The first quarter released in 2014 was the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter struck as part of the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. This quarter honors the national park in Tennessee and marks the twenty-first out of 56 to be issued in the series. It was released for circulation on January 27, 2014.
Also on that day, the United States Mint (www.usmint.gov) began selling rolls and bags filled with Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarters at prices ranging from $18.95 to $46.95. The quarters originate from U.S. Mint facilities in Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Those from Denver and Philadelphia are sent into circulation. Those from San Francisco are produced solely for coin collectors. Because financial institution cannot order quarters by a certain design, it can take a very long time to find new ones in change. Collectors usually look to the Mint to get them early.
The U.S. Mint releases a total of five coins annually in the series which debuted in 2010 with the Hot Springs National Park Quarter. In 2021, the final quarter in the series will be issued with the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site Quarter. Each one will honor a national park or other national site in the United States or its territories, plus D.C.
Final designs for this Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter were revealed by the United States Mint in December 2013. It happened after the Treasury Secretary selected it from several design candidates. He did so based on recommendations from the U.S. Mint, the United States Commission of Fine Arts, the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee and others.
Shown on the reverse of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter is a design depicting a historic log cabin found within the national park. It features a segment of the lush green forest and hawk circling above. Inscriptions read: GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS, TENNESSEE, 2014 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse was designed by Chris Costello and sculpted by Renata Gordon
Following the release in 2014 of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter will be four other quarters. These include quarters honoring Shenandoah National Park, Arches National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Everglades National Park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park information
Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee has an interesting history, full of struggle. Early inhabitants of the area were the Cherokee Indians, who were forced out as white settlers began arriving to the area.
As the years went by, deforestation began to be a problem as much of the forest was removed for logging. The government attempted to create the area into a national park to preserve it, but struggled to do so as there were little funds available.
Eventually, a large contribution of $5 million was made by John D. Rockefeller, which helped establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, the creation of this park meant the relocation of even more people.
This is not the end of the park’s problems. It is considered one of the most polluted national parks in the United States. This problem does not stop the park from also being one of the most popular in the U.S. as over 9 million people visit it a year.
When tourists come, they must prepare for all varieties of weather and wildlife. There are known to be around 1500 bears living there. Visitors can also participate in hiking, camping and fishing.