The second coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters® series issued in 2012 is the Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarter which honors the site in New Mexico. The twelfth strike in the program was released on April 2, 2012.
The quarters program was authorized by Congress as part of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. It was signed into law by President Bush on December 23, 2008.
The final design for this coin, along with the other 2012 quarter dollars, was announced by the United States Mint on December 8, 2011. Helping review the design was the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts. In fact, they reviewed 24 candidate designs with four to five for each 2012 quarter. Their recommendations were forwarded to the Treasury Secretary who had the final say as to the the design of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarter design.
Like all coins in the America the Beautiful Quarters series, the obverse showcases a portrait of the first President of the United States, George Washington. The portrait was designed by John Flanagan and is surrounded by the inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, QUARTER DOLLAR, LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
The reverse includes the inscriptions of CHACO CULTURE, NEW MEXICO, E PLURIBUS UNUM and 2012.
Prior to the release of the Chaco National Historical Park Quarter, the United States Mint first issued the El Yunque National Forest Quarter in 2012. There will be three more strikes in the program following the Chaco Quarter in 2012, including the Acadia National Park Quarter, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quarter and the Denali National Park Quarter.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park information
Chaco Culture National Historical Park is found in the state of New Mexico. It was originally established as a national monument on March 11, 1907 and re-designated a national historical park on December 19, 1980.
A thousand years ago, a Pueblo culture lived and flourished in Chaco Canyon’s extreme landscape and weather conditions. This civilization created immense structures and a complex social system that lasted for generations. However, this civilization eventually dispersed, believed to either be due to elongated droughts or a loss in primary resources.
The National Park Service and the Hopi and Pueblo descendants are currently working to help stop as much erosion as possible that is currently occurring in the area in order to preserve the structures located there. Accordingly, several parts of the park are closed off because of this, but much of the park is still open to the public.
Tourists can take self-guided tours around the Canyon Loop Drive, hike on back country trails, enjoy one of the several guest speakers, or take guided tours of the area. There is much cultural history to be explored, and visitors will not be disappointed.