Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Quarter

The second of five 2018-dated U.S. quarters honors Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Quarter
This is a U.S. Mint image of the reverse or tails side of a 2018 Apostle Islands Quarter for Wisconsin

It marks the forty-second release from the United States Mint series of America the Beautiful Quarters® which kicked off in 2010 and ends in 2021. The coin is also only the second one in the program to depict a national lakeshore, with the first issue debuting earlier in 2018 and honoring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan.

Some important dates and events for Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands quarter are:

  • its release into general circulation on April 9, 2018;
  • its availability in U.S. Mint-branded rolls and bags at www.usmint.gov, also on April 9, 2018; and
  • its official launch ceremony hosted by officials from the U.S. Mint and the National Park Service. The ceremony’s location and date have yet to be announced.

Two events surround quarter launch ceremonies. There is a coin forum, typically held on the evening before the ceremony. It offers the public a chance to talk to U.S. Mint officials about current and upcoming products. (A location and time for the coin forum has not yet been announced by the U.S. Mint.) Then there is a coin exchange.

Coin Exchanges and Getting New Quarters

Coin exchanges are scheduled right after quarter release ceremonies and are at the same location as the ceremony. They offer an opportunity to swap cash for $10 rolls of the newly released quarter.

It is usually tough to find new quarters, sometimes taking months to years for them to appear regularly in change. Easier methods of getting them include coin exchanges and buying them straight from the U.S. Mint (www.usmint.gov) when they are released.

Designs on Apostle Island Quarter

Nine candidate designs for the quarter were developed by the U.S. Mint in consultation with representatives of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The Treasury Secretary selected the winning design after the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee reviewed them.

Created by Richard Masters and sculpted by Renata Gordon, the quarter depicts the sea caves at Devils Island with the lighthouse in the background and a kayaker paddling in the foreground. Around it are inscriptions "APOSTLE ISLANDS," "WISCONSIN," "2018" and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."

All quarter obverses (heads) share John Flanagan’s portrait of George Washington.

Both obverse and reverse quarter designs are also featured on a series of U.S. Mint bullion and collector 3-inch diameter, 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver coins.

2018 Quarters

The other 2018 quarters honor:

  • Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore,
  • Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park,
  • Georgia’s Cumberland Island National Seashore, and
  • Rhode Island’s Block Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Strikes from the U.S. Mint’s program of America the Beautiful Quarters honor national parks and other national sites of interest in the United States, Washington D.C. and the five US Territories. As the chosen sites are released in the order upon which they came under the direct control of the federal government, it is not surprising to find the first appearance of a national lakeshore quarter appearing in 2018. The first national lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, was only created by Congress in 1966.

Summary Information about Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore of Wisconsin was created by an Act of Congress signed into law on September 26, 1970. It consists of 69,372 acres of shoreline along Lake Superior.

The national lakeshore includes 21 islands, for which the site takes its name, but also boasts beaches, cliffs, old growth remnant forests and several historic lighthouses. Sand Island has one of the most popular of these lighthouses. It stands approximately 44 feet tall and was first lit in 1921. Another popular lighthouse is the one on Raspberry Island which has been completely renovated. Then there is the lighthouse on Devils Island, which is one of the design elements on the Apostle Islands quarter.

As expected, access to the various islands is somewhat limited. Personal boats are welcome with many public docking locations. Ferries are also available or, in the winter, an ice road may be used.