Ellis Island is the latest national site honored in the United States Mint series of America the Beautiful Quarters®. Coins emblematic of the island in New Jersey launched today, Aug. 28, 2017, and are available in rolls and bags.
Ellis Island was the most active immigration station in the United States with operations running from 1892 to 1954. For many immigrants, the island was their first stop as they completed an inspection process that lasted on average from 3 to 7 hours. It became part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965.
Ellis Island quarters are the 39th coin of the ATB program and the fourth from the U.S. Mint this year. Available products include 40-coin rolls and 100-coin bags of circulation-quality strikes from production facilities in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco.
Ellis Island Quarter Designs
Originally, the U.S. Mint unveiled eight different design candidates for the coin’s reverse (tails side). Individuals charged with reviewing coin designs inspected the candidates, and then the Secretary of the Treasury made the final selection.
The chosen design depicts an immigrant family in front of the iconic hospital building of Ellis Island. The image is the work of United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Barbara Fox. United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Hemphill executed it for use on coins. In the following U.S. Mint video, Hemphill talks about her work in sculpting the coin:
Inscriptions around the scene read “ELLIS ISLAND,” “NEW JERSEY,” “2017,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” A few photographs of the coin follow. (See more Ellis Island quarter photos.)
All America the Beautiful Quarters share an obverse (heads side) portrait depicting George Washington. John Flanagan created this portrait of the first President of the United States and it has appeared on quarter dollars since 1932.
Obverse inscriptions read "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "LIBERTY," "QUARTER DOLLAR," and "IN GOD WE TRUST." In addition, mintmarks of ‘P,’ ‘D," or ‘S’ show the coin’s production location at the U.S. Mint facilities in Philadelphia, Denver or San Francisco.
Quarter Dollar Products
Pricing and product options for the Ellis Island quarters are as follows:
|Product||US Mint Production Facility||Price|
|40-coin rolls||San Francisco||$18.95|
|Two-roll sets||40 Philadelphia & 40 Denver coins||$32.95|
|Three-roll sets||40 San Francisco, 40 Philadelphia, & 40 Denver||$46.95|
|100-coin bags||San Francisco||$34.95|
These coins are in circulation quality finish but have never actually been in circulation. Also, while Philadelphia- and Denver-minted quarters are released into circulation, those produced at the San Francisco Mint are created for numismatic purposes only, such as for these rolls and bags.
Official Release Ceremony and Coin Exchange
The National Park Service and U.S. Mint will host an official quarter release ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 11:00 a.m. (ET). Its location is on Ellis Island near the
Flagpole Area. After the ceremony, attendees can swap cash for rolls of the new quarter.
There is a coin forum after the ceremony, at 12:30 p.m. These forums allow the public an opportunity to ask questions of Mint officials. It will also take place near the Flagpole Area.
Ordering Quarter Rolls and Bags
Ellis Island quarter rolls and bags are available from the U.S. Mint’s online store, found here, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
2017 America the Beautiful Quarters
Five different coins appear annually in the program of America the Beautiful Quarters. (See quarters by year.) Previous 2017 quarters honor Effigy Mounds National Monument of Iowa, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the District of Columbia, and Ozark National Scenic Riverways of Missouri.
In November, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park of Indiana will be honored on the final 2017-dated quarter.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins
Designs found on Ellis Island quarters are also on larger 5-ounce silver coins. This includes bullion strikes sold through the U.S. Mint’s network of authorized purchasers for a premium above the melt value of the silver contained in each coin.
It also includes a Philadelphia Mint-struck Ellis Island Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins, which debuts on Sept. 7. The U.S. Mint will sell these uncirculated coins directly to the public for $149.95.
Both coins issues are composed of .999 fine silver and have a diameter of three inches.
Oh, say, can you see,
near by Liberty’s light,
What a one armed boy holds,
that he’s gallently waving,
Whose broad stripes and blank square,
seem amiss at first sight,
O’er the coin our eyes strain,
but no stars are there gleaming,
But the artists suggest,
that less detail is best,
Yet I wish and declare,
that our flag was still there!
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave?
O’er the coin it’s not to be,
so this one I won’t save!