The fourth United States Mint quarter release in 2014 is the Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter. It honors the park in Colorado and marks the 24th issue in the America the Beautiful Quarters® series that commemorates national sites in the U.S. and its territories. Its circulation release date is August 25, 2014.
Circulation release dates are when Federal Reserve Banks will officially fulfill orders that may include the quarters — banks and other financial institutions cannot order any of the national site or national park quarters by a specific design, which is a reason it can be difficult to find new ones in circulation.
There are other options in getting new quarters, however. Release dates are also when the United States Mint (www.usmint.gov) introduces bags and rolls of circulating-quality quarters for anyone to buy. Many collectors choose this option for convenience and speed.
Obverses (heads side) of Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarters are identical to all of the other America the Beautiful coins. They bear a portrait of the first President of the United States George Washington as designed by John Flanagan.
Reverses (tails side) sport an image emblematic of the national park. Following the creation of several design proposals which were reviewed by various officials and committees, the U.S. Mint recommended a final design that was eventually selected by the U.S. Treasury Secretary. This design, created and sculpted by Don Everhart, features a father and son playing in the sand next to a creek bed. The distinctive mountains and sand dunes appear in the background. Inscriptions around the design read: GREAT SAND DUNES, COLORADO, 2014 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Other 2014 Quarters
Preceding the Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter in 2014 are the:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter for Tennessee
- Shenandoah National Park Quarter for Virginia
- Arches National Park Quarter for Utah
Following the Arches quarter is the Everglades National Park Quarter for Florida, the last of the 2014-dated quarters. (See 2014 quarter release dates.)
Great Sand Dunes National Park information
Originally in 1932, the Great Sand Dunes National Park of Colorado was founded as a national monument and it was a fraction of the size it is today. In 2000, another large portion of land was purchased to increase the size of the monument. Finally, in 2004, Great Sand Dunes was designated a national park.
The Great Sand Dunes National Park is not a dry area. In fact, the dunes maintain a certain amount of stability due to moist sand underneath a dry top layer. There are rivers that flow around the dunes that also erode away at the sand. However, when the rivers dry up, the wind blows that sand back up into the dunes, replenishing them.
There is more to this national park than just sand dunes. There are several alpine lakes, forests, and wetlands. This diverse array of landscapes means that tourists should prepare for multiple climates. Those who do visit will find that hiking within the park can be a very rewarding experience.