The National Park Quarter Series is a collectible series of quarters minted by the U.S. Mint that feature and focus on The United States’ national parks. The Mint began their production of these special quarters in 2010, and they will continue to produce them every year, five quarters a year, until 2021. The majority of the quarters are meant for circulation, but they are also collected too, and can be purchased in collector sets, special Mint sets, and as silver coins as well. So far, the U.S. Mint has produced thirty-five of these beauties, with five more a year every year until 2021 on their way.
The intention behind these coins was something a little historical and a little sentimental. Similar to the drive that pushed forward the U.S. State quarters (minting a special quarter for each U.S. state), the idea behind the National Park Quarters was to create something that reminded us all that these historical parks are out there, and to promote awareness for them and interest in them. Plus, there is the historical significance of our National Parks that should be remembered and respected, and the coins show some of that in their own unique way with each coin’s representation of its respective park.
Putting the National Park Quarters into Effect
The idea for minting quarters that commemorated U.S. National Parks was quite popular. It was pitched on the floor of the House and Senate both in June of 2008, where it was met with widespread agreement and appreciation. The legislation to put these coins into effect and to start making them at the Mint passed with a huge majority in July of that same year. The bill was called the, “America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008.” Some of the rules that govern these coins, made to ensure their authenticity and their trueness to the parks that they represent, are that:
1. The bill effectively requires that all quarter dollars beginning in the year 2010 to have designs on the reverse emblematic of one national site in each state, not to mention the District of Columbia and territory of the United States. This way, all areas of the United States are represented.
2. The bill also served to instruct the Secretary of the Treasury to be responsible for selecting national parks and sites that were to be honored with a reverse quarter design.
3. The bill went on to instruct that the Secretary, and thereby the United States Mint itself, was to strike and make available for sale silver bullion coins that are exact duplicates of National Park quarter-dollars. These silver coins are much larger and were intended to be bought and sold as gifts or as reminders of the parks. They were minted as silver bullion too, to create an added incentive to buy them as an investment opportunity.
4. The bill finally authorized the Director of the National Park Service to purchase for resale or distribution these coins to be sold for resale at the National Parks themselves making them even more popular and well known.
These coins are fun to collect, and they tell something of the history of our nation. Furthermore, they are quite pretty, and their design is individually iconic to the Parks that they represent. The coins are affordable too, and many coin shops and dealers carry them. A wide selection of the coins, sold separately and in different sets both, can be found here.
This program has a shelf life. It will end in 2021, and the bill that legislates these parks is very clear about that. Furthermore, there are only so many parks to commemorate! So what is next for the U.S. Mint? What will the next project for the U.S. quarter be? There are rumors going around of what the next proposition will be, but they can only be granted as much belief as rumors themselves warrant.
Currently, one of the thoughts is that the U.S. Mint will produce quarters that commemorate major events of U.S. history next. There have been rumors going around about this for some time, so it is felt that one day this will come into effect. But which events will be showcased? Which ones will be left behind? It is a tricky project, certainly less straightforward than commemorating each state or each national park. One way or the other though, coin collectors of all ages all across the country are excited to see what is next.