Block Island Quarter Ceremony, Coin Exchange and Public Forum


The U.S. Mint and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will introduce the quarter commemorating Rhode Island’s Block Island National Wildlife Refuge. This year’s final quarter ceremony will take place somewhat near the refuge on Thursday, Nov. 15.

2018 Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Quarter - reverse
Designed by Chris Costello and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge quarter for Rhode Island depicts a black-crowned night-heron flying over a view from the beach at Cow Cove looking towards Sandy Point. The North Lighthouse is visible in the background. The coin marks the fifth release this year and the forty-fifth in the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarter® Program.

Two related events support the quarter’s official release. A coin forum hosted by U.S. Mint officials is going to occur on the evening before the ceremony, and then there will be a traditional coin exchange right after the ceremony ends. These events are free and open to all ages.

Block Island quarters will enter general circulation on Tuesday, Nov. 13, but it could take many months before they are used in regular commerce, because Federal Reserve Banks distribute coins to financial institutions without regard to their designs. The quarter ceremony is a premium occasion to get this last of five 2018-dated quarters. The U.S. Mint offers another by selling them Nov. 13 in rolls and bags at www.

Block Island Quarter Launch Ceremony – Time and Location

Quarter ceremonies are unique events for children, parents, coin collectors, and the local community. Lasting only 30 to 60 minutes, various speakers are invited to provide historical background about the refuge, local entertainers will perform, and official dignitaries get to unveil the new coin and give a free coin to school-aged children. Expected dignitaries and speakers at this event include:

  • David Ryder, Director, United States Mint
  • Janet Coit, Director, Department of Environmental Management, on behalf of Governor Raimondo
  • James Kurth, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Charlie Vandemoer, Manager, Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge
  • Chris Costello*, Designer, United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program

*Costello designed the reverse (tails side) of the Block Island quarter.

Other ceremony participants will include the Chariho High School Student Choir, students from Chariho Middle School, and members of Boy Scout Troop #15.

The quarter ceremony’s time and location details follow.

Date: Thursday, November 15, 2018
Time: 10:30 a.m. (ET)
Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
Kettle Pond Visitor Center
50 Bend Road
Charlestown, RI 02813

Note: Parking for the quarter launch is located at Ninigret Park, Rte. 1A, Park Lane, Charlestown, RI 02813. (GPS Coordinates: 41.374504 -71.665873) Shuttles will be provided from 9:00 am to 10:15 am and following the event. Dress warmly, for it will be an outside tent event.

Coin Exchange

The coin exchange begins immediately after the quarter ceremony. Attendees can line-up to trade cash for $10 rolls of the new coins. A one-roll ($10) minimum and a 10-roll ($100) maximum is common.

Coin Forum Evening Prior to Quarter Ceremony

As mentioned earlier, the United States Mint will also host a coin collector forum on the evening before the ceremony. This free event gives the public an opportunity to learn more about the U.S. Mint’s responsibilities and to ask questions about its products. Coin forums tend to last an hour or so.

Here are the coin forum’s time and location details:

Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Time: 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (ET)
Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
Kettle Pond Visitor Center
50 Bend Road
Charlestown, RI 02813

U.S. Mint-Branded Rolls and Bags of Quarters & Other Quarter Collectibles

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, starting at noon ET, the U.S. Mint will begin selling Block Island quarters to the public. Product options include 40-coin rolls, 2-roll sets, 3-roll sets, and 100-coin bags at prices ranging from $18.95 to $46.95. They will be available for order online at These product releases will also be covered here on CoinNews.

Earlier this year, on Jan. 23, the U.S. Mint released collector proof versions of all five 2018 quarters for $15.95. These coins exhibit frosted designs and mirror-like backgrounds. Proof editions in silver launched on Feb. 22 for $33.95. On March 29, the U.S. Mint issued an uncirculated set of 2018 quarters for $12.95. A  set of 10 circulating quarters debuted on October 10 for $8.95.

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