In what is typically as picturesque a location as could be found, the United States Mint debuted Wyoming’s 2010 Yellowstone National Park Quarters to hundreds of gathered visitors today during a launch ceremony on the grounds of the Old Faithful Inn just steps away from the famous Old Faithful Geyser.
Park visitors wait on Old Faithful to erupt an hour prior to the Yellowstone quarter release ceremony, which was moved inside the Old Faithful Lodge Recreation Hall due to incremental weather. The famous geyser is depicted on the quarter’s reverse.
This coin marks the second release of the America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program which debuted earlier this year with the Hot Springs National Park Quarter from Arkansas.
The ceremony was scheduled to be held outdoors but owing to the inclement weather experienced there today, the function was moved inside to the Old Faithful Lodge Recreation Hall. Temperatures hovering in the forties with a drizzle in the air do not make for pleasant event conditions.
The 2010 Yellowstone National Park Quarter was released in a ceremony held at Old Faithful Inn, which is adjacent to the Old Faithful Geyser. (NPS photo)
Still, the ceremony must go on, and it did. Director of the United States Mint Ed Moy hosted the function and was joined by several others in introducing the new coin. Other dignitaries on the dais included Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park Suzanne Lewis, historian and author Paul Schullery and Wyoming Tourism Board Member Gene Bryan.
Starting off with the traditional national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner," the first guest up to laud both the park and the new coin was Gene Bryan, Wyoming Tourism Board Member who was introduced by Master of Ceremonies Park Public Affairs Officer Al Nash. A few comments from the states congressional representatives in Washington, D.C. were then read before Paul Schullery, historian and author took to the podium.
Suzanne Lewis, Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park spoke next and praised the creation of the program, those responsible for it and the host state of Wyoming for the selection of Yellowstone to be included on it.
"We are excited to be able to kick off the summer visitor season with the debut of this quarter," stated Superintendent Suzanne Lewis in her comments. "The images depicted on the coin of a bison and Old Faithful offer a sense of the special nature of Yellowstone."
Closing out the program was the Mint Director himself, Ed Moy. Recalling past visits to the park as well as his involvement in the series, Moy’s comments were closed with an unveiling of the new design along with Superintendent Lewis.
"When Americans pull this coin out of their pockets, some will remember fond memories of their family vacation in Yellowstone, others will be inspired to visit Yellowstone to create new memories," commented Moy. "Many Americans will make the connection to their rich history as a Nation and the extraordinary natural resources of Wyoming."
Immediately following the close of the ceremony, officials started handing out shiny new strikes of the Yellowstone quarters to all of the children in attendance. Of course, adults were not left out and were given the opportunity to stand in line and exchange cash for $10 rolls containing 40 circulation-quality strikes from Denver.
Visitors watch Old Faithful Geyser begin to erupt following the conclusion of the Yellowstone National Park Quarter release ceremony.
Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and has the distinction of being the world’s first national park. The area is probably most noted for its famous thermal features like the Old Faithful Geyser, but also lays claim to an abundant selection of wildlife including America Bison and grizzly bears as well as an awe-inspiring landscape.
Five new quarter dollars are scheduled to be released annually under the America the Beautiful Quarters series which is slated to run until at least 2021. An image of the first President of the United States, George Washington, will still grace the obverse (heads side) of the quarters as it has done since 1932. However, the reverse (tails side) will feature designs emblematic of select locations found throughout the United States to showcase the beauty of the country. Chosen sites are all of national interest and include national parks, national forests, national monuments, etc. One site was selected from each state, the District of Columbia and the five territories of the United States. (See selected quarter site locations by state and territory on an interactive map.)
The reverse quarter design features the Old Faithful geyser with a mature bull bison in the foreground. Inscriptions included are "YELLOWSTONE," "WYOMING," "2010" and "E PLURIBUS UNUM." The coin was both designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.
Yellowstone National Park Quarter – Click to Enlarge
While many collectors were in attendance at the ceremony, they actually did not have to be there to obtain the new strikes. Yellowstone National Park Quarters were released into circulation on Tuesday, June 1, 2010. The US Mint also made the coins available in either two-roll sets or 100-coin bags on that same day. The sets contain one roll of 40 circulation quality strikes from the US Mint facility in Philadelphia and one roll of 40 strikes from the US Mint facility in Denver and sell for $32.95. The 100-coin bags offer buyers the choice of either Denver or Philadelphia strikes for $35.95.
The next America the Beautiful coin to appear from the US Mint will be the Yosemite National Park Quarter which will premier near the end of July. Two more strikes will follow in 2010 including the Grand Canyon National Park Quarter in September and the Mount Hood National Forest Quarter in November.
Later in the summer the US Mint will begin introducing the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, which are 5-oz duplicates of the quarters struck in .999 fine silver and distributed through its network of authorized buyers.