Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island is the last of the five 2018-dated U.S. quarters.
It represents the forty-fifth release from the program of America the Beautiful Quarters® by the United States Mint. Making the coin more unique is the fact that out of the fifty-six locations to be honored in the series, the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Quarter is one of only two that depict a wildlife refuge. The other is the 2015 Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarter for Delaware.
Some key event dates for Rhode Island’s Block Island quarter are:
- its release into general circulation on November 13, 2018;
- its availability in U.S. Mint-branded rolls and bags at www.usmint.gov, on November 12, 2018;
- its official launch ceremony hosted by officials from the United States Mint and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the ceremony’s location and date have yet to be announced);
- a U.S. Mint coin forum that is generally held on the evening before the launch ceremony; and
- a coin exchange that happens right after the quarter launch ceremony.
Coin Forum, Exchanges and Getting New Quarters
U.S. Mint-hosted coin forums offer an opportunity to learn about current and upcoming coins. The coin exchange gives the public a chance to swap cash for $10 rolls of new quarters.
It is usually difficult 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).
Designs on Block Island Quarter
Twelve candidate designs for the quarter were developed by the U.S. Mint in consultation with representatives of Block Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Treasury Secretary selected the final design after the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee reviewed them.
Created by Chris Costello and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, the design depicts a black-crowned night-heron flying over a view from the beach at Cow Cove looking towards Sandy Point. The North Light lighthouse is seen in the background. Around the scene are inscriptions "BLOCK ISLAND," "RHODE ISLAND," "2018" and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."
Quarter obverses (heads) share John Flanagan’s portrait of George Washington.
The pair of obverse and reverse designs will also appear on a series of U.S. Mint bullion and collector 3-inch diameter, 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver coins.
The other 2018 quarters honor:
- Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore,
- Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore,
- Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park, and
- Georgia’s Cumberland Island National Seashore.
The America the Beautiful Quarter series celebrates sites of interest like national parks, national forests, and national monuments. One site was selected from each state, the District of Columbia and each of the five U.S. Territories — for the combined 56 locations honored between 2010 and 2021.
Information about Block Island National Wildlife Refuge
Block Island National Wildlife Refuge of Rhode Island was established in 1973 from an initial 28 acres of land transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard. Today, the refuge is more than quadruple that size and consists of 134 acres.
The island plays temporary home to more than 70 species of migratory songbirds who pass through the area on the Atlantic flyway each fall. Of course, the refuge also hosts other creatures such as the largest gull colony in Rhode Island.
A ferry for the island leaves from Point Judith on route 108 in Rhode Island. Once on the island, visitors must head for the north end as that is where the refuge is located.