The third quarter released in 2013 is the Great Basin National Park Quarter. It also is the eighteenth quarter issued in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. This specific strike honors the national park found in the state of Nevada. It marks it entrance into circulation beginning on June 10, 2013.
Also on the 10th, the United States Mint at www.usmint.gov begins selling rolls, sets and bags of the quarters. These coins are in circulating quality and originate from its facilities in Denver or Philadelphia. The U.S. Mint also offers special proof and collector versions throughout 2013 with some produced at the same minting facilities as well as the San Francisco Mint.
Like all past quarters, several design candidates were created for the reverse of the Great Basin National Park Quarter. These designs were reviewed by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). Eventually, the U.S. Treasury Secretary was tasked with selecting the final 2013 quarter designs.
Featured on the reverse of the Great Basin quarter is scene found often in the national park, a Bristlecone Pine tree and the rocky glacial moraines where the trees grow. Inscriptions around the scene, which was designed by Ronald D. Sanders and sculpted by Renata Gorgon, are GREAT BASIN, NEVADA, 2013 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The series of national site and national park quarters have common obverses, John Flanagan’s portrait of George Washington. Surrounding inscriptions read UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and QUARTER DOLLAR.
Two 2013-dated quarters preceded the Great Basin National Park Quarter. They are the White Mountain National Forest Quarter and the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial Quarter. Following the Great Basin quarter are the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Quarter and the South Dakota Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarter.
These coins are all issued as part of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. This same act authorized five-ounce silver coins that feature the same basic designs but are struck to a diameter of three inches.
Great Basin National Park information
Great Basin National Park is located in Nevada, where most would assume it to be an arid desert. However, this park offers some of the most scenic views in the country. It is around 77,000 acres large and located less than 300 miles from Las Vegas. This short distance does not mean more tourists, however, as the park only sees around 100,000 visitors a year.
A smaller portion of the Great Basin National Park, the Lehman Caves, was considered part of the national park system in 1922, but the entire 77,000 acres was officially established in 1986. The caves have unique stalactite, stalagmite and shield formations.
Also making the site different from what one might expect in Nevada, the national park is home to vast forests of bristlecone pines, some of which are 5,000 years old. Other forms of plant life are indigenous to the area as well. Since the national park is so remote from civilization, many tourists come to star gaze as there is no artificial light to interfere with the night sky.