commemorated by the 2014 National Park Quarters is offered below. Links are included for each offering further information, to include specific information about the quarter designs, designers and quarter images.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter honors a site in Tennessee that has a long and rich history from the Paleo Indians to European settlers. Historic structures, landscapes and artifacts are protected here, and provide insight to many of the different cultures that had lived in this area.
It is said that there are about 1,500 black bears that live in this region. With elevations reaching over 6,000 feet in some areas, that would mean about 2 black bears per square mile. The mountains also have 800 miles of mountain trails, meaning visitors will need to be watchful of bears, and weather.
In 1934, through a generous donation of $5 million, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. helped establish the Great Smoky Mountains as a national park.
Shenandoah National Park Quarter – The Shenandoah National Park Quarter honors the park in Virginia whose borders are the Shenandoah River and the hills of the Virginia Piedmont. Most of the park contains the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are the highest mountains in Eastern North America.
Skyline Drive runs through the national park, providing 105 miles of scenery. There are about 75 overlooks along Skyline drive that tourists can stop at to view the Shenandoah Valley. Skyline Drive starts at Front Royal Virginia and ends at Rockfish Gap, Virginia.
About 80,000 acres of Shenandoah have been declared wilderness because it is so secluded. It is a great way to get away from everyday life.
Arches National Park Quarter – The Arches National Park Quarter honors the national park located near Moab, Utah. The park is home to over 2,000 naturally made sandstone arches, and other unusual formations. Unlike anywhere in the world, nature has exposed years of geologic history, a landscape of contrasting colors, unique landforms and textures in this one relatively small area.
In 1929, Arches National Park was created as a national monument, but through an act of congress, it was designated a National Park in 1971.
Arches National Park is a high desert, where some elevations are over 4,000 feet above sea level. Due to the weather, and other natural forces, many arches have collapsed since 1970.
Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter – The Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter honors the park in Colorado that contains the tallest dunes in North America. All types of tourists can visit the dunes, whether able bodied or in a wheelchair.
This national park also contains a variety of features, such as alpine lakes, tundra, forests, grasslands, wetlands and mountain ranges.
Upper Sand Creek Lake is featured in the Great Sand Dunes Park, providing tourists with a contrast between the dunes and the lake.
Even though Great Sand Dunes National Park was really only established in 2004, the area had been a national monument since 1932.
Everglades National Park Quarter – The Everglades National Park Quarter honors the Florida park that is home to many rare and endangered species, and is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.
Everglades National Park has such an important impact on the world that it has been designated a Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site and a Wetland of International Importance. It is home to over 350 species of birds and ranges from sea level to just twenty feet above sea level.
Many people don’t know that the Everglades are a system of slow-moving rivers. These rivers are home to over 50 types of reptiles, with the most noted being American crocodiles.
Series of America the Beautiful Quarters
There will be 56 coins in the America the Beautiful Quarters series, and the 2014 set is unique in that they honor only national parks. The America the Beautiful Quarters Program started in 2010 and goes through until at least 2021. It honors only United States sites that include national parks, national forests, national monuments, military parks, and several other national sites. One site was chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US Territories. This makes 56 new quarters total, featuring special designs of each location. (See quarters site list.)
On each quarter, the face side features a portrait of George Washington, done by John Flanagan and modified by William Cousins. The flip side features a unique design of each national site.
There is also a companion series, known as the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin Program. These coins contain 5 ounces of .999 silver and are 3 inches in diameter. They have the same design as the America the Beautiful Quarters.