Around 950 people attended the launch ceremony hosted by officials from the United States Mint and National Park Service. More than 500 schoolchildren received a Pictured Rocks Clark quarter for free.
As seen in the above photo, the coin’s reverse (tails side) depicts one of the park’s major points of interest, Chapel Rock.
"This new coin not only reflects one of the many unique features of the longest freshwater coastline in the United States, but also the breathtaking natural beauty of the state," said Marc Landry, a Michigan native and Acting Associate Director of the Mint’s Numismatic and Bullion Directorate.
Landry shared the stage with a host of speakers including Katherine Reynolds, Executive Director of the Greater Munising Bay Partnership and the Master of Ceremonies, Timothy Williams, Deputy Director of External Affairs at the Department of the Interior, on behalf of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke; Jay Gage, Upper Peninsula Regional Manager, on behalf of Senator Debbie Stabenow; Katelyn Rader, Upper Peninsula Regional Coordinator, for Senator Gary Peters; David Horne, Superintendent of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Others ceremony highlights included performances by the Munising High School Concert Choir, which provided pre- and post-event music, and an appearance by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Paul Balan, who designed the quarter’s reverse.
After the quarter ceremony, many attendees took part in the traditional coin exchange. About $16,000 in P-mint mark quarters were swapped for cash.
Another highlight for 50 collectors and local enthusiasts was a coin forum held on the evening before the ceremony where attendees listened to and asked questions of Mint officials.
Pictured Rocks quarters started entering circulation on Monday, Feb. 5. On the same day, the U.S. Mint released the new quarters in rolls and bags. Available options include coins struck at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints at prices ranging from $18.95 to $46.95.
The U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program launched in 2010 and will celebrate 56 national parks and other sites through 2021. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quarter is the 41st released since 2010 and the first of the five unique 25-cent designs for 2018.