Arches National Park Quarters were ceremoniously introduced on Friday, June 6, three days before they launched into circulation and went on sale in United States Mint roll and bag products.
Co-hosted by the National Park Service and U.S. Mint, the launch ceremony drew an estimated crowd of 400 people, including 40 school-aged children, and the coin exchange that followed saw about $20,000 in quarters swapped for cash. In addition, roughly four dozen collectors and coin enthusiasts attended a U.S. Mint coin forum held on the evening prior to the ceremony.
Friday’s event took place at Arches National Park Visitor Center. Speakers included Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox, Arches National Park Superintendent Kate Cannon, and United States Mint Deputy Director Richard A. Peterson. Moab’s Mayor Dave Sakrison served as master of ceremonies.
When launch ceremonies officially introduce new quarters, they offer historic background on the national sites their designs commemorate, in a setting that befits the celebration of their release.
Found on the reverse of Arches National Park Quarters is Donna Weaver’s depiction of Delicate Arch with the La Sal Mountains in the background.
"Having lived in Utah, I know from first-hand experience that Delicate Arch in Arches National Park is one of the Earth’s very special geologic wonders and why it was chosen as the design for Utah’s America the Beautiful Quarter," said U.S. Mint Deputy Director Peterson during the launch ceremony.
The coin is the 23rd overall in the America the Beautiful Quarters series that debuted in 2010. The U.S. Mint program is scheduled to last until at least 2021 and offer five different designs a year that honor national sites throughout the U.S. and its territories. Released earlier this year was the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter for Tennessee and the Shenandoah National Park Quarter for Virginia. Upcoming 2014 park quarters include designs celebrating Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado and Everglades National Park in Florida.
On Thursday, June 12, the U.S. Mint at www.usmint.gov/catalog will offer a special 5 ounce version of the Arches quarter that is struck in 99.9% pure silver and has a diameter of 3 inches. Stay tuned to CoinNews.net for information about its release.