The third coin released under the new America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program, the Yosemite National Park Quarter, was launched by the United States Mint and the National Park Service on Thursday, July 29.
Over a thousand people attended the ceremony at the park’s Valley Visitor’s Center, located in Yosemite Village Loop, Yosemite, California. They were some of the first to see the new coin showcasing the park’s "El Capitan," the largest granite monolith in the world, on the reverse (tails side) of the new strike.
"With this quarter, the United States Mint connects America to the wonder, peace and beauty of one of its most awe-inspiring natural treasures — Yosemite National Park," U.S. Mint Director Moy proclaimed at the official release.
The 2010 Yosemite quarter follows the Hot Springs and Yellowstone quarters in the fifty-six coin America the Beautiful Quarters series that will promote five new quarter-dollars a year until the final coin is minted in 2021.
A portrait of the first President of the United States, George Washington, graces the obverse (heads side) of all of these coins. The reverse side of each features a theme of distinct American outdoor settings and celebrates one site of national interest from each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States. The chosen sites include national parks, national monuments and national forests. They are released in the order that they became part of the government’s park system.
Many enthusiasts have already ordered the new Yosemite National Park Quarters as of Monday, July 26, directly from the U.S. Mint in either 100-coin bags for $35.95 or two-roll sets for $32.95.
For those opting to have bags, a choice of coins struck at either the US Mint’s facility in Philadelphia or the Mint’s facility in Denver is possible. The two-roll sets contain one roll of 40 coins from both of those locations for a total of 80 strikes. (Read more about the rolls and bags and how to order them.) Monday the 26th was also the day the coins entered circulation through the Federal Reserve banking system.
US Mint Director Ed Moy was joined in the official release by Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher. Those attending the ceremony were given the opportunity to exchange cash for rolls of the new strikes from the Yosemite Credit Union while lucky children were given a shiny new Yosemite Quarter for free.
"This new quarter is yet another way that Yosemite’s legacy will live on by reminding those who take home the Yosemite National Park quarter how special America’s national parks are," explained Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher before the ceremony’s conclusion.
Other officials at the ceremony included Kevin Cann, chairman of the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors; Representatives for California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer; and historian Tom Bopp who delivered the keynote speech.
Collectors will have to wait until September 20 for the next coin due under the program, the Grand Canyon National Park Quarter. It will be followed in November by a coin honoring Mount Hood National Forest. (For more, see the National Park quarter release dates.)