The United States Mint and the National Park Service joined forces on Thursday, July 29, to officially release the Yosemite National Park Quarter outside the Valley Visitor Center in Yosemite, California.
The quarter-dollars actually debuted three days earlier, July 26, as they began entering circulation through the Federal Reserve banking system, and via Yosemite quarter bags and rolls offered by the U.S. Mint.
The coin is the third released in 2010, and the third in the new America the Beautiful Quarters™ series which will feature 56 varying designs through 2021 that honor national parks and other national sites throughout the U.S. and its territories.
"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," United States Mint Director Ed Moy told the crowd during the ceremony.
As is the tradition during coin releases, newly minted quarters were handed out to children 18 years old and under. Everyone else in attendance had the opportunity to exchange cash for rolls of the Yosemite quarters as provided by the Yosemite Credit Union.
In what appears to be the beginning of another tradition, a live webcast of the ceremony was available through the Mint’s mini site dedicated to the quarters, http://americathebeautifulquarters.gov/.
The live feed provided an exceptional opportunity to take in the event, to include listening to various officials retell their experiences of Yosemite and its importance to the nation.
"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," said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.
Right before Moy and Neubacher officially unveiled and released the latest America the Beautiful Quarter, Neubacher was given a plaque featuring two Yosemite quarters from Philadelphia that were minted on April 26, 2010, the first day of production.
Other officials at the ceremony included:
- Representatives for California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer,
- Kevin Cann, chairman of the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors,
- and historian Tom Bopp who delivered the keynote speech
In addition to the coin exchange that followed the ceremony, attendees were treated to a specially designed cake by Delarware North which depicted the quarter.
The 2010 Yosemite National Park quarter reverse features an image of El Capitan and has the inscriptions YOSEMITE, CALIFORNIA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. It was designed by Joseph Menna and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
The obverse (heads side) design features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. The obverse inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.
Issued earlier in the year were the 2010 Hot Springs National Park Quarters for Arkansas and the 2010 Yellowstone National Park Quarters for Wyoming. The 2010 Grand Canyon National Park Quarter for Arizona and 2010 Mount Hood National Forest Quarter for Oregon will launch later this year.