2016 National Park Service Centennial Anniversary Coins Sought

by Mike Unser on June 24, 2013 · 4 comments

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Legislation was introduced in the Senate this month and in the House last February seeking coins commemorating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.

Established in 1916, the National Park Service or NPS (www.nps.gov) is a bureau of the Department of the Interior tasked with managing and safeguarding more than 400 national parks throughout the United States and its territories.

If a version of the legislation is passed in both the House and Senate and then signed by the President, the United States Mint during calendar year 2016 would produce and sell:

  • Up to 100,000 $5 gold coins,
  • A maximum of 500,000 silver dollars, and
  • Not more than 750,000 clad half-dollars

These commemorative coins would be struck in collector qualities of proof and uncirculated and bear designs emblematic of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

The legislation calls for the Secretary of the Treasury to select the final designs in consultation with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation and the Commission of Fine Arts. As is standard with all coin and medal designs, they would also be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Inscriptions outlined for each denomination, in addition to their face values, are the words LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the year 2016.

Sales of the coins would include surcharges in the amount of $35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for every silver dollar and $5 for each clad half-dollar. Collected funds would go to the National Park Foundation for projects and programs that help preserve and protect resources under the stewardship of the National Park Service and promote public enjoyment and appreciation of those resources. Language in the bill specifically states that the surcharges cannot be used to acquire more land.

Senate and House versions of the legislation are nearly identical, down to the same title of National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act. The most recent bill in the Senate, S. 1158, was introduced by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on June 13, 2013. It has three cosponsors and has been referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The House bill, numbered H.R. 627, was brought forward by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) on Feb. 13, 2013. It enjoys support from 304 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

This year’s two bills mark another attempt at commemorating the centennial of the National Park Service. A house bill in the prior 112th Congress, numbered H.R. 5840, had been introduced on May 18, 2012. It garnered the cosponsor support of 65 House members but eventually died in committee.

There have been other commemorative coin programs that have and continue to feature parks in their designs, like the national site and park quarters from the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program and the related five ounce bullion and uncirculated silver coins series, but there has never been a coin specifically to honor the National Park Service.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

jim June 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm

What? Aren’t the massive 56 ATB quarter and 5 oz silver ATB quarters programs enough? Like Mike says in his last paragraph nothing specifically for the National Park Service itself but isn’t this overkill? And the quarters programs will continue on to 2021. Too bad nobody in congress looked ahead a few years and suggested “Lets do a 100 anniversary commemorative coin for the NPS in 2016 and follow that up with the quarter series in 2017.”

paul davidson June 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm

When are the pol. jockeys going to recomend a commemorative honoring our U.S. Navy Seal Teams?. I guess i am asking too much, I am sorry.

jim June 24, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Write to your congress people and put a bug in their ears. If you don’t tell them they won’t think about it.

Wiki says their roots date back to 1942 but the first two official seal teams weren’t formed until Jan, 1962. So you missed their 50th anniversary by a year. Maybe you could get a 60th or 75th unless they totally ignore anniversaries. Personally I prefer anniversaries with some relevance to our number system so 50 (too late), 75, 100 yrs would work in my mind, but not 54 or 57, etc.

Bob June 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Maybe a 10 oz gold Santa would be nice this year, reverse proof of course.

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