With a crowd estimated at above 1000 individuals, U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy presided over the ceremony which also included National Park Service Midwest Regional Director Ernie Quintana and Hot Springs National Park Superintendent Josie Fernandez.
All were gathered in front of the building which actually appears on the park coin.
Designed by Don Everhart and sculpted by Joseph Menna, the reverse (tails side) of each quarter shows the Hot Springs National Parks headquarters building, complete with a thermal spring fountain in front of it.
Merely a few steps away from the historic location, Moy and his fellow speakers praised not only the Hot Springs Park itself, but also the new quarter-dollar series of which the park is now a part of.
"This has always been a special place, its been a magical place, its been a place of hope and peace and beauty," Director Moy proclaimed at the official release. "That’s what we wanted to capture in the design of the first coin issued under the America the Beautiful Quarters Program from the United States Mint."
"With the launch of the Hot Springs National Park Quarter, a uniquely American journey begins, a journey through coins in celebration of the beauty, history and impact of national sites in every state and territory,"
The obverse of all of the fifty-six coins authorized as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program will contain a portrait of the first President of the United States, George Washington. He has been featured on the quarter dollar since 1932. In fact, the current image used is based on that original 1932 design done by artist John Flanagan. It has been updated for today’s circulating coinage by William Cousins.
Once the ceremony was over, those interested in obtaining some of the new coins were allowed to exchange cash for rolls of the strikes. Children who were in attendance were each given a free quarter to commemorate their participation in the event.
Anyone who could not attend the ceremony can still buy quarters bags and rolls directly from the U.S. Mint.
Collectors must now wait until June for the next release of an America the Beautiful coin when the Yellowstone National Park Quarter will debut. It will be followed by the Yosemite National Park Quarter in July, the Grand Canyon National Park Quarter in September and the Mount Hood National Forest Quarter in November.